Friday, October 20, 2017

Three “DO”s and “DON’T” in IT Digital Transformation

Digital transformation should not be undertaken lightly because it must align diverse and divergent stakeholders' interests toward a common goal, and practice many “DOs,” and “Don’ts” fluently.

Digitalization is about the rapid changes and continuous business flow, The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer delight and achieve high performing business result and build a people-centric organization. IT has to not only transform itself but become a changing organization to drive business transformation. Here are three “DOs and “Don’ts” in IT digital transformation.

Don’t “Just do it,” DO think it through first: IT needs to shift from transactional to transformational mode. Therefore, IT leaders should also shift from being an operational manager “just do it,” to a business strategist to think things through beforehand. Transformation needs to be led by transformational leaders. Find those who thrive on change, that's a good start. Running digital IT needs to work both in the business and on the business, cross boxes instead of within the box. IT must build a close relationship with the business. IT transformation means rationalizing current IT department and planning to partner with the business to provide tailored services and solutions in new ways. Because one of the pitfalls is that too often transformational change is acted on the basis of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization. If IT leaders don’t think things through, they might only fix the symptom rather than real issues or they put too much emphasis on the short-term gain without long-term perspectives. IT should always think ahead and leverage the advanced digital technologies, to build the 'right' bridge between IT and business. Digital transformation is a journey, businesses need to understand the change and complexity nature of IT, while IT can lead the charge by simply not taking their customer for granted and focusing on customers as if they were in a competitive market. IT leaders need to keep doing self-check: (1) Planning - are we doing the right things - Make business effectiveness assessment. Because, if you have a process that is "wrong," the application of technology will simply make getting "wrong" quicker. (2) Are we doing them the right way - Processes, people, and business efficiency evaluation. (3) People - Are we getting them done well? Manage a healthy cycle of Planning, Action, and Adjusting.

Don’t panic, DO keep focus: Digital transformation involves risks. There are many reasons to be panic. Great opportunity, danger, digital convenience, and disruption are around every corner. Digital transformation is not for the fainted heart. IT leadership needs to shift their management orientation and begin thinking like entrepreneurs. Digital leaders must be able to look forward and actively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities. IT will not "be the business" if it does not focus on the top prioritized business initiatives. IT transformation focuses on goals of business innovation. To manage innovation in a structural way, you need to frame the creative processes and leverage limited resources to keep focus, set time limits, apply varying thinking techniques for managing innovation portfolios in a more productive and sustainable way. The risk is part of innovation. When IT leaders shift from “risk-avoidance,” to “risk management and risk intelligence” mentality, they can stop the panic, stay focus, weigh risks and rewards, take prudent risks and discover better ways to mitigate risks rather than eliminate it and embrace business growth opportunities proactively.

Don’t get stuck, DO adapt and promote: Most IT organizations get stuck at the lower level of maturity for so long, only be comfortable as a support function. However, with the fast pace of changes and continuous digital disruptions, IT is at the crossroad to either become irrelevant or move up to the next level the digital maturity. At the individual level, people resist change because "they don’t get it, they don’t like it, or they don’t like the person creating it.” When senior management allows ineffective management practices to become the norm, people at all levels often become complacent and ineffective. After all, most people have come to believe it's easier and safer to adapt to a culture rather than promote or initiate change. Thus, it is important to build the working environment, make implementing change welcome, not fearful. You need problem solvers, change agents, customer champions and innovators, and those who can think forward, dig deeper, see through the issues, look around and beneath the corner, and work smarter. Empower change leaders and recognize change agent as the lightning rod in the thorny change journey and advocate the culture of continuous improvement.

Digital transformation should not be undertaken lightly because it must align diverse and divergent stakeholders' interests toward a common goal, and practice many “DOs,” and “Don’ts,” to transform an order-taker IT to change agent IT, and from a transactional IT to innovative IT.


Hi! If you'd like to read some more about digital transformation, this article is worth having a look at: Quite an informative one!

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