Monday, August 14, 2017

Digital IT “Built to Change”

IT is an integrator to weave all important change elements seamlessly and make people change, process change, and technology change sustainable.

Digital means the increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, and always-on business dynamic. The digital business ecosystem is open, fluid, dynamic and energetic. Traditional IT organizations were often perceived as the change laggard, sometimes they even reinvent the wheel, intend to “Built to Last.” Digital means change with increasing speed. As we all know the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE,"  IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and its nature of the "constructive disruption."IT must shorten its products/services delivery cycle for adapting to the rapid pace of change, and update its mantra from “Doing more with less” to “Doing more with innovation,” from “built to last,” to “built to change.”

Technology change: Although digital transformation is not just about applying some fancy technology gadgets, the digital transformation definitely needs technology to make it happen as today no business is independent of IT or rather IT has become now business technology. In fact, technologies are often disruptive forces behind digital innovation and business transformation. Digital technologies are lightweight, powerful, intuitive, and fast. Organizations today have to aggressively leverage digital technologies, platforms, and tools as the enabler of communication, collaboration, social interaction and forward-thinking, they need to empower the workforce with efficient tools and apps for improving productivity and employees engagement rate. New technology tools and business models allow a company to capture customer information on a continual basis. Technology related changes request tools, training, and practices in order for participants to feel comfortable that the service level they provide will continue or improve with increased productivity. The powerful digital technology tools not only help to digitize the touch point of the customer experience, but also provide invaluable information about customers in real time and getting that to the right teams inside your company. This is the practical usage of many web and social media tools. To leverage technology for digital transformation, IT needs to proactively participate business conversations, as every technology change needs to have a noble business purpose, either for empowering employees or delighting customers, to improve the business productivity, responsiveness, innovation capacity or business flexibility.  

Process/Structure Change: Digital does make the organization flatter and even hyper-connected. IT is in a unique position to have an in-depth understanding of the organizational structure as well as underlying functions and processes. IT should help to continue tuning the organizational structure and optimize business processes via understanding the high-level functions of your organization. IT will also help to assess the stage in a life cycle the company is at or the type of jobs that need to be done.  To speed up business speed and compete in a global marketplace, business unit leaders need IT to ensure the availability and reliability of their business process automation tools/technology. IT should help the business remove the waste via continuous consolidation, modernization, automation, integrating, and optimizing. IT can glue the pieces of functions into the coherent set of differentiated business competency. IT has the necessary structure, engineering discipline, scientific methodologies and efficient tools in shaping the new box of thinking and managing emergent digital complexities with the new digital characteristics,  such as hyperconnectivity, hyper-diversity, and hyper-dynamism. Fundamentally, change consists of one or more of the fundamental business elements, and IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all important change elements effortlessly and make change sustainable.

People change: People are the weakest link, also the very reason for any changes. Accelerating the speed of changes and riding ahead of the change curve take strategy, technology, and methodology. Digital is the age of people and options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they conduct digital transformation and implement changes, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. From a talent management perspective, IT skill gap is the reality, not fiction. Hence, IT changeability is dependent on its people, whether they can step out of comfort zone, overcome change inertia, continue to learn, continue to innovate, and update performance management practices for getting digital ready. From a customer management perspective, tactically, IT needs to champion intuitive and easy to use customer tailored solutions to achieve specified goals and optimize the customer experience in a continuous delivery way. A real customer-centric approach permeates into everything about the way the CIO leads in the business.  Change Management is all about balancing the key business success elements impacting changes such as people, strategies, processes, procedures, and IT. When IT becomes the linchpin to build people-centric changeability, it is on the right track for “built to change.”

Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, organizations have to enable the desirable emergent property, either being called synergy or ongoing change capability because they are the business competency and key differentiator to build high-performing digital businesses. IT is a key attribute to business capabilities for building a high-performance enterprise. IT is an integrator to weave all important change elements seamlessly and make people change, process change, and technology change sustainable. The digital IT should focus on driving, enabling and orchestrating business change and digital transformation in the areas of integration of best-of-breed tools/services and innovation, “built to change.”


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