Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Running Digital IT in a Continuous Delivery Mode

Digital IT means more about speed, agility, and flexibility.

Many IT organizations are on the way for radical digital transformation, to change their reputation from a cost center to a value creator; from a back-office support function to a relentless innovation engine; from the process "glue" to the capability builder, and from a reactive mode to a proactive and continuous delivery mode.

Continue to deliver the right information to the right person at the right positions to make the right decisions: IT is the foundation for massive volumes of Data & Information that is collected, persisted, categorized, mapped, sliced, diced, reordered, related, transformed, and made meaning of... without which knowledge would be minimal in the modern day. Information applies to the context and environment in which decisions are made. Information, with the inclusiveness of data as input, is primary drivers of decisions when they apply to automated systems, not human beings. Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. There is more to it - information, principally more than data and knowledge alike, carries fundamentally higher entropy than the other two do. Also, IT is a critical Knowledge Management Enabler. IT is generally the tools (hardware, software) that are used to enable Knowledge Management. Think of the large volumes of data & Information captured within areas of the enterprise (Marketing, Sales, Product, Support, Legal, Finance, HR, etc.); think of all the collection, coordination, categorization, mappings, and meaning that is all derived from modern IT; think of the persistence, recollection, and constant movement of large volumes of what people know, in all directions. The greatest advancements in the KM profession, in the last half-century, are "all" tied to advancements in technologies and how they're used.

IT can reframe the business process to keep ideas flow and implemented in continuous mode: Digital catalyzes the culture of innovation due to the convenience of learning and sharing. How these ideas are recognized, filtered and dealt with well become a crucial factor in an organization's success in producing digitized products and services. IT can play an even bigger role in re-framing of business planning processes in order (who participates, how often, allowing creativity and innovation to flow, identifying technology as well as business risks, etc.) along with re-framing of in-place processes that filter and fund investments, both business-oriented and technology-oriented. The appropriately configured innovation platform creates the scalable means for sharing and building ideas throughout the enterprise. As a result, innovation becomes a persistent, shared reality — even across silos and geographies. And IT becomes the innovation engine to enable business growth and optimize business processes continually.

App Dev delivery via Agile philosophy and methodology: App Dev should not innovate for its own sake. App Dev is central to the business's ability to innovate, and thus compete effectively. And if App Dev can't keep up with the demand & pace of business change, then there are problems. But AppDev should not innovate simply to amuse itself; and it's wasteful of resources, money, effort in many companies. The business line must be cognizant of innovation opportunities and agree to proceed with the proof of concept if they see merit. Those opportunities can be customer initiated or IT initiated. CIOs must ensure that application development does not proceed without a "clear business rationale." CIOs need to deliver value to the organization. The performance and innovation provided by Applications Development reflect not just on the CIO, but the whole IT sector. Application development projects need to bring up the most business value, the de facto best practices of managing IT project portfolio need to include such as, only manage business project, not for technology's sake, prioritize the portfolio, and manage full application life cycle in a continuous mode: from App Dev to potential application retirement, with the right methodology (either Agile, DevOp., etc), talent and metrics, to catch up with the speed of business change without sacrificing the quality.

Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more and more to overcome in running at digital speed. People tend to have high expectation of digital flow, very little patience with technology issues, and digital IT must be running in a digital mode to enable ongoing business strategy execution, optimize business processes, drive data-based organizational culture, and allow ideas and creativity flow.

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