Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer: A set of Q&As for Running IT as Revenue Rain Maker

The invisible divide IT vs. business perception needs to go away, and CIOs should advocate IT as an integrated component of the company.

Modern CIOs face many challenges, it is not sufficient to only keep the lights on. Regardless of which industry or the nature of organization you are in, being a digital leader will need to master the art of creating unique, differentiating value from piles of commoditized technologies and take advantage of the emergent digital trends as well. Digital CIOs need to have multiple personas, “Chief Innovation Officer,” “Chief Insight Officer,” “Chief Improvement Officer,” “Chief Information Officer,” and here, we discuss CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer,” with a set of Q&As to lead the digital transformation.

How to Run Digital IT as a Revenue Rain Maker Traditional IT organizations are perceived as the cost center, running in an inside-out operation driven mode. Nowadays, with the exponential growth of information and lightweight digital technologies, forward-looking organizations across industrial sectors claim they are in the information management business, and there is a high expectation of IT to drive changes and lead the digital transformation. Therefore, the invisible divide IT vs. Business perception needs to go away, and CIOs should market themselves and advocate IT as an integrated component of the company, in order to run IT as an innovation engine and revenue generator for the business. CIOs must set priority right and have an IT transformation checklist on how to answer the questions such as: How do we get revenues now? How will we do in the future? How should IT help the company win businesses? How can IT contribute to customer acquisition and retention? And how to run digital IT as a revenue rainmaker??

How to Avoiding Three Traps in Calibrating IT Growth IT is at the crossroad, either continues to be a commodity IT service provider or reinvent itself to become a business growth engine. Because the majority of IT organizations still get stuck in the lower-level of maturity and struggle to prove their unique value for helping the business gain competitive advantage. In order for the CIO to practice transformational leadership and for the IT department to reposition itself as the premium provider of competitive business solutions, IT needs to avoid these three traps in calibrating the growth and improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and agility.

Is your IT organization a digital catalyzer or digital laggard? IT is on the big shift to transform from a cost center to a business value creator, from a help desk to a growth engine; IT should devote more attention to what organizations really care about - managing information to capture insight and foresight, putting technologies to the business advantage. However, there is the gap between the aspirations of what IT could do to the business versus what the current IT “mentality” and capability within the respective IT department is capable of providing and enabling. How can IT close communication and capability gaps, and what is the focal point to run IT as the digital catalyzer and improve its effectiveness, agility, and innovativeness?

How can IT Enable Business Growth? More and more IT organizations are transforming from back end internal support function into front office revenue generators, during the journey, CIO must know how to answer the question such as: How do we get revenues now? How will we do in the future? How should IT help the company win business? And how can IT contribute to customer acquisition and retention?

How to Transform IT from Cost Center into Value Creator In most cases, the IT department isn't producing anything that is saleable and, therefore, many in the organization will view IT as something that seems to ceaselessly suck up money with the little perceived return. First and foremost a CIO needs to show that IT isn't just a cost center but is a deliverer of value, what’re the effective approaches in doing so?

The digital CIOs need to reimagine IT as the business growth engine and lead changes via inquiries. They need to keep asking open-ended questions such as, "Why? Why not? What If?" They have to focus on guiding the company through the digital transformation, and create unique business value because IT is the significant element of any differentiated business capability and the defining factor for competitive advantage.


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