Saturday, April 2, 2016

“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 7 “IT Innovation Management” Introduction

Managing IT innovation needs to strike the right balance of creativity and standardization, process and flexibility.

Businesses nowadays face fiery competition and rapid digital shift technologically and economically, hence, innovation becomes a “must have” strategic capability to compete for the long term success. Innovation today has more enriched context than ever, there are many forms of innovations from incremental to radical, from evolutionary to breakthrough; from “hard” innovation such as products/services/process/business model innovation to “soft” innovations such as communication innovation, culture innovation, or management innovation etc., just to name a few. Each has its own unique pathways. Innovation is difficult, and innovation in a business context is a structured management discipline, so how to identify innovation gaps and what’s a CIO’s comprehensive innovation agenda to manage a balanced innovation portfolio?

Understanding innovation through the lens of business: CIO as a “Chief Innovation Officer” is one of the most appropriate titles for IT leaders today. First, CIOs should build credibility by delivering IT commitment and adding value to operational excellence and business strategy management. The CIO as a “Chief Innovation Officer” generally has a great opportunity to stand out and take a lead in driving innovation across the enterprise scope. Innovation can be categorized as empowered innovation (creative disruption), sustainable innovation (better version of products/services), efficiency innovation (process innovation), and management innovation (communication, culture, etc.), IT can make a significant impact on all sort of innovation via leveraging the latest digital technology trends, and integrating business factors -people, process, and technology, more seamlessly to improving business processes, building unique organizational capabilities, and enhancing business flexibility and agility.   

Managing innovation life cycle in a systematic way: IT should be proactively generating ideas and working with business partners to take those ideas forward, and manage them in a systematic way. IT leaders need to take the time to understand the processes, identify the best companies in the sector, look also at other vertical sectors that use technology to create value,  and connect further dots to catalyze innovation. IT could be in the right position to manage innovation with the disciplines, effective processes, and efficient tools such as collaborative platform, analytics tools, etc. at the organizational scope because the oversight is needed in managing innovation life cycle, IT has a unique advantage to align business capabilities to enable business growth, from generating ideas on applying technology and data assets to drive value, improve innovation success rate and manage a health innovation portfolio to balance quick win and long-term business growth.

Building a culture of innovation: It is often true that the majority of IT organizations still cannot articulate their economic value to the board and shareholders in a language they understand, there is also a bit of political battle that goes on where IT claims its proportion of revenue value, even when far more precise mapping exists between costs and revenue. IT needs to mature beyond being a cost center and acts more like business partners or business within a business, to advocate a culture of risk-tolerance. Because often failure is inevitable for innovation, the fact is “fail fast and fail forward,” to implement CIO’s innovation agenda more aggressively.

Leading only with operational consideration is not the way forward. IT success needs to be accomplished by working with business partners to leverage opportunities for changing how the business competes in the marketplace. Running IT as an innovation engine needs to close the gaps, keep the balance of bottom line and innovation effort, be customer-centric, and structure, but not stifle innovation.  

“CIO Master” Book Preview Conclusion Running IT as Digital Transformer
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 9 IT Agility
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 8 Three "P"s in Running Digital IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 7 IT Innovation Management
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 6 Digital Strategy-Execution Continuum
"CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 5 Thirteen Digital Flavored IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 4 CIO as Talent Master Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 3 “CIOs as Change Agent” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 2 “CIOs as Digital Visionary” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 1 “Twelve Digital CIO Personas” Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Book Preview


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