Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Digital CIOs’ Digital Practices

Learning the business is a must for the CIO to come up with the experiential knowledge coupled with information for enabling and empowering the enterprise.

Uncertainty and ambiguity are key challenges for business leaders today, it implies that digital leaders must leverage information and technology to capture the business insight and adapt to changes, learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting uncertain issues of tomorrow. To keep IT relevant, IT organizations must move from a technology-driven back-office function to become an information-oriented digital engine. IT should focus on doing things matter today for its business, also lift the vision on the horizon for long-term business prosperity. Digital CIOs need to follow digital principles and develop the best and next practices to improve digital fluency and overall business maturity.

Enhancing digital management by creating 360-degree views: Digital means hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The classic management based on reductionistic disciplines sometimes enforces silo thinking, hierarchy, and bureaucracy. Building an evolving digital organization is to advocate the concept of “business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.” It’s important for digital leaders and managers today for learning to think the systemic wholeness, in terms of how to break down silos between functions and shared goals. Creating 360-degree view is the practice that has the necessary abilities (context-relevant requisite variety) to engage with the extended flow of change in the world and shape it and influence its 'trajectory' at the moment. Enhancing the holistic digital view means that not only are you open to the possibilities of change but also can sense significant indicators, reason about them and have the appropriate 'complexity worthiness' to act 'effectively.' When digital leaders can embrace “holism” in their ways of thinking and problem-solving, they can fully understand the challenges, paradoxes, and opportunities organizations face today and overcome the challenges of constructing and enacting a highly responsive and high-performance digital organization.

Enabling new digital services and adding new revenue streams through digital computing: Leading organizations reinvent IT from a cost center to a business value creator. The general expectation of IT has changed. Not only are they being seen as an enabler, but they are also now mandatorily required to give ROI for the investments. Top-notch CIOs in various industries are creating new ways to pull in revenue at their companies, also work with the business on plugging revenue leakages. With emerging digital technologies, IT leaders are developing innovative business initiatives that increase revenue, aim to delight customers and generates additional revenue. Business people with revenue-enhancement initiatives often don't request IT to support them because they don't know what IT can do. Thus, IT leaders should communicate with other business managers more proactively, to find these business opportunities and then talk with the business managers responsible for them about what could be done. CIOs also need to concentrate on the business information requirements that support the company’s growth. it's the value (often undervalued) of corporate information as a resource and defining how it should be used strategically to best business advantage.

Optimizing operational costs to achieve business efficiency and effectiveness: Keeping the lights on is still fundamental. The CIO’s job is to improve operational excellence by reducing the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies, improving business efficiency and effectiveness. IT needs to continue fine-tuning its own process and underlying business processes to achieve operational excellence via consolidation, modernization, integration, optimization, innovation., etc. IT also needs to leverage the latest technologies or tools to continue trimming cost or retooling processes. There is never "enough" for optimizing operations and fine-tuning differentiated business capabilities. Avoiding waste is better than eliminating waste. It’s important to follow simplification principles to build “as little as possible,” but maximize outcome. Make sure redundancy will be simplified, and operational costs processes can be totally optimized.

Learning the business is a must for the CIO to come up with the experiential knowledge coupled with information for enabling and empowering the enterprise. IT provides an important structure and framework to lead digitalization systematically, but also develop a set of digital practices for improving IT effectiveness and delivering significant value to the business.


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