Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Goal-Driven IT Transformation

Running the goal-driven IT requires IT leaders to laser focus on setting the right priority to run IT as the equal business partner.

The digital world is so technology-driven and information-intensive, organizations rely more and more on information & technology nowadays, IT needs will only expand. Hence, IT must be a business partner within the organization to deliver business-driven results. A digital CIO has to have great leadership traits, understand the business context, oversee business processes, envision the latest technology trends, and motivate IT team to do more with innovation. And most importantly, take a systematic approach to manage the goal-driven IT transformation seamlessly.

Harness business communication: IT is no longer just an isolated support function, but an integral part of the business. IT leaders and professionals should have an in-depth understanding of the business inside out via operation lens and outside in from customer lens. If you cannot talk business to the business, or cannot communicate effectively about execution, IT is disconnected from the business, being perceived as “out of touch.” The disconnect between business and IT not only causes miscommunication but even worse to fail the business fatally. Therefore, digital CIO need to be excellent communicators, who are business aware and only finally, technically aware. CIOs must be able to relay complex technical ideas in a non-technical manner to business leaders, convey the technological vision and contribute to the business strategy making. If the corporate leadership is not open and receptive to technical innovation, and not accustomed to engaging the CIO in corporate strategic planning, then it could be challenging for catalyzing business growth and accelerating digital transformation. It is also vital to have a broad-based IT management beneath the CIO, be able to translate organizational strategy into technical requirements, and with the business ability to assess and demonstrate to management how technological advances can benefit an organization for the long-term prosperity. In short, CIOs need to be the great communicator who can talk like the top business executive, also walk the talk, deliver the tailored business solutions, not just IT services. They not only understand multiple “business dialects,” but also know the business context and always bring unique business insight to the big table.

Adapt to changes with quick actions: Change is the nature of IT and businesses today, CIOs shouldn’t get pushed for the changes, they are actually in a better position to play a role as change agent. Thus, contemporary CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which the organization can effectively manage these changes. but proactively manage changes. Change Management needs to be a mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management as well. Change is not for its own sake, it is IT responsibility to identify opportunity for business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of transformation efforts. CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. Bridging the gap between IT and the business is the issue about changes. A “Change Agent” IT can orchestrate processes, tools, products/services that organizations use to affect the business transformation from strategy to deployment, from change assessment to measurement.

Fair temperaments: Digital is the age of people centricity. The leader needs to have the ability to inspire and create the culture of innovation and change. This should reflect their policy setting and process tuning for digital talent management. Technology has played a large role in the diversification and inclusiveness of the modern workforce. The traditional hiring or training programs are often outdated due to silo thinking and overly rigid processes which stifle innovation. Organizations need to leverage the latest technologies and the emergent digital channels for identifying growth mindset, high-impactful digital influencers, developing talent competency for the business’s long-term strategy. Performance management also needs to be updated, because traditional performance management is often just an annual routine to focus mainly on the past performance, but digital performance management should focus more on managing future performance, unleash talent potential, and improve the success in the future, from treating people as human resource and fixed asset to think people as human capital to invest in.

Digital ecosystem outlook: Organizations today are hyperconnected with their business ecosystem because today, the geographical, functional, business or even industrial borders are blurring. The digital organization is a living thing with the ability to continually change as the world changes and evolves with an intersecting and interacting business ecosystem seamlessly. With the advent of the digital technologies, nearly any company can be global, which brings fierce competitions, cultures and custom diversity, multiple technologies and significant business opportunities. The digital business management also shifts from inside-out operation driven to outside-in customer focused. Hyper-connectivity can foster innovation through the wide-based collaboration. In other words, try to digitally connect key resources, assets in their vicinity and context to the resource-rich innovation hubs or clusters across the business ecosystem. So, the digital ecosystem outlook helps the business to connect the wider dots to innovate, also encourage the broader base collaboration to build differentiated business capabilities and achieve high-performance business results.

Running the goal-driven IT requires IT leaders to laser focus on setting the right priority to run IT as the equal business partner via comprehensive communication, adaptability, innovation, talent competency, and digital fluency. IT and business have to work as the whole to achieve “the art of possible,” derive the most appropriate strategy and deployment, to unleash business potential and maximize business benefit, and build a people-centric, high-performing, and high-mature digital organization.


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