Saturday, November 14, 2015

The CIO’s Digital Agenda III - Running a Digital-Flavored IT

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.1 million page views with about 2300th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom.

Majority of IT organizations today are still running at industrial speed, stick at the low or mid level of maturity, although technology is more often than not, the disruptive force for business and industry innovation, IT organizations seem to have a tendency to align with the slow changing parts of the organization, so how should CIOs prepare for the digital disruption and speed up accordingly? Here is the CIO’s Digital Agenda with different flavors of digital IT:

Running a Digital-Flavored IT

1. A Value-Driven IT In many organizations, IT is still being portrayed as a help desk, back office function and cost center, a business outsider, while IT is supposed to be an integral and critical part of the business. At what point does IT no longer have to deal with the continuing discussions that include the phrase "IT and the business"? How should IT build its value proposition, and gain a solid reputation as a value creator, an innovation engine, a customer champion, a talent master, a business catalyzer and beyond?

2. A Bimodal IT: More and more IT organizations are at the journey of digital transformation. However, such radical shift cannot be done overnight. Especially for those legacy companies and industries. The digital movement needs to have thoughtful planning and a good balance of two speeds: the industrial speed to keep the business light on, and the digital speed to adopt the new sets of minds, the latest technologies and proven methodologies for acceleration. To put simply, there are multiple perspectives for running a bimodal IT.  

3. A Cloudified IT The majority of organizations today has already adopted cloud-based IT services in a certain way. One thing for sure - Cloud is here to stay and it will be changing the paradigm for running IT and business as well. The simple fact is that CIOs have to consider the cloud within their long term strategy. However, cloud adoption depends on many factors including partner availability, costs, reliability, and connectivity. Is a cloudified IT less-cloudy? And how to push the cloud envelope with thoughtful planning & solid action?

4. A Hybrid IT? IT plays a significant role in modern businesses today, touches almost every key business processes, especially with the trend of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud), IT consumerization and internet of things. The effectiveness of IT can be derived best when overall IT Organization reflects on how the business is structured for responsibilities and accountabilities of key decision makers. In other ways, IT can not architect itself in isolation. So to effectively deliver IT capabilities, centralized, decentralized, or hybrid IT, which is the right way?

5. An Analytical IT Most of IT organizations today still have the reputation as a back office or help desk, as maintenance function rather than innovation engine. Big data analytics offers IT organizations a great opportunity to provide value to the business and earn respect by serving as a thought leader on the technology. How does IT deliver business value from managing Big Data projects, how does IT benefit from big data analytics as well? And from CIO perspective, how to run an analytic IT?

6 An Agile IT: Agile shift is a journey. There are many things that need to be done to make a transition a more Agile way of working. Changes in the sizing and structuring of teams, their decision making, and team members’ levels of accountability and responsibility are just a few of the paradigm shifts you will encounter throughout the transition to Agile teams. So is Agile in your organization more descriptive or prescriptive? Does it mean more discipline or less discipline? Are you only doing Agile or being Agile?

7. An Innovative IT: From industry surveys, the majority of IT organizations are still being perceived as maintenance center, most employees outside of IT don’t call their IT teams very innovative, yet most believe technology is growing in importance, so IT leaders are facing unprecedented pressures to transform their IT into value center and innovation engines, but how to run an innovate IT, what’re the roadblocks one need to overcome, and which capabilities IT needs to cultivate?

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

A Transformational IT


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