Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Run IT as a Changing Organization

Running IT as a changing organization is not only about making the change but also about adapting to changes, to improve agility.

For forward-looking and highly mature organizations, the IT department has become synonymous with the change department, in order to make effective changes, you have to know the underneath structure and processes of your business because they underpin digital capabilities of the organization. How do you make changes to anything without knowing all the parts and how they are related? A mature organization is one that can quickly and safely assess all of the consequences of a possible change and devise effective plans to achieve and sustain those changes - and to do this continuously.

The IT department has been left to run change projects, to have a good understanding from a strategic perspective of the organization (structure, processes, locations, drivers, objectives, goals, applications, data, technologies.): To be flexible you need to be able to change and you can't make effective change decisions if you don't know where you are. Fundamentally, change consists of one or more of the following, and IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all important change elements effortlessly and make change sustainable.
- People change
- Process change
- Technology change   

Change is the vehicle, not the purpose of doing a project: Change in and of itself is never the reason. Change is an ongoing business capability and Change Management needs to be a mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management. Each project will no doubt have an element, process, procedure, associate motivation, win/win requirement, etc., that will require alteration (change), but that does not require management to have the change as a primary goal. The true business goals are always related to business growth, customer satisfaction or cost optimization, and then measure twice cut once, know how to measure, monitor and communicate the results of various projects which are also business initiatives across the enterprise so that all teams can contribute to the process improvement or innovation management.

Bridging the gap between IT and the business is the issue about changes: The disconnect between business and IT not only causes miscommunication but even worse to fail the business. IT is an integral part of the business and, “the Business” and “IT” are inextricably linked in the 21st century, they need to work in concert together like milk mixed with coffee rather than cream floated on top. From digital transformation perspective, a “Change Agent” IT can orchestrate the processes, tools, and products that organizations use to effect the transformation from strategy to deployment. The architecture of transformation, the process changes, people, and technology used for transformation produce no immediate benefits because it merely improves the environment that transformation operates within and it is not until changes in operation happen (with those changes being made in the context of an improved transformation environment) that any benefits can be realized. Hence, the change journey of IT and overall organization needs to take strategic planning and long-term perspective.

Digital is all about CHANGE. One of the differentiated business capabilities is AGILITY. Being agile means anticipating likely change and addressing it deftly, keeping business on course and customers satisfied. The IT organization is like the business change/innovation engine, CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. Thus, contemporary IT leaders should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation.


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