Sunday, November 19, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Run IT as the “Digital Energizer” of the Business?

Running IT as the digital energizer is about accelerating business performance, unleashing business potential, and nurturing collective creativity.

Digital is about hyperconnectivity, change, fierce competition, and people-centricity. A digital business ecosystem is open, fluid, dynamic and energetic because the speed of change is exponentially increasing, and closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company. IT plays a crucial role in digital paradigm shift because IT can weave all important business factors into differentiated organizational competency, information is intangible and becomes the most precious business asset in digital businesses. Traditional IT organizations are often perceived as a cost center, money sucker, and change laggard, but modern digital IT organizations today can streamline digital flow, refine, energize, and innovate business to reach the high level of business maturity.

Keep positive energy flow: The classic organizational management usually enhances silos and overly rigid hierarchy, thus, businesses get stuck in stagnation, lack of responsiveness and changeability. Digital means flow, information flow, knowledge flow, mind flow, and business flow. Organizations, like individuals, need to be in flow to operate smoothly, to exercise for keeping energized. It is important to create positive change for tomorrow as well as the moment. IT can digitize the enterprise platform for idea brainstorming, fostering a collaborative relationship, and harnessing cross-functional communication. Keep an open mind and keep positive energy flow, cool down stressed people before they stress others. Organizational structure and processes should be optimized continually to enable digital flow. People need to be developed and grown so the positive energy can flow and collective human capabilities can really be transformed. IT plays a critical role in energizing digital business, to make sure information and interaction flow in every direction, helping to build up trust by bonding people around clear and benevolent intentions. When there is an interchange of thoughts, we begin accepting and opening to newness and transforming to innovate together.

Be allergic to “comfort zone”: Many IT organizations still get stuck in the old comfort zone to “Keep the lights on” only. Change inertia is one of the biggest challenges in business management for many companies. Some say change is not a problem, the primary reason for change failure is resistance to change while the second reason is the inability of leaders to deal with resistance. In fact, resistance is a natural phenomenon. In science, resistance takes different forms based on what is affected. For solid objects, it is usually friction or external force. For electricity, it is ohms. Look at resistance to change as a source of energy and where there is energy there is still passion and potential. It takes courage, motivation, discipline, and persistence to get out of comfort zone. Due to the changing nature of technology and exponentially increasing information, the velocity of IT is more frequent than some other areas of the organization. It requires IT leaders to proactively listen to customers and do more with innovation. Change or innovation cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the organization. The digital organization of the future is designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of challenges, to break down silos, and overcome complacency. It also requires IT leaders and professionals to constantly reappraise their skills, knowledge, and management approach to tailor organizational needs, get out of the comfort zone, enforce innovate IT management practices to produce valuable, sustainable, and adaptable services and products.

Running IT in the fast lane: Traditional IT organization are often perceived as the part of the company slow to change. Running IT in the fast lane means to speed up the organizational vehicle, not just IT. IT has to reinvent itself via evolving change proactively and retool the business via optimizing the underlying business functions and processes. The latest digital technologies and collaborative tools provide great opportunities for the business to optimize the organizational design for improving cross-functional communication, mass collaboration, and harness innovation. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. Information brings about business ideas and insight; business ideas generate lots of information. It is so critical to streamlining information flow across functional boundaries because fundamentally, information management is to make sure that the right information is in the right place at the right time and shared to the right persons, to make the right decisions, and further lead effective business execution to deliver tailored business solutions for catalyzing business growth and make a leap of digital transformation

Running IT as the digital energizer is about accelerating business performance, unleashing business potential, and nurturing collective creativity. A digital organization is a living business in the relationship with its environments, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and above all enhances and supports the creative human spirit via connecting, discovery, and experimentation.


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