Friday, June 30, 2017

Running IT as Digital Catalyzer

The role of IT today for many organizations is a business 'solutionary' for information management, process automation, capability builder, and digital orchestration.

Digital is the new normal with “VUCA” characteristics. Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. Digital transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of digging into the underlying functions and processes, and building a differentiated set of capabilities to accomplish well-defined strategic goals. Otherwise, they cannot have the clear focus and business rationale that is essential to gaining any traction in changing an embedded culture. With information as the lifeblood of the business, and technology is often the disruptive force behind changes. IT can no longer just hide in the corner to play the background music only, IT needs to catalyze changes and orchestrate the digital transformation, and help the company move up to the next level of business maturity.  

Thinking further: Digital transformation is a long-term journey, it has to be clearly understood and to satisfy both short term gratification and long term outcomes. IT leaders today are no longer just tactic technology managers, they are business leaders who can bring the technological vision to the big table for providing invaluable input in digital strategy. They must be able to think further to the broader horizon of the business with the long-term perspective. The problem here is that many CIOs, for quite a long time not doing strategic management which includes "promoting and advocating IT." When unleashing the potential of information management. The CIO and his/her team can play a large role in shaping a vision of the firm as a place where passionate individuals want to connect with and learn from one another. Because digital transformation is the paradigm shift that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments in which we live, and the way we run the business and improve its effectiveness, efficiency, and maturity. Thus, today’s IT leaders should be open to a new perspective, willing to adapt the new skill set to the demands of evolving technologies or adapt their role to the evolving business requirements for technology. And digital CIOs today must be able to think further and lead dynamically because their leadership capability can directly influence IT and business culture as well. CIOs also have a significant responsibility to choose and deploy the IT that will help their firms realize the vision.

Aim high: Today’s IT organizations can no longer just get stuck at the lower level of the maturity to keep the lights on only,  IT is the business, to unleash the digital potential of IT, organizations need to understand that IT is not just technical or scientific, but also artistic and delightful. IT can digitize every touch point of customer experience, it can also generate revenue and influence business decisions through providing the right information to the right people timely. Today’s CIOs are Chief Imagination Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, and Chief Influence Officer, besides their fundamental role as the Chief Information Officer, they have to aim high, to contribute to the top line business growth, to become the digital catalyzer and game changer. CIOs are expected to constantly propose new ideas and challenging the status quo. Without imagination, that would be no radical technology disruptions or business revolution. The role of modern CIO is to identify and blend the ways that information and technology can assist and shape the business by linking all digital aspects together to enforce the value creation; these are then mixed with other ingredients to create products and solutions which generate differentiated value for their business’s long-term growth.

Lead smart: IT is no longer just a support center, enterprise leaders are increasingly looking to the IT function to introduce beneficial change into their business models to improve strategic performance, achieve operational excellence, enforce customer intelligence and to position the enterprise for future industry leadership, etc. The art and science of information management are to optimize its usage and achieve its value and maximize its full potential. The digital IT leaders today must lead confidently, not only touches his/her own function but also needs to make a broader influence on the entire organization and the business ecosystem as well. CIOs as the top leader need to be humble as well, to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Therefore, even you have built a comprehensive IT roadmap handy, be fluent with the digital dialogs, be alert to identify blind spots, be cognizant of unknown, be flexible to adjust the planning, be open to listening to the different points of views, be determined when you have to make a tough choice and take the calculated risk. CIOs must lead smart and take bold actions, for reinventing IT as the digital catalyzer.

Simply put, IT can no longer just be about numbers and algorithms; it has an opportunity to be a significant catalyst for passion and a tool for encouraging questing and connecting the innovation dots. The role of IT today for many organizations is a business 'solutionary' for information management, process automation, capability builder, and digital orchestration.


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