Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Running an “I” driven Digital IT Organization

A digital IT organization is a living business in the relationship with its digital ecosystem and lift the creative spirit via connecting, discovery, and experimentation.

Digital means the rapid change, with an unprecedented level of unrepeatability and unpredictability. The ability of companies to consume and make sense of the information that is available to make good decisions or capture business insight for enforcing innovation within today’s digital dynamic is becoming a nearly insurmountable challenge. IT as the information steward, how to manage information well and unleash the full digital potential of the business?

Digital IT focus point: Information-Insight-Innovation: Managing information and the information position of an organization is what ought to be called Information Management. Digital IT is shifting from “T” -technology-driven to “I” information oriented and thrive to become the insightful digital brain and proactive innovation hub of the business. Information Management is to connect people with the right information at the right time and location, to ensure that accurate information is accessible and shared within relevant business functions to make the right decisions. By keeping information flow and capturing the business foresight and customer insight, digital organizations can break down the silos or overly rigid processes, and fine-tune their change and innovation capability. Innovation is more than designing new products, it is about establishing and nurturing a way of thinking where innovation is enforced in every aspect of the business. Innovation, in general, is surely a discipline which covers innovation management, knowledge, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and information mining. It is closely related to several other management disciplines, including information management, knowledge management, change management, talent management, and performance management, etc. It is an interdisciplinary management approach which stands in between management, economy, psychology, sociology, and neurology, etc. With the abundance of information and refined business insight, digital leaders and professionals can connect business dots effortlessly to trigger digital innovation and discover better ways to do things.

Practicing intrapreneurship and running IT as the business: All forward-thinking organizations claim they are in the information management business. IT is no longer just a support function or a cost center, but a proactive change agent and a business inside the business to focus on the top-line business growth and profitability. That information and focus must be apparent throughout the organization. It aids in removing silo thinking and energizes the organization. Collective mindsets with creativity lead to an innovative culture. Practicing IT intrapreneurship means to harness the innovation culture and learn to generate more novel ideas in diverse teams. Because innovation culture and innovation management underpin an organization’s innovation capability and drive a high rate of innovation success. A high-innovative IT has more disciplines, not less; it's not about rigid rules, but a set of fine-tuned digital principles and an effective framework to manage innovation in a structural way.

Running an outside-in customer-centric IT: Digital is the age of customers, and building a customer-centric business is at the executive’s top agenda in every forward-looking organization. IT can reinvent itself as a customer-centric organization and see it as an opportunity to reboot the IT mentality as the innovation engine. IT has both internal and external customers. Listen to your customers, stakeholders, vendors, partners, and staff, focusing on customer needs should be an easier path to grow the innovation fruit. Be careful, you do not want to come across as having a solution looking for a problem. You have to know and relate to what customers value and how they quantify that value first before you can add real value.  If you're going to innovate without knowledge of "evident customer needs," and then "the things that you are good at perhaps distract you from building something which can really increase customer value and help the business success for the long term. The CIO needs to take those needs and translate them into an IT investment to support that vision and fix the “lost in translation” syndrome. Being a customer-centric IT also doesn’t mean that you will say “Yes,” to all the customers’ requests and run IT as an order taker only, it means that IT needs to become the trustful business partner and provide the premium business solutions for customers. Always take the customer view as the basis of measurement for continuous IT deliveries, reduce the delivery cycle time and improve customer experiences.

As the intersection of IT and people is where innovation happens. Running “I” driven IT is about running a lighter, but more powerful, responsive, and innovative IT organization. A digital IT organization is a living business in the relationship with its environments, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and above all enhances and lift the creative spirit via connecting, discovery, and experimentation.


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