Monday, January 9, 2017

The Next Practices to Elevate Digital IT for the New Year

Being innovative and digital means IT needs to always in a continuous improvement mode to explore the better way, leverage limited resources, and focus on reaching business maturity.

The new year has kicked off, and the IT digital road-map has been built up for many forward-looking IT organizations. But what are the best and next practices to elevate IT? The new IT playbook isn't for the faint of heart, CIOs need to rise above the status quo and take on a new set of practices and activities that have them involved in the strategy development process from the get-go. Because running digital IT to enforce the strategic focus and harness business competency requires thinking forward and thoughtful planning, being innovative and experimental to create previously unconsidered solutions, and fine-tune the underlying business functions and capabilities to achieve high performance. Here are a set of the digital practices to elevate IT in the New Year.

Practice interdisciplinary management: In the industrial age, the majority of organizations were run in the silo mentality, the hierarchical and top-down management style intends to improve functional efficiency and keep things under control. However, nowadays, digital means flow, the mind flow, information flow, idea flow and business flow, across the functional border, and circle around the digital ecosystem. Hence, interdisciplinary management becomes a more practical approach to accelerate the digital paradigm shift. It is important to understand that dynamic business development is multifaceted, and it is crucial for gaining the knowledge necessary to understand and manage holistic digital ecosystems. To engage and function in a dynamic digital environments, it requires fundamentally different mindsets and paradigms such as accepting that influence is attainable, but control is not. Today’s digital leaders, especially CIOs are orchestrators who need to set the right tones, run a real time high-responsive digital organization, and drive the digital transformation synchronously. You can't expect most of the individuals to fully develop such broad-based concepts, it takes the team effort, and more importantly, team coordination and collaboration. Not just an average team with the homogeneous setting, but the high-performance team with complementary mindsets, skills, capabilities, and experiences.

Build Innovation Framework: “Doing more with innovation” will continue to be the digital mantra of IT organization. Digital innovation has an expanded spectrum to include both “hard innovations” such as products/services/business model/process innovation, and “soft innovations,” such as leadership/management innovation, communication innovation, etc. It is important to build a practical innovation framework and manage a balanced innovation portfolio in as structural way. Innovation management system includes policies, structure, and program that innovation leaders and managers can apply to drive innovation systematically. A defined structure is essential to managing innovation in an organization, but there's no one size fits all formula, and there is no single structure that will work in every organization. Trying to apply overly rigid structure applies limits to unleash full innovation potential. More precisely, you don't structure innovation to limit its potential, but build an innovation framework to keep focus, leverage the talent and resources to maximize its potential. If the structure is meant in a methodological sense, then the structure is needed. You need to make sure, that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and, therefore, you need a methodological platform that allows you to do that. You apply principles of approach and vary the resource and tool mix by the ever-changing environment, in order to manage innovation effectively and make a continuous delivery.

Simplifying, optimizing, and digitizing to improve digital IT maturity: Apply a digital management philosophy and drive changes through the organization, consolidate, integrate and optimize IT asset accordingly, so that there are deliverables that provide benefit to the business at the shorter delivery cycle. IT digitalization is the well-planned journey, it is about managing application life cycle, reassess any systems that require extra IT effort; consolidate, streamline and leverage the lightweight digital technologies; tighten coordination with vendors and partners, to continually simplifying and optimizing. It is important to apply simplicity as a management principle to manage change effectively. Simplicity brings speed, clarity, flexibility, and productivity. Externally simplicity is often directly proportional to internally complexity. Run, grow and transformation, simplify unproductive complexity and streamline limited resources on higher prioritized business initiatives to make competitive business advantage.

Either setting digital principles or developing the best and next practices, IT leaders should remember that IT is about the Information, and focus on being a solution-driven business enabler and innovation-focused game-changer. Being innovative and digital means IT needs to always in a continuous improvement mode to explore the better way, leverage limited resources, and focus on reaching overall business maturity.


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