Monday, June 27, 2016

Three Elements in Running IT with digital Boldness

A bold IT does not mean IT goes rogue, it means IT becomes more intelligent, agile, mature, and speed up.

Corporate IT plays a significant role in the digital transformation of the business. IT is shifting from a transaction-oriented support center to an innovation-driven change agent; from a reactive order-taker to a proactive strategy-co-creator. Here are three crucial elements to running digital IT in boldness.

Visionary IT leadership: IT leaders today are no longer just tactic technology managers, they are business leaders who can bring the technological vision to the big table for providing valuable input in digital strategy. The digital CIO is not simply the leader of the enterprise's IT departments, but the senior leader who co-creates business strategy. They have acute sensing capabilities to generate insight and foresight - anticipate as well as react. In the industrial age, most CIOs come up through the ranks on the technical side and communicate differently than the other executives. In many ways, they speak a different language with a different way of thinking. The problem here is CIOs, for quite a long time not doing strategic management which includes "promoting and advocating IT." Digital is the age of outside-in and customer-centricity. It places the customer at the heart of the organizational thinking, provides a strong sense of purpose, and appropriate values to drive desired behaviors. It is expected that CIOs will look at business and management components of the enterprise and improve them with IT. The CIO should always come to strategy meeting well-prepared because IT strategy is key INPUT to business strategy. IT strategy is not a "to-do list," but an integral component of business strategy. Many CIOs also take responsibility to drive the digital strategy and orchestrating all business functions to contribute to the great customer experience.

Innovation Management: Besides clear vision, it takes innovative leadership to reimagine IT and it takes a structural approach to run a bold IT organization and reinventing IT effectively. To run an innovative IT, it’s critical to listen, comprehend and understand the people and the business they are part of, before embarking on any new way of thinking to know where you have come from enables you to move to a new place even quicker. A bold IT organization more aggressively explores the new way to do things via leveraging the emergent digital trends. 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 across functional boundaries and geographical territories. With the mantra to run IT shifting from “doing more with less,” to “doing more with innovation,” IT will also request their partners to do the same, put more effort on evaluating their innovation capability and optimal attitude. The first thing to do is to create a culture among all staff and business partners to be always looking for new and innovative ideas. IT leaders must guide them to articulate how it has the potential to improve business efficiency and provide other business benefits.

Data- Information-Insight: At today’s digital dynamic, information is abundant and even explosive, businesses have become over-complex also hyper-connected, IT often plays as the information steward of the organization, the CIO should be a productive member and provide some active business insight and options. Without the insight and understanding from the visionary CIO, how does any C-executive direct the creation of a business strategy that is increasingly dependent on technology and, competitive advantages that derive from the IT? An insightful CIO is good at the perception of technology trend, business solution or talent pipeline. CIOs can also provide valuable insight into the form of money saved, revenue from new unexplored business idea etc. With the knowledge of both business and IT, or through an outlier’s unique lens, an insightful CIO can mind the gap and dig through the new dimensions of the digital ecosystem.

Running IT in boldness means CIOs as IT leaders need to be able to recognize the struggles of the company by understanding the business beyond IT. IT leaders should inspire a culture of innovation and experimentation where everyone is encouraged to chip in with ideas and collaborate, to create new value for customers, running IT as an innovation engine with accelerated speed to enable business growth and optimize business processes continually. A bold IT does not mean IT goes rogue, it means IT becomes more intelligent, agile, mature, and speed up.


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