Thursday, September 21, 2017

Three “DE” Efforts to Rejuvenate IT to get Digital Ready

CIOs have to reimagine IT on how to unleash the full potential of running a digital organization via management innovation with some necessary “DE” efforts.

Due to the disruptive force of technology and exponential growth of information, more and more innovative organizations empower their IT organization to lead digital transformation at the front.  IT organizations today can no longer hide behind the scene and get stuck at the lower level of maturity to keep the lights on only or feel struggled to make an alignment with the business. IT organization has to reinvent itself for adapting to the increasing speed of changes and becoming more nimble about updating technology and managing information effectively. IT has to learn how to disrupt itself first, here are three “DE” efforts to rejuvenate IT.

Deprogram old mindsets: The traditional IT organization often has a controller’s mindset, and “we always do things like that” mentality. However, to improve its management maturity from reacting to changes to proactively driving change and business transformation, IT has to deprogram old mindsets, let go of “the voice from the past,” figure out the better way to do things and do more with innovation. We need an intuitive and innovative approach for the logical breakthrough! Forward-looking IT organizations strive to become the innovation hub of the business, keep information flow, idea flow, and reprogram the collective minds with new perspectives, norms, and attitudes. To deprogram old mindsets, IT leaders should empower their innovators and intrapreneurs who live and breathe in an intellectual world, brainstorm a lot, experiment a lot, debate a lot, to build a culture of creativity. It is like recode the DNA of the business,  challenging, but establishing a new blueprint for how top management should create the digital future reality.

Demystify IT investment puzzle: Organizations invest significantly in IT with the intention to gain the long-term competency. But many business stakeholders feel IT investment is still like a mysterious puzzle with too many variables. Is IT too costly? That’s debatable. IT is too costly if it only keeps the lights on without adding further value to exceed the business’s expectation. The high-performance IT organization has higher performance-cost ratio today than ever. If you break down the costs into functional units, though the overall spending is higher as IT intends to achieve more, the cost has come down. Lack of business justification and miscommunication are also the causes to make IT investment mysterious. Often times, the business crowd wrongly equate IT solutions with concerns of expensive technical difficulties and the IT crowd builds more out of its own know-how than the need of the business client, thereby not serving its wish to earn that seat at the table. The optimistic view is that technology becomes cheaper than ever these days, IT leaders have to enforce communication with different stakeholders and build an effective IT management portfolio with transparency and measurable return on investment.
De-risk IT management: The digital era is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Digital organizations are always-on and hyperconnected. IT is not a function that can be handled inside the IT department only or by IT managers only. IT failure is caused by the management of IT rather than just IT management. Without top management’s support and cross-functional collaboration, the managers in the IT department are perhaps working in the dark to exercise mushroom management, which increases the risk and decelerates digital transformation. To de-risk IT management in the digital transformation, it is important to identify the chasms. We live in an era of information abundance, the result is the higher risk of conflict and inertia, not something the organization wants in a global business environment that demands responsiveness, innovation, speed, and flexibility to succeed. Thus, it is important to de-risk IT management via enforcing communication and collaboration cross-functionally, cross-organizationally, and cross-industrially.

CIOs have to reimagine IT on how to unleash the full potential of running a digital organization via management innovation with some necessary “DE” efforts. IT and business have to work as the whole to achieve “the art of possible,” derive the most appropriate strategy and deployment. It is important to take a structural approach and make a continuous improvement in running a highly responsive, high-performing, and highly mature digital IT organization.


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