Sunday, August 21, 2016

Three Steps to Improve IT Digital Fluency

IT becomes more influential in an organization’s direction and innovation, intelligence, and digital transformation.

More and more forward-looking companies are empowering their IT to be a changing organization for leading digital transformation, not just as a back office, but from the front. Because technology nowadays permeates into every corner of the business, and the information is the lifeblood of the business. But first things first, how can IT become digital fluent in order to lead changes effectively?

Communicate skillfully: CIOs need to be fluent in both business language and IT jargon or integrate them well by speaking the fluent digital language. They have to be the technical visionaries of the company, so they are able to not only articulate the vision but also be able to relay complex technical ideas in a business savvy manner to business leaders and have skills to communicate change. They should communicate in various forms and forums skillfully, to tailor different audiences, including investor relations, business partners, business leaders, IT personnel, and the other CxOs in the company, etc. They should be willing to take the constructive criticism from customers, and turn the beating, lashing, and criticism into opportunities by demonstrating through the delivery of successful IT projects that not only benefit the business but gives you a sense of achievement. Besides CIOs, IT employees also need to have a certain level of business acumen for solving real-world problems and improving customer satisfaction.

Take quick actions and changes: The technology trend moves very quickly, and the information is overwhelming, IT leaders need to have abilities to be “mindful,” think slowly, but act promptly to adapt to changes. Because slow movers almost always pay the price. CIOs shouldn’t be spontaneous when they run project portfolios or solving complex issues, always take step-wise actions and be thoughtful when practice changes. As an innovator, the CIO’s fast thinking is not based on the single dimensional thought process or linear logic, the CIO’s spontaneity comes from the freedom of choices as well as the flow of creativity. The major task of the CIO today is to simplify and unify processes across functional boundaries, and often across the entire enterprise. This requires an unprecedented level of collaboration with the line managers and business units who own those processes. IT can improve business agility and flexibility through consolidation, modernization, integration, innovation, cloudification, and optimization. Given the vagaries of uncertain economic times, IT must be able to align the business requirement with the IT capacity, which means CIOs must be able to constantly and dynamically lead an IT structure that will seamlessly enable the business and well ahead of the business requirement in order to accelerate business speed to adapt to changes and digital transformation.  

Harmonious and fair temperaments: Technology has played a large role in “gluing” both hard and soft business elements to build a modern workforce and workplace. CIOs can work more closely with HR and talent managers to provide a digital platform, empower talent for cross-functional communication and collaboration. With increased diversification comes increased discord, it is important that the CIO spends the time to learn the dynamics of the organizational culture, then he/she will be able to maximize the synergies and avoid duplication of efforts. Inside the IT organization, the CIO comes to play is to find a way how to lead gurus or geeks, how to build a team out of well-shaped individuals, how to find a way to further shape the modern IT professionals as the corporation needs them; to inspire them participate and contribute, not get unmotivated, to make them leave their comfort shell and approach the customers, the process, and the business proactively.

IT becomes more influential in an organization’s direction and innovation. A digital fluent IT can bridge the business gaps, modernize & integrate processes, and build a cohesive set of business capabilities for improving overall business competency and driving the digital transformation of the business effortlessly.



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