Saturday, December 10, 2016

Three Characteristics of High Mature IT

High-Mature IT has a high trustful business-IT relationship, it is highly responsive to changes and proactively manages innovation.

We live in a hyper-connected digital world, every day the abundant information and more and more technologies affect the way we live, learn, think, and interact. Great opportunity, danger, digital convenience, and disruption are around every corner. Hence, IT organizations play a more crucial role in accelerating changes and catalyze innovation. Therefore, ensuring a high-performing, high-reliable, and high-proactive IT is the key success factor in organizational digital transformation. Here are three characteristics of high mature IT organization.

High-Trust: High Mature IT has a high trustful business-IT relationship. Modern organization has its own sophistication: the silo functions, the sea of data, and the pool of talents. IT is in a unique position to oversee the underlying functions of the entire business. Thus, IT plays an important role in interpreting business issues into a technology solution, also, leverage the necessary resources to solve them. CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to help bridge the business and technology, the information and wisdom, the business, and the ecosystem. The more important thing is to work on the activities and considerations that need to be addressed to enhance the IT-business relationship. Ineffective communication happens when a CIO has one way of thinking and other business executives think in a different way. Most CIOs come up through the ranks on the technical side and think differently than the other executives – In many ways, they speak a different language with a different way of thinking. CIOs have to become business savvy. The question is not only how to deliver the message but also what message to deliver. If a CIO sees issues or opportunity he/she shall deliver a message to the colleagues on C-level and convince them to support his/her idea. They have to make sure that all IT investments are aligned with the organization's strategy and the approved priorities. In the case of competition for resources, that competition should be for the company benefit, not each executive’s benefit. The true IT-business partner relationship can move both business and IT forward, and deliver the high-performance result.

High-responsiveness: Based on the fact that most IT organizations still run in a reactive and order-taking mode, get stuck at the lower level of maturity. High-Mature IT is highly responsive to changes and proactively manage innovation. Traditional IT organizations are perceived as the controller, slow to change. Digital IT need to become the change organization of the company. The IT department provides guidance, support, assistance, and direction in the application and adoption of information technology solutions in support of business objectives with speed! IT is then contributing to productivity increase; it would even go one step further, that the best CIO understands what current or emergent digital technology trend can add business value and transfer this to the business advantage. To improve business agility and maturity, IT management must get a feeler of the business view. It’s a journey, business needs to understand the change and complexity nature of IT, while IT can lead the charge by simply not taking their customer for granted and focusing on customers as if they were in a competitive market.

High-innovativeness: High-mature IT has high capabilities to be innovative. IT leadership needs to shift their management orientation and begin thinking like entrepreneurs, IT entrepreneurialism becomes a new fixture for management in their efforts to substantiate their competitive position, affect the market landscape, and drive new revenue growth. Profits and then ROIs should be the driving force behind any IT project. CIOs need to cover both the business dimension as well as the technology dimension with their team. The best IT managers and leaders always have a strong understanding of what the business does, how it does it, and how it could be better with 360 degrees of view. IT is not limiting the business’s creativity, but encouraging out of the box thinking as well as systematic solutions. That said, a higher mature IT should run in a software startup mode, with the well-established process not to stifle innovation, but to bring the digital momentum for running IT as the business. It can strike the right balance of  “innovation and standardization,” “creativity and process,” as well as “run, grow, and transformation.” CIOs need to do a better job of articulating the existing and potential value of IT to the business quantitatively, via a language and measurement senior executives understand. IT must be measured from a business viewpoint. That should help in trying new technologies and managing a healthy innovation portfolio for the long-term perspective. A higher mature IT is an innovation engine of the business.
Digital IT can enable and drive the enterprise, as it should act as an equal partner. A digital CIO needs to have a powerful toolbox encompassing strong business acumen, soft skills such as communication and listening, technical experience, creativity, and solid managerial leadership in order to run a high performance and high mature digital IT.


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