Tuesday, February 14, 2017

CIOs as Digital Leaders: Three IT-Led “Digital Charms”

Hyperconnectivity, variety, innovativeness, diversification, and collaborations are the characteristics and charms of the digital ecosystem.

Digital transformation is the unstoppable trend. Digital charm is not based on the style (fancy web presence or fashionable gadgets) only float on the surface but based on the set of unique business capabilities. Because fashion will fade away, but the trend will turn into reality. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology is insufficient. You have to transform the company's underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. Because often technology is the disruptive force of digital innovation, and the information is the gold mine organizations need to dig for capturing the next business growth opportunities. Hence, Information Technology should be seen by any business as a “digital transformer” and strategy enabler. Here are three IT-led digital charms.

Hyper-connectivity is the key characteristic of digital organization: Thanks for the lightweight digital technologies, today’s organizations are always on and hyperconnected, not limited by physical buildings, but more evolving the entire digital ecosystem. Digital businesses often invite customers and business partners to the conversation for brainstorming innovation, connecting the dots both across and within organizational boundaries become much easier than ever. Organizations are transforming from the spinning mechanical systems to the organic businesses to keep growing. IT plays a crucial role in such a digital paradigm shift. Digital transformation or business initiatives today nearly always involves some form of technology implementation or data analysis; IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behaviors. The focus of IT and the CIO should be business-centric and tightly integrated into the decision process for running a high-responsive business in adapting to changes with fast speed. Mappings of high-level business processes to technology must be in place to allow for an understanding of the impact of strategic changes. IT has the necessary structure/ methodology/tool for bringing the digital charm via shaping the new or bigger box of thinking and managing the emergent digital sophistication with these new characteristics such as hyper-connectivity, hyper-diversity, and hyper-dynamism.

A Broad Spectrum of innovation: The forward-looking IT organizations are transforming into the innovation hub of the company. Variety, complexity, diversification, and collaboration are the characteristics of the digital innovation ecosystem. There are many components in an effective innovation environment or ecosystem, IT can weave them all into the differentiated innovation capabilities and take the structural approach. Organizations can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation, largely due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature, with a broader spectrum. So, the IT-led digital charm is not like the overnight sensation, but a continuous delivery with a comprehensive innovation portfolio. Innovation ecosystem or the methodological environment should cover the whole innovation process, from processes in managing ideas or idea handling systems to idea implementation and promotion. Innovation needs to lay out different structures, thinking and solutions to allow this to develop into its potential where organizations are combining all necessary and available components in imaginative and advantageous ways. Each component by itself may not cause a good environment, but collectively they can and weave an innovation ecosystem with innovation leadership, innovation culture, innovation capability, practices, tools, recognition system measurements, risk approach. IT can drive all sort of innovations, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage technology to drive revenue growth, increase business productivity,  flexibility, and agility.

A wide net of talent pool: Digital technologies provide a convenient platform to engage diverse and intellect minds in brainstorming and sharing wisdom. This is why so many leaders have begun using collaborative methodologies as infrastructures to orchestrate their organization’s talent and bring out their collective best thinking to optimize their solution forming capabilities. The emergent digital technologies and practices also make it possible to expand the talent pool and discover talented people based on their expertise, social influence, and digital footprint. In this regard, IT-led digital charm can help to build the culture of authenticity by encouraging people to focus on who they are, and pursue purpose discovery, autonomy, and mastery. There is nothing to be scared about the evolving trends in any field of knowledge, innovation, and growth. The newer thoughts, newer trends, newer knowledge are all that captivates digital professionals with high curiosities to learn and quickly absorb and adapt so that it becomes easy for the coming generation to adjust to the needs of the changes necessitated with the evolving new thinking and trends. And then coordinations can be achieved through emergencies; decisions can be made through collective wisdom; people are motivated toward intrinsic rewards, and objectives are set through obliquity. And exploring a wide net of talent pool will help mind flow, information flow, idea flow and therefore business flow.

Digital is charming, digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interactions at today’s dynamic digital ecosystem; you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. IT led digital charms, therefore, help to simplify, optimize, energize, and to lead organizations towards the deep digital normality via taking a systematic approach with the steady pace.


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