Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Three Conditions to Achieve IT Excellence

IT is the huge and expensive investment in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance," "process" or "people," “Information” or “innovation.
With the fast pace of change and overwhelming growth of information, IT management excellence is one of the most important pillars of running a high-performance digital IT organization. To keep IT relevant, IT needs to shift from the “surviving mode” to “thriving mode.” IT leaders should practice digital management disciplines and create the right conditions for achieving IT excellence and lift overall business maturity.

Prioritization: Every business and IT organization is at a different stage of the business growth life cycle. Therefore, the “right” answer about the highest IT management priority is that it depends on which of these areas are most in need of improvement in the organization. Businesses struggle on how to assign the limited resources and assets to bring the maximum business return, this is particularly true for IT because many IT organizations are still perceived as the cost center, overloaded, and understaffed. Prioritization helps to focus on the strategic center of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of execution and transparency, to align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives seamlessly. It’s not easy because it requires changing the culture and getting the buy-in of IT resource. The breadth and depth of IT management include people and process (skills, organizational structure, workflow, process efficiency, and effectiveness); To achieve IT management excellence, information, technology, and other IT assets need to be centralized, re-allocated, updated, or replaced if needed to optimize “people and process.” IT operational excellence can only be achieved through consolidation, modernization, integration, optimization, performance management via a broad range of monitoring, and risk management, etc. IT leaders need to create a condition that IT management should work both in IT and on IT, to get the business buy-in, and ensure that IT optimization should not be the be-all and end-all at the expense of the health of the overall organization. And IT can do more on innovation.

People-centricity: People are the most important asset in any business, but often the weakest link. To achieve IT excellence,  the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining the motivation and focus of the people. IT leaders need to create the working condition that talented people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiative and self-confident because they are well trained and supported because the change train becomes unstoppable. When people are at the center of organizational management, operational excellence, customer relationships, corporate brand reputation, and others are built on. In the people-centric organizations, management creates the “digital fitting” condition that the right people with the right skills and capabilities are put in the right positions, if necessary, rotate the position to keep them engaged and developed, to solve the right problems timely. Without the right people, excellence cannot be achieved. People make or break a company, therefore, should be given the highest priority.

Continuous improvement: Achieving IT excellence is more as the journey than a destination. Making continuous improvement is the path in pursuit of the verb “perfecting,” not for being “perfect” though. An effective CIO’s job is to improve IT management effectiveness, to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and fast-growing information. IT leaders should create the condition that “making a continuous improvement” is the organizational culture -the collective mindset and attitude. Otherwise, complacency is maligned when it comes to optimizing IT operations both in terms of cost and efficiency, people cannot get out of their comfort zone, and IT gets stuck at the lower level of maturity.  Thus, the digital CIO has to look forward and actively position the IT organization in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities and manage IT in a structural way. Digital IT needs to become the change agent of the business. A change agent IT should get deeper understanding the issues facing both internal customers and end customers, identify opportunities for growth and business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of change efforts, to create the “continuous improvement” organizational culture, for enabling and catalyzing the business transformation.

IT is the huge and expensive investment in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance," "process" or "people," “Information” or “innovation.” IT leadership teams need to create the condition for achieving IT management excellence and strive for innovation; for proactively adapting to changes and accelerating digital transformation.


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