Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The New Book “Digital IT - 100 Q&As” Chapter VII IT-Business Gap Q&As

Organizational success comes when IT and business act from “IT vs. business” to “IT is business” - a true partnership.

IT-business gap is the reality, many IT organizations remain quite distinct in terms of performance metrics, structure, career path, etc. There are still numerous debates about IT and business divide with “He said, she said” scenario. Due to the hyperconnectivity nature of digital businesses, IT has to be better integrated with the business and cutting out waste in order to build a cohesive and high mature digital organization. There are quite a few classic business vs. IT debates last decades-long: Does IT still matter? What will happen to the CIO role? Is IT-business siloing a chronic problem in many organizations? etc. The positive side is such debates though, in fact, help the business and IT do more reflection via pondering deeper and understanding things from multidimensional angles.

Why does silo happen and how to bridge it? Silos happen when the “WHY?” in business is not properly communicated from the senior level management down through business units. There are different definitions of the silo, by its nature, it’s about isolation. Silos are a product of organizational insecurity and internal competition for resources. Silos are based on a culture of self-protection and judgment. Many think silo happens when the business operates from a fear standpoint - fear of rejection, fear of invisibility, etc. Silos might make you feel insulated and powerful, but they form a very insecure base for the ego which is why it never really feels good to work in an environment like that. Great organizations are supposed to maximize the individual and the group. Silo have individual goals, but someone above the silo is supposed to glue all the individual puzzle pieces together, strategic goals need to be shared and common to ensure the whole is more optimal than the sum of pieces.

Business vs. IT - the battle rages on: Where do you stand? Often the traditional management perpetuates the “two solitude” of IT and the business when they use the very term “IT and the business,” and even more so when they use the term “vs,” or, of course, that old chestnut “aligning IT with the business.” Digital IT needs to be embedded in almost everything we do today and will become increasingly so. To harmonize business-IT relationship, all CXOs need to play as true business leaders, not as functional managers. That said, share the reward and shame together. If IT fails, it’s also the business failure; if the business is too stifle or slow, IT needs to take a fair share of responsibility. There are often too many tech talks and not enough business talks coupled with a lack of transparency on a financial basis. IT contribution to business value does not come from the technology itself, but from the change that IT both shapes and enables. CIOs who fail to explain this to organizational leadership or continue to extol the virtues of the technology itself merely perpetuate the problem and are putting their very survival at risk. To both business and IT: Make yourself and them a part of the solution, and make yourself and them as big WE-to stop arguing, and start partnering.

How to transform IT from the “weakest link” to the “super glue” of the business: Many businesses still perceive their IT departments as the weakest link because they feel that IT can’t keep up with their demand for new services/solutions. In other words, that IT isn’t as agile as it needs to be. From a business perspective, IT is constantly in “developing” and “demand managing” mode while the business has gone far beyond that. And these are the days of business users becoming tech savvy, it is another challenge to be addressed by IT. The digital connectivity and IT consumerization bring both challenges and opportunities for IT to improve its agility and maturity. IT has to adapt to every business unit and then glue them all together. In high mature digital IT organizations, the technologists are not just “IT people,” but instead, they are business partners with IT skills. To make the link strong is to enable the IT team and make them think through the business world while working on the optimal solutions. “Super Glue IT” goes through IT governance processes. IT has categorized, prioritized, and designed solutions, bug fixes, enhancements, now with digital styles, you need to work with other leaders to make the decisions together. IT needs to be proactive and value-added, and pursue long-term goals with the strategic perspectives of the business.

The more salient points of the “ongoing debate,” are to brainstorm the better way to do things and run a high mature digital organization. IT must prove itself to be a business partner. Organizational success comes when IT and business act from “IT vs. business” to “IT is business” - a true partnership.

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Chapter 1 Digital IT Leadership Q&A

Chapter 2 Digital IT Fitness Q&A

Chapter 3 Digital IT Innovation Paradox Q&As

Chapter 4 Digital IT Management Dilemmas

Chapter 5 Digital IT Potential Q&As

Chapter 6 Digital IT Priority Q&As

Chapter 7 IT-Business Gap Q&As

Chapter 8 Digital IT Performance Q&As

Chapter 9 IT Branding Q&As

Chapter 10: Digital IT Talent Management Q&As


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