Sunday, November 27, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning : Refining IT Role as the Digital Business Value Creator

The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business.

IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. With emerging digital opportunities and risks, business leaders, including IT leaders are once again seeing the benefit of running IT as a business inside the business, that's the way to go. IT also needs to clearly define its role as a value creator for business, to enable growth and catalyze innovation.

IT needs to transform from a controller to an enabler: Many IT organizations still run in the industry mode -built to last, not responsive enough to adapt to changes. So the business even complains that IT sometimes becomes the very obstacle to getting things done. To transform IT from a controller to an enabler. CIOs need to spend the time on understanding the business issues enough to push back on what they asked for and explain how alternatives can provide more value. IT should strive to be a revenue contributor to the business, this is extremely difficult to without spending significant time learning the business. In order to rebuild IT reputation as an enabler and value creator, instead of having overly rigid rules, set digital principles to encourage innovative problem-solving; instead of saying no, no, no and quoting policy, leverage the latest on-demand IT delivery models, create customized products and solutions to tailor customers’ need; when IT improve efficiency via reducing the cost of doing business, it increases the margin. IT needs to speed up, engage as a business partner, to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and agility.

IT needs to shift from a support center to an innovation hub: People can work anytime, anywhere, to access any necessary information to create innovative ideas now with partners outside the organization today. Traditional IT organizations running as an invisible support function with heavy-weight hardware boxes and tangled wires to only “keep the lights on,” is no longer sufficient to respond to increasing speed of changes; we are entering the new Digital Era-the convergence of enterprise IT and consumerization of IT; it’s that consumers and employees are using the same technology devices for similar activities; it represents a merging of corporate and consumer capabilities within the organization; it blurs the line between professional life and personal life. Therefore, to adapt to changes, “T” driven IT needs to shift to “I” oriented IT, running IT as a software startup to renovate IT operation and innovate IT products and services. Digital customers and employees expect applications to be as intuitive and task-oriented. Sustainable innovation means products and services need to be improved via continuous conversation, integration, and optimization.

IT needs to learn how to build a strong brand via selling the right things to the right people for bringing high business value: In order to run IT as a business, besides building the functional and better delightful products and solutions, IT needs to know how to promote its products and services. IT cannot be seen as an enabler unless IT management clearly understands what their organization does for a living. What is required is having a strategy that integrates these technologies across the entire enterprise, including how best to source them. Also, make sure that the external customers who purchase products or services have a great experience relating to any IT systems that impact them. IT should be fully integrated into the business, aligned with enterprise objectives, and of course, fully competent to provide on-going support and tactical execution. That is not an easy task but it is not impossible either.

The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business. It means involving businesses enough in the process so they see your success as their success. A CIO needs to have a powerful toolbox encompassing strong business acumen, soft skills such as communication and listening, technical experience and solid managerial leadership, CIOs need to lead the IT organization so that every level of the organization has great working relationships with the IT team, in order to reinvent the tarnished IT reputation and refine IT role as the digital business value creator.


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