Sunday, January 7, 2018

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter V: The CIO as “Chief Instrument Officer”

Digital CIOs can conduct the music of balance to inspire innovation and enforce standards. 

We are experiencing the major shift from the industrial machine age to the post-industrial information and digital era. A digital paradigm is an emerging digital ecosystem of principles, policies, and practices that set limits or boundaries, and also offers the guidance for problem-solving or creating something new under the digital rules, keep information flow and achieve a state of dynamic digital balance. IT is the linchpin of the digital ecosystem, and CIOs play an instrumental role in chartering a multidimensional digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

IT needs to play its own sheet music: Although it’s a collective responsibility for both senior leadership team and the board of directors to lead business transformation and orchestrate digital symphony. With IT becoming increasingly important in the exponential digital era, the CIO needs to conduct the complex and significant piece of sheet music, IT is no longer just the background music. Take that away, and you run the risk of the orchestra stopping altogether or at least, planing the wrong tone, and IT will turn to be irrelevant as well. To run a digital-ready IT, the CIO must be attuned to the business’s IT needs and work with all stakeholders to ensure they have the right tools to execute and the business won’t miss the opportunity to grow. CIOs as digital leaders have to lead the real-time global organization via cross-functional, cross-geographical, and even cross-industrial communication and collaboration. IT provides important structures and frameworks to streamline processes and enable the digitalization. Thus, digital CIOs can conduct the music of balance to inspire innovation and enforce standards as well.

Scale IT as the digital ecosystem linchpin: The emergent digital technologies blur the functional, business, and geographical territories so information can flow more freely across the business ecosystem. IT plays as a digital linchpin. Scaling IT means that digital CIOs can run IT both in the business and on the business to evolve different stakeholders as active agents who can evolve brainstorming and participate changes, combine the modular capabilities exposed in the digital platform to create new experiences and expand its impact with faster speed. The digital business ecosystem is open, fluid, dynamic, and energetic. To scale IT influence, it is important for IT to look for providing business solutions which will directly benefit the external end customers and improve competitive business advantages.

Practice real-time information/knowledge management: With “VUCA” digital new normal, to survive the fierce competition and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more planning, adjustment, and speed. So, running a real-time digital organization starts by providing real-time information management solutions to conquer the dynamic digital management challenge. It means that IT can provide seamless information accessibility and availability, transparency, and visibility, and ensure people can leverage the right information timely to make the right decisions. It is about how to take the multidisciplinary approach to achieve organizational goals by making the best use of its information. Real-time collaboration is all about real-time sharing, active listening, transparency and adapt to changes with the right speed.

The digital boundary is not a straight line, and the journey of digitalization will not be flat. Thus, CIOs as “Chief Instrument Officer” need to understand their environment and playing field effortlessly to develop a dynamic game plan, harness identified opportunities and manage the zigzag digital transformation seamlessly.


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