Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #112: The Art of Possible: How to Shift from Transactional IT to Transformational IT

The "Art of Possible" can only be achieved through visionary IT leadership, as well as the art and science of modern IT management.

Even though IT permeates to almost every corner of the business, many traditional IT organizations are still perceived as an invisible back office maintenance function, without sufficient knowledge about the business model of the organization. 

Although technology is often the disruptive force behind changes and digital transformation, most IT organizations get stuck at the lower level of maturity, running as a reactive service provider. CIOs as business strategists: How to pursue the art of possible - Make a shift from a mechanical IT to innovative IT? From a reactive IT to accelerating IT? And from transactional IT to transformational IT?

IT is a key component of holistic business mindset to reimagine “what is possible”: Companies that continue with the status quo will not win in this ever competitive digital business dynamic because the most powerful and differentiating tool in all of the today's businesses is INFORMATION and that, is provided by IT systems. Compared to digital laggards, high-performing organizations we referred as digital masters, can manage two most invaluable assets in business well: People and Information. Information is a key enabler to help you achieve your strategic business objectives. Information Management is all about having the right people to have the right information to make right decisions at the right time. Given this assertion, there is no limit to the value of information in our economy or better stated, in today’s digital business ecosystem. Hence, the mindset that needs to change is that of businesses. Anyone with common sense can perceive that, and all forward-looking businesses are declaring they are in the information business regardless of the sectors and nature of the business. The art of possible is to deliver the value of information in helping businesses grow, delight customers and unleash its full digital potential.

Ultimately, IT needs to discuss with customers about "what's possible" not just "what do you want": Digital is the age of customers, the art of possible is not about taking orders only, don't just deliver what the business asks for, but about knowing the better way to do things, be able to provide the "best or most innovative solution" for the business' requirement, offering added value and feature insights based on system understanding, that the business might not even have thought of. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to be proactive and get really creative in how they architect and implement change, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. This requires a certain depth of understanding the business and having your input respected, build a trustworthy partnership with the business to deliver tailored customer-centric solutions. The art of possible is to transform IT from a cost center to a value creator, and running IT as a digital solutionary.

The art of possible is that it involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel
: To digitize and speed up IT, CIOs should look to businesses outside their industry to spur “out-of-box thinking” and inspire dot-connecting innovation; identification of the novel is only the beginning, the heavy lifting starts as a firm aligns resources, processes, talent and executes. The science of innovation is to manage innovation lifecycle and executes in a systematic manner that provides sustained competitive advantage. Digitalization disrupts not only the business boundary but also industry and geographical territories, today’s organization is an organic living thing thriving at the expanded business ecosystem. The art of possible is achieved via building innovation capabilities because breakthroughs and transformational innovations are not something every business can accomplish, you have to systematically develop and sharpen those abilities which can not be built overnight.

The art of possible is phenomenal. Exceptional IT leadership is key to reimagine IT and reinvent IT as an innovation hub to achieve the art of possible. In order for CIOs to become highly proactive, influential, and transformational, forward-looking organizations should empower their IT leaders, invite them to the big table, initiate in-depth strategy conversations, set tones to break down silos and leap digital transformation with the full speed.


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