Thursday, May 23, 2019

Running IT as Digital Force Multiplier

The digital paradigm has many dimensions, Information Technology is the linchpin of the emergent digital ecosystem and a critical business differentiator. 

In the world where change is significantly speeding up, that business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy. The pace of change has been felt the most in areas of Information Technology, marketing, and business operations. The expectation from business consumers outstrips the digital readiness of most companies. The business strategy can no longer stay static and strategy implementation is not a linear scenario, but an iterative continuum. IT organizations can no longer hide in the corner as a support center, The role of the CIO is to proactively drive the corporate strategy by running IT as a digital force multiplier and improve the organization maturity from functioning to delight.

Information Force: The abundance of information brings both significant opportunities and enormous risks in business today, as organizations can harness the power of data to provide the business with updated knowledge and invaluable insight - a more fact-based vision of where to aim and how to get there. IT leaders should feel passionate about what information and technology can drive the business success by identifying the right data, validating it and communicating it to right people at the right time for either improving decision effectiveness or spurring innovation. With rapid changes and high velocity of the business ecosystem, the idea of moving fast and becoming highly flexible and responsible requires companies applying emerging new technologies and leveraging increasing diverse information to move up the learning curve, gain knowledge about their customers, capture growth opportunities, prevent risks for adapting to the business dynamic smoothly. Information is invaluable, but if not being managed effectively, it could become a worse case business liability. Companies generally should have a set of well-defined governance and compliance rules on information management to make sure that people are able to find, reuse, publish, refactor and refine information to capture business insight or co-develop new knowledge. Along the journey of digital transformation, leading companies run IT as an information force multiplier to move up their information management maturity curve from understanding “what happened” to “why did it happen” (dig into the root cause) to what will happen (capture the trend), with the goal to run a highly responsive and high-innovative organization and reach the next level of business maturity with accelerated speed.

Growth force: Traditional IT organizations are usually operated inside-out, focus on business efficiency and manageability. To keep IT relevant for the long run, reinventing IT as an enabler or the catalyst can create a more interesting conversation around the business regarding the change, growth, innovation, and tangible performance results. CIOs will contribute to revenue generation when they are part of the senior executives' team responsible for strategy- making and revenue targets. CIOs need to make sure that the executive teams understand what IT can do to drive future business growth and revenue generation as well as unlock the business potential. It starts with the IT leader’s mentality as the strategic business executive first, and then, they can run IT as the business inside the business and digital force multiplier of the entire company. Cross-functional collaboration is critical; in fact, there should be a strong interaction between different functional management and their teams with feedback mechanisms and willingness to work on IT-enabled revenue enhancement initiatives. Usually, IT-enabled revenue improvement is harder to present, CIOs should work to prove the overall contribution, profitability improvements and value IT delivers to the business.

Digital workforce: The most difficult topic during the large scale business transformation is about managing uncertainty especially when you change many things such as people, processes, technology, culture, systems, and organization as the whole at the same time. Driven by change necessity, digital technologies, and cultural progress, the digital workforce today are divergent in many ways, share a natural affinity for new perspectives, fresh insight, and collective wisdom. Therefore, workforce planning and management have to become highly dynamic, analytical and systematical for truly putting the right people with the right capabilities to the right positions for solving the right problems at the right time. Communication, integration, planning, and training are indispensable when you are on the ride of digital trajectory. Running IT as a digital workforce multiplier is not just about playing some latest technology tools or gadgets or following the trendy practices, or talking about innovation as a lip service; it has to change your intention or mindset behind it. People change, technology change and knowledge life cycle are significantly shortened. The digital transformation involves internalization of the new values and conceptual models so that the newly cultivated habits or acquired behaviors don’t require the same kind of effort and vigilance. The workforce skills gap is the reality and creativity is in strong demand. The IT-enabled creative workforce management can help employees at all levels within an organization rethink the future of work, understand and develop their creative capacity to solve problems and explore ample opportunities in new and innovative ways.

The digital paradigm has many dimensions, Information Technology is the linchpin of the emergent digital ecosystem and a critical business differentiator. There is no magic format to run IT as a digital force multiplier or the business transformer. Every IT organization has to experiment, learn, explore, and discover the better way to reinvent IT to get digital ready, rationalize current IT department and proactively partner with the business to provide tailored services and solutions, explore the art of new possibilities, find ways to move up the stack, provide business value (innovation) and not spend their cycles as just a cost center.


nice, it is an informative article.
thanks for share.
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