Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Where are the Barriers and How to Run A Frictionless IT

A frictionless IT catalyzes information flow, cultivates cross-functional communication, and accelerates business mobility.

Due to the change and complex nature of technology and overloading information, the majority of IT organizations today still run at the lower level of maturity, they have been perceived as a silo function and support center, a controller only, or even the bottleneck to slow the business speed. So how can IT leaders reimagine IT, reinvent IT brand, overcome culture inertia and numerous digital barriers to run a frictionless IT and become top IT performers?

The seamless communication between IT and business, within IT and across business ecosystem: Language influences perception, without a clear strategy and a way to communicate it in the language of the business, CIOs will always have trouble getting even "aligned," not to mention of reaching higher IT maturity level of proactively enabling and engaging with business, Top IT performers have the ability to talk and walk on both sides of the fence. The best IT leaders are focused on success at all levels - from the success of their own team to the success of their boss, the organization, and even the business sector. Top IT performers don't think of themselves as IT guy/gal only, they understand the business as well as the business people they work with and focus primarily on solving business problems and creating business capabilities. Top IT performers "get" technology and are astute at the solution and implementing it. However, they also fully understand how the business operates and how technology helps/supports obtain business objectives. The seamless two-way communication is based on trust, the trust means IT and business work closely to deliver the business solution with optimal speed. Business gets frustrated about the speed of IT because they can see the ease of delivery and use of easily accessible solutions that fit to some of their business needs, they see how far technology has advanced, they see the ease with which new sites and services are deployed on demand, and then they sit around a table with their internal IT service providers and suddenly everything is impossible because business is being too demanding; IT may also need to educate business upon the complexity of IT integration, governance, risk, and compliance management issues, to not allow ‘shadow IT’ put their organizations at risk for the long period of time. The key challenge is to find a way so that both sides, even though they speak different 'languages' in some cases can communicate effectively.

Keep data and information flow across functional boundary: In the organization with lower level of maturity, the business is struggling with overly restrictive hierarchy and bureaucratic mentality, even IT organization is usually the data steward of the organization, it still has to overcome the functional barriers or office politics to keep information flow and manage data lifecycle effectively. Information and technology catalyze today's digital businesses. Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. Information Systems are the backbone and provide valuable information for key decision making. Information comes from the analysis of that data, technology allows for the capture, manipulation, and presentation of data. Fundamentally, Information Management is to make sure that the right information is at the right place at the right time and shared to the right persons. It means that the business has the information, that the information has the right quality, that the information is used properly and manage holistically to maximize its business values.

Business Mobility: Digital means flow, with emergent “SMAC” technologies, business mobility becomes a digital trend to harness agility and innovation. One of the CIO’s main responsibilities is to learn and keep themselves abreast of existing and future technologies available and see how they would be useful in their business environments. Adoption of these technologies has to be carefully considered in their particular business environments.  Cloud handles the optimization part while mobility provides the efficiency/ channel/segment alternatives, business is now always on, with multi-channel, multi-touch points. APIs have been around and will always be around and become more critical. They are the glue that sticks dissimilar tools together. By leveraging the latest digital technologies and tools, organizations can build IT-enabled competency and capabilities to achieve business mobility - always-on, hyperconnected and high-innovative.

From a monolithic IT to a mosaic IT, from a silo IT to a frictionless IT, from a controlling IT to an enabler IT, top IT performers are top business performers, they innovate organizational culture, streamline business processes, enforce cross-functional communication and collaboration. In addition, IT needs to measure its impact in the eyes of the business value being created - looking at ways to improve employee productivity, enable business growth, agility, and maturity.


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