Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Running High-Proficient Digital IT

Running a high proficient IT means a lot of things for digital transformation, such as operational excellence, innovation, performance, change, speed, and maturity, etc.

Although Information technology plays a crucial role in building differentiated business competency in the digital era, more than half of IT organizations still get stuck on the bottom level of maturity, functioning as an isolated support center or a commoditized IT service provider only. To transform IT from controlling to enabling, from reacting to innovating, from efficient to proficient, CIOs need to be clear on what needs to achieve in terms of top line, bottom line and working in tandem with other departments to achieve the strategic business goals and get digital ready.

Operational proficiency: Traditional IT organizations focus on keeping the lights on, taking orders from the business to fix immediate problems, cutting cost to improve business efficiency. This is perhaps OK at the considerably static industrial age, with the slow pace of changes. However, with increasing the speed of changes and continuous digital disruptions, fierce business competitions and “VUCA” digital new normal, an efficient only IT organization is no longer fit to meet the high expectation from the business. IT must ensure that operational business ecosystems not only function as expected, but also achieve operation proficiency via continuous consolidation, modernization, integration, and optimization. IT helps integrate business processes into both necessary and differentiated business outcomes and build an effective digital ecosystem. When IT organizations address both “IT effectiveness” and “IT efficiency,” and have IT resources aligned with the business strategies/objectives; when IT operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, and it can be reapplied to altering business priorities and be effective with little down curve, IT is on the right track to achieve high-level operational efficiency.

Innovation proficiency: IT needs to shift from “Doing more with less,” to “Doing more with innovation.” Innovation is the state which is not easy to reach because innovation management overall has a very low success rate. Even you have ample ideas, it doesn’t guarantee innovation success due to the possible execution gap. Bridging the innovation execution gap requires a step-wise execution scenario with clear stages, performance thresholds, decision-making parameters, change management practices, combined with the iterative learning process that supports wide-ranging exploration at each stage. The intersection of IT and people is where innovation happens. To run an innovative IT organization with high proficiency, the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining their motivation and focus. Being innovate is the state of mind -being able to think differently, and create new things based on meeting the specific needs. IT intrapreneurship becomes a new fixture for management in their efforts to substantiate their competitive position, affect the market landscape, and drive new revenue growth. To improve innovation proficiency, there are a lot of opportunities to clarify the role of IT in leading innovation and catalyzing business growth relentlessly. IT is uniquely positioned to observe processes across the enterprise. Sometimes, when one business area has a new product or ideas that can be used by another, IT leaders can connect the dots to come up with new innovative solutions and scale up to reach the next level of innovation maturity.

IT performance proficiency: Managing IT performance and improving IT reputation means understanding results, setting metrics, adjusting plans, and making effective decisions to ensure the strategic goals are on the right track to get implemented, and communicated effectively at the different level of the business. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. Effective IT management means understanding every part of the operation and every workflow process. IT performance measures should be quantitative and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data. To achieve IT performance proficiency, IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. The only way to do this is to show a clear link to top executives between IT efficiency and productivity/ top-line revenues. Your measures should cover all areas that contribute to value creation including service quality, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, innovation benefit, and financial outcomes. This is an important step in building IT reputation as a strategic business partner.

IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business change and digital transformation. Running a high proficient IT means a lot of things for the digital transformation, such as operational excellence, innovation, performance, change, integration, modernization, optimization, intelligence, value creation, speed, and maturity, etc. IT management must get a feeler of the business view. IT must be measured from a business viewpoint. And at the high level of maturity, IT is the game changer of the digital transformation.


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