Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Take a Hard Look at IT to Get Ready for Change and Digital Transformation

Take a HARD look at IT from a different angle is critical to ensure IT management is steering in the right decision.

Digital IT has many faces, the technological side is perhaps hidden inside as the business enabler; the business side shows the measurable high-performance business result, the customer side of IT needs to be perceived outside-in, the creative side of IT solve business problems innovatively, and the commercial side of IT helps the company improve profitability, and lift its maturity as the strategic business partner. To develop a good strategy and a practical roadmap, first things first, IT leaders need to take a hard look at IT from all different angles, identify its strength and weakness, problems and potential, in order to get ready for change and drive digital transformation.

Take a wide organizational view and business eco-environmental scan: 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. Companies across sectors ultimately respond to the external environment as geopolitics, economic cycles, rapid innovation, and social expectations change the business landscape and blur the digital territories. Therefore, it is a strategic imperative to broaden IT outlook and envision the bigger picture about digitalization, reimagine the art of possible and maximize IT potential. Digital businesses today are not just working within the industry, they are, in fact, permeating cross-ecosystem which is dynamic, continuous and interactive. Information & Technology today not only help to smell the business growth opportunities based on such an organizational eco-environmental scan and real-time business insight but also knit all important business elements to differentiated organizational competency to adapt to changes. The business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem, first, it needs to be observed from different dimensions, understood in a holistic matter, and then, it needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well. A dynamic digital ecosystem explicitly seeks to energize the business environment where the organization can expand its scope, grow, innovate, and take a long-term perspective, scale performance, and harmonized business relationship.

Taking a DEEP look at what's going on inside the IT organization, including its strengths, weaknesses, problems, and potential: IT leaders should make an objective assessment of IT manageability, strengths, and weaknesses. IT should be highly available and efficient internally that it can keep the lights on at less cost and take minimum time to market. However, many traditional IT organizations spend significant time, cost and resources to maintain the heavy out of date IT system and legacy applications. The overly rigid processes in those IT organizations make IT slow to change and less flexible, and IT systems errors will cause revenue leakage and damage the business's reputation. Therefore, CIOs have to take a deep look at what’s going on inside their organization, because IT plays a crucial role in improving operational efficiency, and optimizing business operation management capacity with a keen eye to grasp growth opportunities, manage risks, and applying lightweight technologies seamlessly.  IT optimization is about leveraging technologies to lower costs, improve operations, and increase revenue. The business-driven IT leaders attend business reviews with various business stakeholders and equally invited those business stakeholders to their IT forums, to share IT innovation, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats present within IT. It is important to take a deep look at what's going on inside IT because IT simply cannot stand still, it has to keep improving.

Taking a HOLISTIC look at the variety of business relationship and interconnectivity: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Today’s organizations are at a crossroads where the segregation or silo of business units are at a need to reach across the aisles and respectively work with each other. It's important to leverage holistic and systems thinking to understand the variety of business relationship and manage the business in a more structural way. Modern digital organizations are not just the sum of functional pieces, but an integral whole to maximize the performance and achieve the customer’s expectation. The business system is complex and the organization is contextual. Without the contextual understanding of people, process, and technology, the blind spots and gaps are inevitable. IT needs to take a holistic look at the relationship and interconnectivity of the organization so it can help to integrate, optimize, and orchestrate business processes to facilitate business outcomes and build an effective digital ecosystem. IT management is the responsibility of the entire company because the information has to flow across functionally in order to capture the real business insight in a comprehensive way. Thus, IT leaders and managers have to gain a contextual understanding of business interconnectivity and focus on building a cohesive set of business competency in which IT is a key element and superglue.

Digital is charming, digital is fluid, digital is also complex. Digital organizations are complex because of hyperconnectivity, velocity, and interdependence, you can’t separate things properly or you can’t predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. Therefore, take a HARD look at IT from a different angle is critical to ensure IT management is steering in the right decision, to discover IT strength and diagnose IT problems, and then make practical strategic planning and the comprehensive roadmap for change and digital transformation.


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