Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Multitude of IT focus at the Era of Digital Renaissance

Business is reliance on IT as a force multiplier, IT needs to be proactive, not reactive.

Digital transformation represents a break with the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. Transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a defined different capability to accomplish a set of defined business goals. IT plays a critical role in catalyzing the digital shift because IT is a business integrator and capability builder of the organization. In the digital age, CIOs need to play multiple roles, to run IT with a multitude of focus at the era of the digital renaissance.

CIOs need to be digital masters to connect those enterprise dots for improving business competency: With the increasing pace of changes and fierce competitions, it is increasingly more challenging for IT to deliver to business what it wants when it wants. By the time IT is ready to deliver functionality to the business, the business needs, not just "requirements," have already changed.  In most of the organizations, IT is setting back and waiting for the request. IT has to be configured in a way to understand the business and to deliver the business and market need. To lead digital transformation in a proactive way, CIOs needs to switch the focus from inside-out operation-driven to outside-in customer focused. CIOs must become true business leaders by looking to get much closer to their company’s customers in understanding their needs, and ask big “WHYs” to help clarify their companies’ “what,” and IT’s “how.” Few executives, if any, have visibility across the enterprise like a CIO, to connect the dots of the business because all of those dots are internal customers of IT. IT can weave all those hard and soft elements into differentiated business competency. There is no one size fits all formula to run a high effective IT, because, different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at the different stage of business maturity, IT can be used as a tool, enabler, catalyzer, or a digital integrator & transformer to meet the ultimate goal of an organization for the long run. IT helps to do the connecting with business and provide technology solutions, and bridging the gap between IT and the business is really the issue of leveraging processes, tools, and products that organizations use to affect the digital transformation from strategy to deployment and improve business competency and maturity.

CIOs need to be information masters to improve IT speed and the overall business responsiveness: The CIO is not just managing IT to keep the lights on but is managing the information to enable enterprises becoming nimble, smart, and gain the competitive edge, to ensure the right people getting the right information in the right position for making the right decisions and solving the right problems. The digital CIO should focus on the information content and context; how that information can be tapped from the underlying data and be utilized to turn it into valuable business foresight and customer insight, and how the information and insight can be penetrated through the business and be actively used in managing business processes and building business capabilities to execute business strategy solidly. More and more businesses expect the consumerization style responsiveness from IT, many CIOs have encountered an IT consumerization mentality (“I want what I want when I want it”) in organizations, CIOs as information masters need to break down silos and keep information flow across functional boundaries seamlessly to allow for the digital speed, and IT needs to be perceived as a changing organization to get things done quickly, not the overhead.

CIOs need to be innovation masters to handle the “spinning plates” well and manage a balanced innovation portfolio: Many IT leaders and IT organizations are at the crossroad, either becoming a “Chief Innovation Officer” to run IT as an innovation hub of the business; or turns to be “Chief Irrelevant Officer” without the seat at the big table. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative about how they architect and implement changes and manage innovation, to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. IT should shift its role as the business consultative advisor so they can open out ideas since they will be looking for the business’s pains and solutions that IT can drive. Running digital IT is more link spinning plates, you need to have multiple focuses, but also have a cohesive strategy and create synergy to manage a balanced innovation portfolio. IT leaders have to learn how to handle the “plate load” effectively, all with the brand quality and emphasis on progress and continuous delivery. The sooner you finish your existing commitments, the sooner you can launch new innovation initiatives. The spinning plates are one aspect of multiple teams are expected to work on what they can do at once, but there are strategies for focusing so that progress will occur by most beneficial impacts, firm commitments or on-time and on value delivery.

The CIO must be concerned as to whether the operational ecosystem will function as expected. Business is reliance on IT as a force multiplier, IT needs to be proactive, not reactive. Increasingly the CIO looks to play a role of supplementing the business vision with technology as the accelerator and innovator. So information management, innovation, and digital transformation, IT needs to play them all well.


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