Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Three IT Competencies to Make a Leap of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity.

The goal of all businesses is to generate revenue, increase net-new business, enlarge their footprint, and monetize their core competencies. Developing core competencies is particularly important for IT organizations because IT is an important business enabler which can weave all necessary elements of the company into strategic capabilities and unique advantage of the entire company. Here are three IT competencies to make a leap of digital transformation.

IT as a business capability builder: Capability can "contain" many services, processes, and functionality in which IT as one of the most critical elements in weaving them together and building up business competency. The business capabilities cut across all functional pillars, they are fundamental building blocks for digital transformation and strategy execution. In order to meet that strategy, management and technique expertise should describe a set of capabilities needed to enable the strategy. Business management should assess the current business environment to understand which capabilities already exist and which must be developed or changed. IT is the threshold to glue all necessary hard and soft business elements and integrate them into the differentiated business capability and core competency. They are core because the company excels in delivering those capabilities than competitors. Digital is the age of customers, the art of possible is not about taking orders only, don't just deliver what the business asks for, but about knowing the better way to do things, and be able to provide the "best solution" for the business' requirement, offering added value and feature insights based on system understanding, that the business might not even have thought of; create new business competency and recombinant capabilities for developing a high responsive digital organization. This requires a certain depth of understanding the business and having your input respected, and establish IT reputation as the business capability builder, not just a commodity service provider.

IT as an information steward: With the exponential growth of information, all forward-looking organizations across vertical sectors declare they are in the information management business. The information does not live alone but permeates to everywhere in the businesses. Thus, the value of information is not isolated. IT is shifting from a technology custodian to an information steward, to streamline information flow and to ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time in the right locations to make the right decisions. IT as the information steward of the organization plays a crucial role in building a comprehensive set of enterprise-wide information management capability and running a smart real-time digital business to adapt to emergent business changes with speed. The high mature information management enables better information access and analysis by breaking down the silos, optimizing costs and increasing efficiency; to improve IT and business alignment and engagement.

IT as Change Agent: At the industrial age with static business setting and scarcity of information, IT is often perceived as the business controller or a change laggard; but at today’s digital organizations with fast-paced changes, IT should be run as a changing department which can help integrate all those important business elements such as process and digital technologies & tools into the building blocks of change capability. Therefore, IT management needs to have a good understanding from a strategic perspective of the organization (structure, processes, locations, drivers, objectives, goals, applications, data, technologies). Fundamentally, change consists of one or more of the following: People change, process changes, or technology changes, and IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all important change elements effortlessly and make change sustainable. IT should also fine-tune its operation and process, and cultivate the changing culture to catalyze digital transformation. Keep in mind, change is the vehicle, not the purpose of doing a project. Change is an ongoing business capability and Change Management needs to be a mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management.

Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. Transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a differentiated capability to accomplish a defined goal. IT-enabled business competencies have digital attributes such as robustness, speed, comprehensiveness, responsiveness, agility, improvement, sensitivity, optimization, risk intelligence, innovativeness. The high mature IT organizations are at an inflection point to lead organizational level changes and make a leap of digital transformation.


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