Monday, November 14, 2016

"IT Innovation" Book Tuning: The Multi-Color of Digital IT

The multi-colored digital IT paints an excellent picture of the interaction and interdependence of the digital ecosystem.

IT is in the middle of a sea change, traditional IT organization is monolithic, mono-colored, stereotypical, and slow to change. In order to improve the tarnished image of IT, digital CIOs must set principles and guidelines, but not overly restrictive rules to run digital IT with the enriched color of IT leadership, empowered IT talent teams and enhanced IT-business partnership to make a leap in digital transformation.

Multi-color personas of digital CIOs: Compared to other CxO positions, the CIO role is considerably new with around three decades of history but more dynamic and paradoxical. Where do digital CIOs come from, should they be the business strategist or technical manager? The IT leadership role continues to be reimagined, refined, refreshed and reenergized in an adaptation of increasing changes and digital disruptions. Modern CIOs have multiple personas and need to wear many hats to communicate effectively and lead more successfully. IT indeed needs to shift from “T” driven operation to “I” focused - Information, Intelligence, and Insight. And the CIO role needs to focus on both information content and context, how that information can be tapped from the underlying data and be utilized to turn it into valuable business insight and foresight. The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief interaction officer, Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Improvement Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. As CIOs continue to be put on the front line to run IT as a digital transformer, they need to ensure their organizations are information savvy, high-intelligent, high-responsive, high-effective and high-performing.

The multi-dimensional versatility of digital IT: With emergent digital technologies, IT organization is shifting from a monolithic industrial mode to mosaic digital style. IT needs to be value-added, not just running commodity services. The aggressive role of IT today for many organizations is an automation solutionary, information steward, innovation hub, and a digital transformer. In fact, there are very few businesses today can state that IT does not play a significant role in the long-term strategic positioning of the company. IT is an enabler to accelerate changes, and IT needs to proactively solve the problems with setting priority right and recharge business via innovation. The common element of proactive IT is business engagement - whatever and wherever the business needs are. Digital IT presents multi-dimensional versatility via wearing multi-color hats -Blue hat for re-imagine IT management; white hat for information collection and insight abstraction; red hat for feelings (“Sense” the need for Change Management), green hat for building a creative and sustainable workplace; yellow hat for instilling passions to catalyze business growth, and black hat for caution and risk management.

Multi-generational, multi-cultural, and multi-divicing digital IT workforce: The color of digital IT is reflected via their people - the color of character and thoughts. IT-business gap surely exists, it's even enlarged due to the different part of the business adapt to changes with varying speed. IT skills gap is also not fiction, but a reality; and IT innovations gap is a strategic imperative to close at the digital era. Therefore, harnessing the different experiences, perspectives, and ideas of people from across multiple generations and diverse background in either leadership or customer-centric IT team has enormous potential. An innovative IT organization has well-mixed innovator personals: movers and shakers; thought leaders, critical thinkers, experimenters, reframers, idea creators, and implementers, etc. The goal is to set the right tone for inspiring the new thinking and encourage the new way to do things and lead enterprise-wide innovation and brand management smoothly. For instance, there are opportunities for the involvement of all generations in shaping both the employer brand and customer propositions in order to reach a much wider audience.

The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business and make a multitude of impacts in business transformation. The multi-colored digital IT paints an excellent picture of the interaction and interdependence of the digital ecosystem, it has the ability to inspire and motivate; the ability to help people and the company as a whole overcome their challenges, achieve their goals and objectives; and more importantly; the ability to help the organization navigate through digital transformation seamlessly.


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