Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ready, Set, Go: CIO’s Top Ten Challenges

IT should even become the secret sauce to polish corporate brand through all sorts of the digital channel. 

Today’s CIOs and IT departments are at the cross-road: on the one hand, digitization and globalization make the technology more critical than ever, IT capability becomes the competitive differentiator, information/data just penetrate into every corner of their organization and our human society; on the other hand, the latest technology such as cloud/social computing unleash the potential to decentralize the enterprise, and democratize our working environment, will IT be left out or more strategic focused and mission critical? Here we list the top ten challenges facing in today’s CIO to provoke the further discussion.

1. Cloud Strategy & Solution

Cloud becomes omnipresence these days, the power of cloud computing  is to provide the convenience for the enterprise to proactively deliver the customer-tailored solution with speed, to calculate the IT performance/cost more transparently, to transfer the IT investment from CapEx to OpEx, to transform IT department from cost center into integration & innovation center.  In one sentence: Cloud helps build up the value-driven, capability-enabled agile enterprise.

So the top challenges facing CIO is not: when to step into cloud, more about: HOW: SAAS, PAAS, IAAS, BPAAS (Business Process As a Service), AAAS (Analytics As a Service), also: public, private, hybrid, community cloud, etc, CIO need leverage many key factors such as security, privacy, cost, availability, vendor reliability, SLA., etc, to make the cloud transformation as both strategic imperative and operational effective.

2. IT Maturity

Every CIO may evaluate IT’s maturity level base on criteria Gartner defined: Five level maturity (functional, enabling, contributing, differentiating, and transformational). The reality is the majority of the enterprise is struggling at level one: functional –IT as a commodity to keep the light on, or the level two: enabling, IT intend to become the enabler for business, reliably and predictably delivers technology services and solutions on demand.

However, it’s far away from satisfying both internal business customers and end customers in this “Only Change is Constant” digital era, the goal for IT is to pursue:

Level 3: IT is engaged in addressing explicit business problems or opportunities. Its contributions to business performance are well-understood

Level 4: IT is a source of agility and product/service innovation. IT collaborates with other disciplines, such as R&D, BPM, and OT, to deliver new products, services, and differentiating operations.

Level 5: IT is a primary driver of business model innovation. IT reliably and predictably delivers technology services and solutions on demand.

With IT capability upgraded to the higher level, the role of CIO will also become more strategic with business accountability.

3. Big Data Analytics

     The Cloud/Social/Mobile computing not only bring up unprecedented opportunities for business via advanced analytics, the business is no longer satisfied with the hindsight or operational insight the traditional BI delivers, they are more interested in knowing what’s in customers’ mind: both positive and negative feedback;  what’s the products & service trends in the future. what will the business act for the next step to embrace the change., etc, invest the trend, not just your core business, it’s the mantra in today’ business environment.  Predictive/prescriptive/Big Data Analytics will help the organization ride the wave, build the instant-on intelligent enterprise.

      Big data also means big risks and big challenges: data management solutions such as data storage, data quality/optimization, MDM, data integration, data security/governance., are one of the top priorities for CIO and IT department to focus on, to break down the department silo, let the data flow to cross the border, and keep organizational data asset both safe and clean with holistic view.

4. Application Modernization

Being agile and dynamic is the ultimate goal for today’s enterprise, application portfolio has become the integral components in an enterprise’s flexibility and capability, outdated legacy applications no longer meet business needs and  manifest poor performance, they also limit the organization’s growth potential. Many complaints about the sun never set for the legacy app due to the variety of reasons (life cycle, inertia to change, etc), CIO needs a to-do list to manage the application modernization with both short-term budget planning and long-term TCO perspective

Cloud computing also provides the great opportunities for the organizations to integrate and optimize the application portfolio more strategically.

5. Security and GRC Management

 GRC-Governance, Risk-Control, and Compliance is increasingly critical in this interconnected, digitized world, since it helps organizations manage across areas including standards and regulatory compliance, auditing, policies, procedures, authentication, and authorization, simply put, company make money by taking intelligence risk, and lose money by failing to manage the risk intelligently.

      The effective Governance architectural framework and the latest GRC technology will help the organization focus on risk mitigation and risk avoidance, manage the risk efficiently and effectively to both existing asset and future growth.

6. IT Strategic ROI

 Today’s CIO is just such a paradoxical role: many personas, both hands full, very full...   In this globalize, digitized and post-recession era, they are at the pressure  to demonstrate the value of IT, to create the synergy and differentiate capability for the business growth,  CIO needs to craft the IT investment portfolio with CEO and board’s business agenda, to deliver the strategic value for both today’ execution and  tomorrow’s growth. Cloud transforms CapEx to OpEx, to make IT investment more transparent and measurable.

The next logic scenario would be: How does CIO define the right sets of KPIs to demonstrate the IT Value? The traditional KPIs are the sets of  “Keep the light On” parameters, the next generation of IT KPI need be more strategic and “forward-look”,  IT metrics need discover the organization’s key competency such as:
·Customer Satisfaction
·Organizational Capability
· Agile/Speed
·Risk Mitigation
·Cost Optimization
·Fiscal Health
·Performance Benchmark

7. Business Process Optimization/Innovation

The CIO is just at such a unique position who can oversight the organization with a holistic point of view since information is penetrating all over the company. How to cognize the knowing from flowing, and optimize the business process, it’s the focal point to framework the customer-centric enterprise with outside-in perspective. BPM is actually one of  the top priority at most effective CIOs' agenda.

Today’s BPM is more about process automation, the next generation of BPM should more focus on process optimization, innovation, and  business transformation oriented-since digitization, globalization, and decentralization is organization’s new DNA in the 21st century

8. Green IT/Sustainability

Technology and digitization are moving our society into the lower carbon, sustainable economic era, now PEST –Politics, Economy, Society and Technology are more interwoven than ever, green IT/Sustainability is beyond just social responsibility, it’s also organization’s new growth engine, the new gold mine deserves to dig deeper.

And IT plays the pivotal roles to orchestrate the energy-efficiency. sustainable-savvy, and resource-optimized modern organization, the high-performance enterprise should recognize the integrated connection between its supply chain and sustainability, and deliver the next generation of a technologic solution to fill out the gap and optimize the process.

9 IT Talent Management

 The pressures of globalization, the updated technology, the changes in workforce demographics and even the nature of IT work itself have made talent into an organization's most important competitive asset, how to leverage the talent into the business strategy and long-term capabilities, and establish the talent powerhouse, it's another great challenge facing in today's CIOs. 

 However, too many organizations just have very silo HR systems, processes, and  practices, still treat talent as human resources with an old-fashion way to recruit, retain, training and rewards, and have not focused on building those capabilities sufficiently. The latest technology such as social/enterprise 2.0 tools provides the huge potential to revitalize the talent solution by shaking up the current talent pool, exploring the multiple channels with an open mindset, and decentralizing the workforce with self-management capability.

10. IT Culture Asset

As the old saying, culture eats your strategy for breakfast, and your process for lunch, overall, about 50% projects have not achieved the satisfied goals due to the culture and change management failures.Learning, analytics, dissent, cognizant difference, and diversity., etc are the strategic culture asset need be reinvented and inspired in the new digital era. IT is no longer just an invisible back-office function to keep the light on—and not feel appreciated with a victim mentality.

IT should even become the secret sauce to polish corporate brand through all sorts of the digital channel, with an entitlement mentality, effective tools, and empowered talents. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Five Elements of Authentic Leadership

In Ancient oriental Philosophy, wood, fire, earth, metal, water are five basic substances in nature movements, all five elements of nature could be integrated into the contemporary leadership and management essential.

Five Elements of Nature
 to Define the Authentic  Leadership

  • Wood – Means doing good things with elegance and personality. By nature, wood needs to grow and sprout in the Spring, Same as “Wood style” of leadership, blossom with innovation, inspiration, and influence,  to lead via nature, not via brute force.

  • Fire –On behalf of propriety, self-esteem, mix humanity with humility,  “Fire-Up” Summer- style leadership will lead with passion, sincerity, vision and mission, perception with great presentatio

  • Earth—or Soil stands for the gentle temperament, but confidence and honesty. “down-to-earth” style leadership means great attitude, taken responsibility, the listening skills and nature connection and engagement.

  • Gold—On behalf of justice with strong temperament,  “rule of gold” means equality, you should treat others as you want to be treated, gold could also mean the autumn, harvest, to deliver the sustainable result, with measurement culture, the incentive and rewards to the contribution.

  •  Water –On behalf of the flowing wisdom,  the insightful observation, the analytic prediction, and the art of good management practices.  Water may also mean Winter, the knowledge accumulation, the energy re-charging and long-term sustainability.

Level Five Leadership

 It is also being said that benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and trust of the five elements are the substance to achieve the level five leadership Mr. Jim Colin defined:

 The person who knows how to build enduring greatness through paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will:

1) Drive for sustained results: The difference between the Level 5 and other leaders is that they are driven to produce sustainable results for their organizations. The idea is that level five leaders create long-term sustainable change.

2) Set up successors for success: Level 5 leaders are generally more interested in the success of the organization than their own personal success. They want to leave a lasting legacy of an organization that continues to prosper. They are self-confident enough to hire competent people (get the right people on the bus) and then delegate.

3) Modesty: Level 5 leaders should demonstrate compelling humility. They act with quiet, calm determination; and rely on inspired standards, not inspiring charisma, to motivate.

4) Take responsibility: Level 5 leaders stand out because they take responsibility when things go wrong. They do not look to blame others when things do not work out as expected. In addition, they rarely seek to take credit for things that go right, generally seeking to attribute the success to other factors.

5) Organization focus: The ambition of the Level 5 leader is first and foremost on the organization. Their desire for success for the organization that they lead far outweighs their drive for personal rewards.

Seven Delights to Optimize Flying

In order to innovate, we need to understand how the industry will change, who the emerging potential travelers will be and what the traveler pain points today are.
Aviation industry is one of the most challenging industries in the world, on the one hand, airlines are the world-wide economic engine, to orchestrate business activities via transportation, job creation, energy consumerization, commercial communication, and vocation/travel inspiration., etc. on the other hand, the industry’s just been through the “lost decade”, nature/human disaster, weather change, economic recession, flying fuels, low morality, all the factors drag industry down to brink of survival crisis, the only secret source to reinvent industry is innovation via the fresh mind & eyes, enchanting service & solution and the latest technology.

 In order to innovate, we need to understand how the industry will change, who the emerging potential travelers will be and what the traveler pain points today are. Let’s work together to brainstorm the future of Airline:
  1.  Self-Service
In modern airport, the passengers enjoy more self-services such as self baggage drop, mobile-coupon/boarding pass, ancillary sales offer, passenger notification, location tracking, etc. Airport also becomes the facilitator with optimized resources: it will promote the sales promotion via multiple channels such as social network platform, collaborative airport ecosystem to connect with third party partners.

    2.  Checking Point
We need a process that responds to today’s threat based on passenger information and new technology. That means moving from a system that looks for bad objects to one that can find bad people." The checkpoint of the future will have three lanes—known traveler, normal and enhanced security. Which lane the passenger uses is determined by a biometric identifier in the passport or other travel document that triggers the results of a risk assessment conducted by the government before the passenger arrives at the airport.

  1. Baggage
The baggage is no longer become the travel hassle, your baggage status is only a click away, RFID and the other latest technology optimize the baggage handling scenario, you could always track your baggage at real time via smart phone or any other web platform at any time of your journey

  1. Airplane

    1. Paperless Cabin: Statistically, the Airlines could save about $440,000 a year for every 11.5 kilograms, or 25 pounds, of paper weight eliminated from an aircraft, the latest aviation-tailored document compression technology that transforms magazine and newspaper content into a digital format for integration into an airplane’s in-flight entertainment system is now offering the possibility that airline cabins could become paperless. The paperless solution at the cabin is win-win situation for both customers (via more integrated entertainment system) and airlines (energy efficiency)
    1. Service & Entertainment: the attitude is the brand, the airplane attendants’ delightful attitude and service is one of the most important elements to build up the reputable airline legacy, to enchant customer o the sky. The digital technology also provides the unprecedented opportunities for airline to entertain and promote the better deals to the customer all the way through sky.

  1. Energy Efficiency
Carbon efficiency, measured in emissions per passenger per mile. Looking at emissions per passenger per mile normalizes for size, allowing us to compare the characteristics of disparate routes, planes, airlines, and corporate travel programs, air travel energy efficiency benefit both passengers and airlines economically with low carbon footprint and energy effectiveness, especially with five key drivers: 
1) carbon measurement and management 
2) aircraft fuel economy 
3) passenger load factor 
4) seat density 
5) freight share and distance 

From business intelligence perspectives, it provides the significant opportunities for airlines to transform into not only greener, but also more energy-efficiency and operation effectiveness, Being green is both necessary and imperative, both the brand, and the new gold.

  1. BioFuel
Alternative energy such as biofuel is strategic imperative for aviation industry to adopt, it’s at tipping point for airlines to not completely depend on petroleum oil since 30+% of cost is from hiking fuel cost in 2011, it’s one of the key obstacles to keep the airline vulnerable, and the only solution is to take advantage of alternative energy, and build up the long term strategy.

The airlines worldwide take serious about biofuel-powered commercial flight, It's the starting point of environmentally friendly flying, It's also clear signal that the aviation industry is taking steps to mitigate against climate change

  1. Cloud Computing
Cloud not only let the airplanes flow elegantly in the sky, now, with the chance to spark further innovation & insiration: Cloud computing technology such as SAAS (Software as a Service), PAAS (Platform as a Service), IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service), BpAAS (business Process as a Service), AAAS (Analytics as a Service)., etc. Cloud transforms the technology investment cost from CapEx to OpEx, it’s absolutely at the advantage point for financial-struggling industry to re-invent the business with the optimized IT solutions and application modernization.

May future of airline keep carrying on human’s dream, progress and legacy, delight the travel journey, and lift up customers’ flying spirit. With globalization and digitization, may we enter the gold-rush era for travel industry in the upcoming decade.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Re-imagine Enterprise Architecture, Re-energize Enterprise Architect

1.Ten Quotes about EA

Enterprise architecture increases business value by providing direction to shift the optimization point from the project to the enterprise

Enterprise Architecture is a planning, governance, and innovation function that enables an organization to progress toward its vision of its future state.

EA is an effective way to make organizations more efficient and productive.

No matter the EA method, framework or approach utilized, one must eventually ask what, where, when, why, who, and how at every level in order to get a complete and competent EA.

EA is about making a strategy become reality, the true EA has to account for patterns, SWOT& Cultures.

Enterprise architecture composes holistic solutions that address the business challenges of the enterprise and support the governance needed to implement them.

EA should not only bring structure and simplification to complex situations but also bridge the views of the different stakeholders involved.

Enterprise architecture is comprised of many parts, but value and clarity are only realized and gained by understanding the relationship management and traceability of those parts.

Enterprise Architecture is the science of anatomy and physiology of and enterprise.

2. Metaphorical Example of EA Elegance
EA is like City Planning:

When the new city starts emerging, too often we will see new streets that are perfectly fine being ripped open to put in new power lines, or other utilities. Sure a proper street planning seemed overkill if you only have one block of houses. Especially for the residents there, they like to get into the house as quickly and possible. Again, they might think "Hey I don't need city planning, I have all that I need," but they will think of it once new blocks are being built, the power plant has brought outs, new lines are being installed and the street was torn open.

After decades of operation, the city became big and old, we need to modernize the city via planning. Say, now we have a well-established city with all the components such as school, shopping center, hospital., etc, to convenience the local resident, however, you can't build up the competitive differentiator by focusing on those infrastructures only. Let’s imagine to re-invent the City

The city plan could help us perceive the future of city --blueprint the modern City to attract millions of tourists or visitors, to modernize the transportation Systems –the premium airport & airline services, hi-speed rail & freeway, with the landmark building, the amusement park, the scene, and the enforced security regulation, to welcome the potential customers. Same as in the large, legacy organizations, EA needs to envision the future, architect the changes, to deliver unique, competitive edge with strong governance discipline.

100 Words about EA’s Biggest Problems

Definition: though we have many nice quotes above, the next generation of EA needs a unified definition to set up a standard.

Simplicity: EA should be the best practitioner for Albert Einstein’s principle: we should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler

Customer: EA also need practice best management disciplines: “The purpose of business is to create a customer” Peter Drucker

Change: EA should drive and change with speed: To become the change you want to see in the world. Gandi

Maturity: 55% of organizations' EA is at level 2: Ad Hoc, only less than 1% reach level 5: exemplary
From collective wisdom via the online discussion forum, it comes out 100 words to describe EA’s problems:
 Lack of :
Definition- -Pragmatism-Relevance-Change-Communication-Vision-Executability-Acceptability-Speed- Consistence-
Leadership-Value- Purpose-Abstraction-Ability-Imagination-Culture-Discipline--Effectiveness-Focus
Kaizen (Improvement)-Process-Semantics-Biology-Clarity-Visibity-Contribution-Measurability-Result-Forward thinking
Consensus-Comprehension-Engagement-Strategy-Web 3.0-Cloud-Apathy-Empathy-Sponsorship-Disposition
Ivory Tower-Disconnection-Discord-Idee Fixe-Turf War-Schizophrenia-Emergence-Fragmentation-Gap-Generalization
Complexity- Ignorance-Silo-Ambiguity-Self Contradiction-Legacy-Confusion-Misunderstanding-arrogance-Castle

Ten Purpose of EA

·  To recognize the transformation before it’s too late
·  To Establish a business requirement focused on the new blueprint
·  To determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objects.
·  To keep the bottom line: designed to support an organization’s specific business strategies
·  To do business process optimization
·  To cut costs and complexity and avoid the pitfalls
·  To get timely & meaningful Business intelligence
·  To provide a basis for the simulation that can provide a mean to see the cascading effect when the change made in the organization
·   To envision customers’ perspective, deliver customers’ outcomes efficiently and reliably.
·   To retain institutional memory and knowledge

5. Re-imagine the Future of EA

The future of EA should be designed by asking:
(1)  Re-imagine EA “in the cloud”
Does Cloud computing make enterprise architecture irrelevant or more critical?

(2) Do-it-self and drag-drop capability
Is EA design as simple as possible but not simpler?

(3)  Cultivate a 21st-century modern organizational culture
Does EA make an impact on organizational culture to lead expected transformation via deep analysis such as gap analysis, impact analysis and BI?

(4) Re-draw  Change Management Roadmap
 Is EA get lost in translation, is EA leading the changes, managing the changes or lagging behind the changes?

(5) Revitalize BA-Business Architecture to delight the customers
Can BA focus on soft-discipline such as customer delight, management best practice to reflect vision, value, and change from the outside-in customer point of view, instead of today’s inside-out

(6)  Reinvent TA-Technology Architecture to optimize the process
Can EA emphasis on hard-discipline such as business process management architecture?

(7)  Frame The Center of Excellence
Can EA blueprint CoE of Legacy Modernization, SOA, Cloud, BPM, BI, Advanced Web, change management to deliver the better result (average 70% of failure rate for these projects)

(8) Enforce Governance
What are the metrics to make EA more visible with simplified and transparent IT Governance, for better decision making and GRC discipline?

(9) Re-discover the data, BIG DATA Strategy
How EA, especially data architecture could help explore opportunities brought up to today’s extended enterprise?

(10) Sustainability Potential
Can EA integrate the sustainability architecture to transform green into the new gold?

6. Re-Energize Enterprise Architect
 The enterprise architect makes influence via the power of knowledge and blueprint of organization.
    The many face/roles of enterprise architect include:

· Big-picture Thinker & Effective Communicator
· Artistic Futurist & Scientific Architect
· Progressive Learner & Good Listener
· Governance Advocate & Customer Champion
· Psychologist & Anthropologist

Imagination is more important than knowledge, knowledge is limited, imagination circle the world --Albert Einstein The EA of the future will architect the imaginable growth wings for their organization.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Change Management Debate: What is your Culture going to Eat for Dinner

If you can change the culture, you can change the world
As Deloitte’s Shift Index shows, the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company has declined from around 75 years half a century ago to less than 15 years today, and heading towards 5 years if nothing is done.

What are the root causes to make the Mighty fall, there’re the mix bag of reasons, organizational culture could be one of the most invisible and intimidating factors to influence your organization’s future.
Cultural Chasm happens in 21st century organization more often than ever such as:
·    Command-Control leadership style is not compatible with today’s decentralized working environment and knowledge workers’ collaboration

·     Silo functions prevent the organization as a whole from fast response to customers feedback and optimize the organizational effectiveness and resilience.

·     Like-minded decision makers take more guts than data in today’s hyper competitive global economy, leave blind Spot or hubris attitude.

·     Multi-generational workforces have the different working style and life priority, with more dynamic team building and project management

Why is the Cultural Beast so Hard to Tame:

  • Culture Eat Strategy for Breakfast
No matter your strategy is to build up the brand, make a long term prosperity, cultivate the positive working ethics, leverage the nature of Ying & Yang, nurture the Tao of Leadership (lead the world via harmony and with little effort, etc),  or execute strategic analytics, negative culture could eat them all; Since culture itself is the brand, the prediction, and the attitude.

  • Culture Eat Process for Lunch
About 70% of change management project doesn’t work out, 68% of business process management fail, and 8 out of 10 companies does not achieve the expected goal in business analytics.
The negative culture such as resist-to-change, bureaucracy may become the series killer for operational efficiency, lean process, and talent management.

  • What is Culture going to Eat for Dinner
Culture is eating what it kills---such as imagination, innovation, learning capability, diversity, risk-awareness, sustainability, even including your vision and mission

  • Promote the positive culture takes courage, persistence and methodology
The inspiring organizational cultures emerged in 21st century include:
1) Customer-Centric Culture
2) Analytics-Based Culture
3) Open Leadership Culture
4) Diversity-Enhanced Culture
5) Learning-Enabled Culture
6) Capability-Driven Culture
7) De-Politicize Decision Making Culture
8) Innovation-Amplified Culture
(9) Risk-Awareness Culture
(10) Self-Managed Culture