Monday, September 19, 2016

Three Aspects to Run Premium Digital IT

A premium digital IT needs to understand stakeholders’ expectations and build business competency.

Digital open the new chapter of innovation: We have more computing power, hyper-connectivity, abundant data, greater potential empowerment of the worker, etc. But more of something isn't always necessarily good. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern with exponential speed, as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. How to leverage the unprecedented digital power become a crucial factor in running a premium IT with differentiative competency and catalyze digital transformation.

The revenue growth engine: At the industrial age, IT was running as a functional silo and support center to provide internal customers commodity IT services, and has been perceived as a cost center. At the hyper-connected digital age, IT is not just part of the business; it is a critical, integral component of the business. It is about top-line business growth by maximizing ROI to add up overall business value in the second dimension. Business needs IT to provide better information to achieve improved profitability. Ultimately, what the CIO and IT, in general, must truly understand the business visions and goals. The method that is used must deliver the results that are consistent with the business values and goals. The CIO sits in a unique seat of having the opportunity to see across the entire landscape of the business, IT provides a nervous system to the business. If intelligence built is poor or not managed in a proper way, it may lead to wrong decisions and hence impact on the business. But if IT can capture insight or foresight, the business would prosper and grow. It totally depends on a deep understanding of the business and implementing it using IT tools and techniques.

The business optimizer: Each business unit brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the table. And IT is in a unique position to have an oversight view of enterprise processes. There are times when IT will be the only party in the room with one or all of these views. So IT needs to use such knowledge and experience to identify, sell, and pilot new processes and platforms that can give business leverage in its domain and sector. Business expects IT to become new capability enablers at higher-change organizations that compete on product/service differentiation. IT enables a business to access, consume and generate information necessary to perform a range of business tasks/ functions, not all of which are about decisions, but all of which require collective human capabilities which are a subset of business capability to perform some part of the action / process, to achieve the high-performing business result. The CIO has to work with the senior executives to understand the business, the business drivers, long-term objectives, and strategy and then ensure that he/she is providing input to support these. This, in turn, will lead to the development of related IT strategies which is the integral component of the business strategy, with the stepwise approach to building the set of differentiated digital capabilities and fuel digital transformation. What the part of the value IT offers is a way of looking at things that are analytical, optimistic, and change-aware. This is the dimension in which IT is really almost given 'gifts every day. The trick isn't identifying new things most often, but culling through the hundreds of new things, and finding those that can be used to business betterment.

The innovation hub: To become even more valued added, IT needs to rebrand itself as a business innovation hub or transformation center. IT needs to rethink itself as an innovative and business leading organization composed not only of technical ‘gurus’ but rather of business ‘gurus’ who also happen to be technically proficient. Develop a deep understanding of the business value chain, competitive landscape, business processes and capabilities, revenue models, P&L drivers, and balance sheet strengths and constraints. IT is the custodian of solutions and data assets that can be applied in new and different ways to generate massive business value that far exceeds what other functions can incrementally bring to the table. Running IT as an innovation engine needs to close three gaps: the leadership gap, the collaboration gap, and implementation gap. To digitize and innovate IT, the CIO should look to businesses outside their industry to spur the out-of-box thinking and dot-connecting innovation; to find examples and opportunities for how these other firms addressed similar challenges and implemented different types of products and services to delight customer or reach new markets.

A premium digital IT needs to understand stakeholders’ expectations and propose a service/solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and building unique business competency. When maintaining a clear and efficient bottom line, with enough forward thinking to 'plan in' growth, and this dimension allows the organization to use technology to pour more on the top line, and both achieve the high-performance result as well as unleash the full business potential.


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