Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Digital CIO’s Vision, Passion, and Digitalization

Digital CIOs have both vision and passion, capability and capacity for entering into the new world of the change and innovation.

IT is like the business engine, CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. The emergence of the CIO coincided with the birth of the PC and end-user computing. That role certainly is matured as the Internet age unfolded. Contemporary CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which an organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation based on their vision, passion and leadership practices.

Shape the vision: Leadership is all about future and change. Leadership vision is to serve as a compass and enabler. To clear the path of digitalization, whether that is the elimination of obstacles or to provide coaching and guidance or making leadership influence, the CIO and his/her team can play a large role in shaping a vision of the firm as a place where passionate individuals want to connect with and learn from one another. Vision should have a direction which sets clarity. As IT leaders, CIOs need to have the technological vision and awareness, as more often than not, technology becomes the game changer and innovation driver for running a digital business. No matter where you are in IT, the world changes with accelerated speed. IT is in the middle of a sea change, CIOs need to have the capacity to learn, relearn, and adapt. CIOs are expected to constantly propose new ideas and challenge the status quo, have the willingness to try something new, to test, to learn what you knew again, with the new perspective, to listen and remain balanced. A CIO’s technological vision should be attainable subject to current times and its ability to adapt and help the business gain the competitive advantage for the long term.

Ignite the passion: The need for change is obvious. The range of emerging digital technologies fosters a deeper sense of digital connections and vision to changes. Simply put, IT can no longer just be about numbers and algorithms; it has an opportunity to be a significant catalyst for passion and a tool for encouraging questing and connecting the innovation dots. Passionate CIOs dare to practice out-of-the-box-thinking, introduce new business concepts, develop cross-functional systems, platforms, procedures, and tools for the efficient use of natural resource and investing human capital to maximize collective potential. The digital setting and tools necessitate a new way of thinking, a creative way to do things and a flexible way to work smartly to ignite latent worker passion and bring together disparate parts of the organization to achieve digital harmony. CIOs need to become the passionate change agent to retool the organization culture, to build up a positive emotional environment, communicate relentlessly, inspire passionate employees, and foster collaborative business relationships. If a digital leader like CIO has a clear vision and is passionate about a certain goal, and then, it has the potential to be contagious and spread throughout the team. Though the CIO as a senior leader, the passion should never take precedence over making sound judgments. Following the passion also requires a good sense of judgment that you are on a right path to the vision you set. Passion enables determination, creativity, strategy, and talent. Passion aligned with focus, capabilities, and meaningful work is a destination for both individuals and businesses.

Orchestrate the digital ecosystem: Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology is insufficient. Thus, the CIO as a change agent not only touches his/her own function but also needs to make a significant influence on the entire organization and the emerging business ecosystem. Digital Transformation is the change, but on a grand level, at the level of the system, differentiate in terms of the end result on a systemic level. Thus, it takes strategic planning, structural methodology, and continuous practices in orchestrating such a digital paradigm shift. The pervasive digitization requires both business and technology professionals to rethink how things are done in their organization and how to align the different parts of the business ecosystem to adopt more digital points of integration. You have to transform the company's underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. To effectively respond to these new dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and innovative. The CIO should run IT as the linchpin to orchestrate a high performance and high-innovative digital organization.

IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business to lead the digital paradigm shift. CIOs are change agents, for IT to enable and catalyze business transformation, for IT to have an oversight of the key business processes and influence of the organizational culture. Digital CIOs have both vision and passion, capability and capacity for entering into the new world of the change and innovation, build a comprehensive change agenda with a few crucial highlights to drive change with focus, and practice leadership influence with their unique insight and intellectual voice.

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