Thursday, April 20, 2017

The New Book “Digital IT - 100 Q&As” Chapter IX Digital IT Branding Q&As

IT branding is not the superficial way to either change the name or post some slogans, it the integrated part of the strategy management.

A high-performing, high proactive, and high-innovative IT is the key success factor for the digital transformation of the business. However, the majority of IT organizations still get stuck at the lower level of maturity, being perceived as the support desk and cost center only with the tarnished IT brand. Hence, to reinvent IT, IT branding needs to be part of IT transformation effort. Start with IT self-evaluation - take a critical look at IT, you should be honest with yourself about assessing the strengths and weaknesses of IT organization objectively, and spark the healthy debates on how to rebrand IT as the innovation hub and growth engine of the digital business?

Tough choice for IT: Change the name or reboot the mindset? IT becomes so pervasive and critical, information is the lifeblood of the organization, and IT is the business’s “digital brain.” More and more forward-looking organizations declare they are in the information management business. Some suggested IT change to information service department, others think business technology division better fits for IT mission. Well, put emphasis on either “I” or “T” only seems to just tell the half of IT story. Information without technology is outdated bits and bytes, and technology without information is old nuts and bolt. Overall speaking, IT (Information Technology) is not necessarily so bad name, it well articulates what is doing. IT branding should be a holistic management discipline and a well-planned business effort. Changing the name is an easier part, only scratch the surface, the hard part is to reboot IT mindset to keep digital fit. After rebooting mindset, the next step is to retool IT management. The processes include: Reformulate principles, develop strategy, restructure the organization and present a new value proposition. IT needs to more proactively participate co-creating the business strategy, IT should become the trusted business partner. It is at the turning point to turning the IT brand around, running IT like a business. IT is the business.

Why doesn’t IT get respected: IT seems to be always in the hot seat due to the fast-growing information, “disruptive nature” of technology, and increasing speed of change. IT seems also to be at the paradoxical position, on one hand, it becomes so critical to the success of the business; on the other hand, many IT organizations earn very little respect from business peers, without getting invited to the big table, and being perceived as an isolated support center. Ineffective communication between IT leaders and top management is one of the root causes of IT and business gaps. The misalignment to targets and concepts between too distant worlds and languages can create important risks to the business, and lack of respect for IT might be a co-product of this issue. IT does not get much respect because often the folks associated with IT function are not good at asking questions. Many IT specialists feel that they should tell or assert when asking or probing is often much more influential. Further, choosing the wrong individual for crucial roles on both sides of the fence is the other reason to cause IT and business gaps. To gain respect, IT strategy needs to be an integral part of business strategy. What needs to happen at a CIO level is for IT to be seen as a crucial and positive business advantage and then IT will sit at the right level and gain the business respect.

Where is the focal point to brand IT effectively? The majority of IT organizations today are still being portrayed as the back-office cost center, to reimagine IT, IT branding needs to be part of IT transformation effort. Your brand identity will be the face you put on your IT organization and it flows from your brand strategy. IT brand identity should be supported by the message you create and how to distribute to your customers. For the successful IT branding, basically, you are asking yourself: What are we trying to accomplish? Are we on the right path? What do we aspire to achieve? Is “what we look” consistent upon “who we are”?  Create a comprehensive list of the IT organization’s strengths, weakness, goals, and objectives based on self-evaluation, surveys, and cross-functional communications. Your goals and objectives will be your drivers. Your strengths and weaknesses will be your constraints. Create metrics for the delivery of the key messages, put them in the objectives of IT managers and start tracking them accordingly. There are best and next digital practices to create and reinforce IT brand, to promote innovation and create new knowledge streams. The business goal for IT branding is to have all audiences at every level of enterprise weighed-in with delight.

IT today has a finger in every pie that the organization has. It’s omnipresent and either venerated or hated, the influence of IT cannot be underrated. Most of IT organizations have the intention to improve itself, regardless of methodology. IT branding is not the superficial way to either change the name or post some slogans, it the integrated part of the business strategy management. It is about the systematic management practices and tailored personnel management to build a solid IT brand as the strategic business partner.

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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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