Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Reflection, Reinterpretation, and Reinforcement for Reinvent IT to Get Digital Ready

To improve IT maturity, IT needs to develop their own set of best or next practices, change the emphasis to an “outside-in” approach. 

The purpose of digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of organizational maturity. The IT organization needs to be reinvented to achieve its own potential and help the business maximize its overall performance as well. Besides the disruptive digital technology trends and overwhelming information growth, IT effects in radical digital tuning are to be an integrator in knitting all important business factors, to improve business responsibility, flexibility, innovativeness, speed, customer-centricity, and performance. Here are three practices to reinvent IT for getting digital ready.

Reflection: Due to the disruptive nature of technology, IT simply cannot stand still. It shouldn’t just react to changes as well, digital IT organizations need to become the change agent of the business. Thus, it’s important for CIOs to spend time on doing IT evaluation and reflection, stepping out of the routine transactional activities for a while, and reimagine the new possibility to run an innovative digital IT organization. In practice, IT leaders have been tech nerds for too long, not taking interest in innovation, not taking enough initiatives to drive business changes. Therefore, IT reflection needs to focus on strengthening its strength and improving its weakness. CIOs should make an objective assessment of their leadership impact and IT maturity- Are you there to just keep the lights on, or is IT expected to actively take part in strategic decisions or innovative initiatives? Do you want to lead change efforts at your company? Does IT stretch, challenge, or interrupt the status quo? Does IT expand the zone of possible change and innovation? How will IT have to change to meet the shifting needs of the company? Is IT in a high-involvement process to make the digital paradigm shift? Does IT drive team building and organizational learning? What is the business perception of IT organization? Do IT leaders have a seat for making contributions to strategy development? Can IT delight both internal and end customers well? Can IT strike the right balance between driving innovation and setting standard; catching opportunities and preventing risks? CIOs need to evaluate the overall IT manageability, innovation capability, skill gaps and ensure IT is on the right track for progression and moving up to the high level of organizational maturity.

Reinterpret business-IT conversation from inside out to outside in lens:
The gap between IT and business is often one of the biggest barriers to run a highly responsive and high-performance digital organization. The seamless connectivity between IT and business lies in using the common business language to help businesses cross that bridge to IT. Sometimes, IT misinterprets the business requirement with the result of wrong delivery and poor customer satisfaction; or at the other times, the business lacks an in-depth understanding of the IT complexity. More specifically, the “Lost in translation” syndrome is caused by mistakes that most organizations make in business communication that fails to translate the high-level language of strategy into the professional language of the various staff specialty for execution. if these symptoms exist, it's important to reinterpret business-IT conversation from the outside-in business lens. A good “interpreter” can leverage contextual intelligence and multidisciplinary business perspectives with respect to make a positive influence on pulling progressive communication ahead, focus on commercial business outcomes, not just technical throughput. It’s also about how to leverage open, creative, and interactive communication styles to bridge the gaps and connect the minds and hearts, to enforce IT-business mutual understanding, and ensure that IT staff understanding the commercial end point of their work and being able to think IT from the outside-in business lens.

Reinforce IT value proposition as the strategic business partner: IT and business should build the reciprocal relationship to ensure they work collaboratively to run an integrated digital organization. It is simply not enough to run IT as a support function or help desk only. IT needs to be embedded into the business for driving changes and catalyzing innovation and act as a strategic business partner for guiding digitalization and making the enterprise more competitive and successful. It is all about enforcing communication, enhancing collaboration, improving transparency, and building trust. High-performing digital IT organizations have to reinforce a set of clearly defined digital principles, take process improvement and business optimization as a journey, scale up and amplify digital effects. it's important to foster IT-enabled business models and business capabilities through a combination of existing and emerging technologies or information-based insight. Deliver the innovative capabilities to capture first-mover advantages. When businesses get hit by challenges or problems, especially at the strategic level, they come to IT for getting further ideas, they start seeing IT as an integral part of the business and not just a business enabler.

Organizations shouldn’t just response to exponential changes and continuous digital disruption in a reactive way. To improve IT maturity, IT needs to develop their own set of best or next practices, change the emphasis to an “outside-in” approach, run IT in a digital mode to enable ongoing business strategy execution, optimize business processes, drive information-based organizational culture, and catalyze business growth and innovation.


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