Monday, September 26, 2016

“Thinkingaire Effect” in IT Transformation: Reboot IT Mindset

Rebooting IT mindset is to make IT become more strategic, it is not just about making IT look good.

IT plays a significant role in digital transformation. IT transformation is an integral part of the business transformation. There are changes in two shapes: One is internal where IT transforms and the second where IT helps transform or change the business in line with new strategic imperatives. Transformation is the radical change, IT needs to reboot its mindset before it can change its attitude, and build the set of capabilities to drive digital transformation.

Leadership mindset: Traditional IT leaders often act as tactical technology managers to manage IT from operation lens, they often don’t have enough hands-on business expertise. Unfortunately, too many CIOs are seen as just techies by the business side of the house, hence, many IT organizations are still perceived as a support center to keep the lights on, far away from the transformational role IT is supposed to play. Hence, in order to be an effective digital CIO, you must understand every aspect of the business. Digital CIOs need to be equipped with an intrapreneurs' mindset to focus on both top-line business growth and bottom line efficiency. It is not something that is done by the tired cliché of leading by example, but in creating that compelling vision, differentiated competency, that ability to enable others to succeed, that gets you to the top, not on the backs of others, but carried on their shoulders in triumph. Only through leadership mind shift, IT can reinvent itself as a digital growth engine.

Reboot IT mindset from a service provider to the strategic partner: IT is not just a service provider but is attempting to become that business partner, then a trusted advisor and business peer, and even a game-changing digital transformer. IT has the history and tradition of being a very expensive cost center, often with the little demonstrable value that typically misses its commitments. To improve maturity, IT organizations need to be assertive in preparing and engaging effectively and efficiently with their business partners in these strategic initiatives. IT customers (the business units) are looking for strategic business partners that have the oversight of all the business processes due to the system and landscape knowledge IT has maintained over the years, with the good operational knowledge of the entire business combined with advanced systems and business architectural knowledge. The more intimate IT can be with the business needs, the faster IT can move up to a business partner, then business peer. IT will not "be the business" if it does not reboot its mindset and focus on the top prioritized business initiatives.

Reboot IT to bridge business-IT gaps via effective communication: One of the large barriers to stop IT and the business as a whole from reaching high maturity is the gaps between IT and business. Harness communication by exploring the root causes of business-IT gaps and ineffective management. One of the major sources of the divide that segregates business and IT is the communications dialog - the lexicon used to communicate between people. Part of the situation is that the types of services the IT group is providing is being defined a priori and hence limiting the directions you can take it. What C-level execs really want is a partner, someone who knows what they want before they know themselves, who innovates by understanding the business, as well as what they do; the partner that works both "on the business" and "in the business," not just "for the Business." The best way to advocate IT is to reboot IT mindset, to communicate more proactively with critical thinking and creative mind, the clear message from IT is to have business buy-in, grow IT as a change/innovation engine, and IT needs to communicate the new perspective effectively in order for the organization as a whole to move forward.

CIOs have to deal with constant ambiguity, increasing complexity, rapid change, and unprecedented uncertainty, either IT transformation or the organization’s overall digital transformation is a journey. Rebooting IT mindset is to make IT become more strategic, it is not just about making IT look good, but in making the business players be everything possible with your help, and unleash the digital potential of the whole organization. CIOs need to be prepared to invest in the future, they cannot ignore the benefits of properly leveraging what already exists.The goal in IT transformation should be focused on business outcomes, and running IT as a business.  


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