Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Inquisitive Officer: A set of Q&As (X) for IT Reinventing & Brainding

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.

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 also 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 digital transformation.

Why IT Doesn’t Get Respected? IT seems to be always at the paradoxical position, on one hand, technology is omnipresent, touch every corner of enterprise, on the other hand, many IT organizations earn very little respect from business peers, why, and how to turn around?

The Art of Possible: How to Shift from Transactional IT to Transformational IT Even though IT permeates to almost every corner of the business, many traditional IT organizations are still perceived as an invisible back office maintenance function, without sufficient knowledge about the business model of the organization. Although technology is often the disruptive force behind changes and digital transformation, most IT organizations get stuck at the lower level of maturity, running as a reactive service provider. CIOs as business strategists: How to pursue the art of possible - make a shift from a mechanical IT to innovative IT? From reactive IT to accelerating IT? And from transactional IT to transformational IT?

Is IT organization perceived as confident or Arrogant? On one side, IT complains not getting respected from the business; on the other side, business think IT acts arrogant sometimes; such “he said, she said,” “Pride & Prejudice” dilemmas continue to stir up new debate in CIO forums, the point is not to figure out who is right and who is wrong, the key is how IT can leverage different viewpoint and keep improving leadership and service. But, how to adjust the attitude or break down the bias?

What are Characteristics of High-Mature IT? 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.

How to Run a Multi-Dimensional IT Organization? IT suffered from its reputation as a cost center at the industrial age, IT leaders need to look harder upon their organizations through multi-dimensional lenses, how to generate business value from IT, and continue to ask those tough questions: Are we doing the right things? – Planning; Are we doing them the right way - Processes, People; Are we getting them done well - Evaluation or Are we getting the benefits? – ROI.

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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