Saturday, February 11, 2017

Three Practices to Run a High-Performance Digital IT

Information technology should be seen by any business as a “digital transformer and focus on setting principles and developing the next practices for improving business maturity.

We have transitioned from a static industrial age with information scarcity to the digital economy of knowledge, innovation, and hyperconnectivity; with this shift has come to a change in organizational forms away from the traditional rigid hierarchies managed through command and control to a more networked and collaborative style. IT plays a significant role in weaving all important business elements and orchestrate a digital symphony. So, what are the best and next practices for running a high-effective and high performance digital IT?

IT should spend more resources upon crafting unique business capabilities and capturing business growth opportunities: IT is a key enabler to build almost all differentiated digital business capabilities nowadays. Both information and technology become the key ingredients in building business capabilities that differentiate the company from its competition in supporting the company objectives. However, it’s not easy because it requires changing the culture and getting the buy-in of IT resource. IT oversees business processes which underpin organizational capabilities, It is one thing to have the IT resource aligned with the business strategies/ objectives, to enable business execution. In addition, all of IT spending must be looked at through an investment lens, provide a framework for thoughtful and informed decision-making. So, CIOs should be able to position and maintain the IT organization to ensure it addresses both "IT effectiveness" and "IT efficiency," to enable capability-based strategy management, also help improve the entire company’s effectiveness and business competency.

Prioritization is critical to both improving performance and forcing people to become more innovative for problem solving: A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. So there’re always some constraints for businesses to balance a healthy portfolio of “run, grow, and transform,” to explore the new opportunities or deploy the new ideas. So, the business objective shouldn't be to work on only those projects for which you have staff, it should be to maximize what you can accomplish through creative leverage of your talent pool. In addition, prioritization brings transparency to the organization, creating internal competition among new ideas and projects. Prioritization is critical, as the alternative is a land grab for resources. Prioritization helps to focus the strategy of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of execution. Prioritization forces people to be more creative, to come up with better ideas, and manage them in a structural way. Without effective communication and prioritization skills, the business often doesn't understand how IT can help, and IT doesn't know what the business needs. And then the gaps between IT and business are enlarged and IT perhaps just keeps “busyness,” without solving real issues.

Making effective measurement is also important to keep improving IT performance: You can only manage what you measure. Though the situation varies, there are a couple of key steps can be shared in improving IT performance across vertical sectors. How do you measure that a breadth of best practice is in place to leap the business growth both now and in the future? The success of IT is not for its own sake, but to ensure the entire business success. It’s important to measure IT success in meeting the business purpose and vision. IT metrics need to evolve to something that matters to the business audience, at the same time that "business sentiment" needs to get put into something more tangible, such as optimize processes, or improve productivity. Your measures should cover all areas that contribute to value creation including service quality, employee engagement, customer satisfaction and financial outcomes. Selecting the right key performance indicator is one of the most important steps in measurement because this process includes to answering why you are choosing that, how you will use them and whether you have enough resources to manage data and improve performance management.

Information technology should be seen by any business as a “digital transformer and focus on setting principles and developing the next practices for improving business effectiveness, efficiency, performance, and agility. The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.


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