Monday, January 1, 2018

Digital CIO’s New Year IT Effectiveness Checklist

Highly effective CIOs deliver incremental and differentiated values to business and is charismatic to align well with people to execute and continue improving IT management effectiveness. 

IT organization continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. Forward-looking IT organizations move from a technology-driven back-office function to become an information-oriented digital engine. IT needs to shift from an order taker to an order shaker, from inside-out operation driven to outside-in customer-centric. Do right things to run an effective IT before doing things right to make IT efficient. So, what should be put on the digital CIO’s IT effectiveness checklist at the beginning of the New Year?

Bridging the gap between IT and the business is an important issue about changes: The CIO must be the change agent and be a good catalyst for the business to differentiate by leveraging of IT, be it internal or not. A mature IT organization is the one that can quickly and safely assess all of the consequences of a possible change and devise effective plans to achieve and sustain those changes and to do this continuously.  The point is that how you make changes to anything without knowing all the parts and how they are related? IT is in the unique position to oversee the underlying business processes and structure, IT is also the superglue to integrate all important business elements to the differentiated business capabilities. It is important to assess the current state of changeability with key elements such as people, process, and technology. It is also important to first understand how much change capability is really required for the digitization effort you are kicking off. It takes a logical scenario to manage change lifecycle and build changeability step-wisely. Organizations can make major leaps forward in change capability by involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to drive performance improvement. Therefore, making necessary changes and changing them in the right way are the important issues which should be put on the digital CIO’s IT effectiveness checklist.

Information Management effectiveness is always the top issue in the IT effectiveness checklist: Digital CIOs and effective IT are business information masters, who play the significant role in capturing business/customer insight and bridging cognitive differences. Information Management is the systems and processes which are implemented to access, process, and refine information into business insight and foresight. Today, many organizations/ businesses are shallow in the corporate knowledge. Information/Knowledge Management is the management with knowledge as a focus, involves the use of technologies and processes with the aim of optimizing the business value that is generated, and with the goal to improve the organization’s collective learning capabilities. To truly improve Information Management effectiveness, IT needs to gain the better understanding of the business and show that knowledge by talking business to the business. The key to Information Management is integrity. The information has to be approved and as up-to-date as practically possible in a system which can be accessed by people who need it. The business aim is to get the right information to the right person, in the right format and medium, at the right time for making effective decisions.

To improve IT performance effectiveness, the qualified business result is more important than quantified measurement: Assuming an organization believes that metrics can lead to continuous improvement, IT performance effectiveness is about how to qualify the business result, coaching and take leadership practices to guide the team understanding the purpose of measurement and engaging on that. In practice, the management dilemma for IT is that, quite often, productivity metrics are nearly nonexistent in organizations for most of IT functions and monitoring is not an easy task. IT delivers value, but that value is sometimes within a context, and difficult to quantify. The other IT measurement pitfall is that, having too many metrics focused outcomes means the CIO might spend too much time measuring and trying to quantify the benefits, which is very difficult. To improve IT performance effectiveness, define how you will measure success in meeting that purpose and vision, ensure that these measures are quantitative, and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data, and make sure that the strategic goals are on the right track to get implemented, and communicated effectively at the different level of the business.

Highly effective CIOs deliver incremental and differentiated values to business and is charismatic to align well with people to execute and continue improving IT management effectiveness. IT can proactively work as an integral part of the business to capitalize on opportunity via an in-depth understanding of the business and leading the digital paradigm shift smoothly.


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