Monday, March 26, 2018

Break Through IT Bottlenecks to Get Digital Ready

IT is a business enabler, capability builder and digital catalyzer for the business to reach the era of radical digital.

As businesses move into the digital future, technology is the fastest growing arena and information is growing exponentially. Never before has IT and business been so closely tied together, never before has technology moved more quickly and missteps have larger trajectory impacts on every aspect of the business. Still, many IT organizations are perceived as a controller, slow to changes. Can IT play a critical role in handling the digital intensity, break down the capability and capacity bottlenecks, and ultimately become the business catalyst to drive digitalization?

IT - business communication bottleneck: The gap between IT and business is usually one of the biggest barriers to achieve high performance and run the business with digital speed. IT-business communication bottlenecks exist when IT and business speak their own dialect or move in a different direction. To build effective IT leadership, CIOs must speak the language of the business. As every IT initiative should help to solve problems large or small; an executive interface role between whoever is providing the technology to solve business problems, or help create business opportunities is necessary to fill the gap. CIOs who are pure technologists will fail, but those who already speak the language of business value are at a better place. The best IT leaders are focused on success at all levels - from the success of their own team to the success of the organization, and even the business sector. The strategy implementation bottleneck exists because objectives are not actionable or they have not been communicated properly to the people who are responsible for their delivery. All strategic goals must be communicated to individuals by translating the business objectives into the individuals’ roles and abilities. To break through the bottleneck, top IT performers don't think of themselves as IT guy/gal only, they have the ability to talk and walk on both sides of the fence, and reaching higher IT maturity level of proactively enabling and engaging with the business. They understand the business as well as the business people they work with and focus primarily on solving business problems and creating business capabilities.

IT process & system bottleneck: In many traditional IT organizations, legacy IT systems or outdated processes cause the bottleneck for IT responding to changes timely. They are maintaining apps that they could have almost certainly removed had they engaged their business effectively and allowed their business to make the decision with the actual knowledge and actual business value determination. Some IT organizations are maintaining legacy apps at the most basic level, not carrying out upgrades and systems were decades outside the manufacturer's support, thus increasing business risk and their costs of maintenance. Thus, to break through IT systems bottleneck, IT needs to integrate varying applications and enable workflows between them. Integration is very simply the task of connecting systems so they can share and consume each other's data. The ultimate business goal for IT integration is to maximize the value from existing IT systems and the need for better business performance and responsiveness. Integration can be very difficult, costly and hard to justify the ROI, each "integration" effort can spin off into a chain reaction that may not be recognized until the budget is gone. Therefore, it has to be done with a “big picture” - architecture in mind that supports business strategy and objectives such as revenue growth, margin improvement, and customer satisfaction. Because integrating the right systems for the right business reasons can be extremely valuable.

IT performance bottleneck: Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more and more to overcome in running at digital speed. The causes of IT performance bottleneck have varying perspectives. The process of changing a good business idea into an effective IT solution has become awfully complex and messy in many larger organizations. Too often IT is involved too late in the decision-making process. This results in a dynamic where the business develops enthusiastically shiny plans and goals and IT then has to explain why this cannot be developed and fit into the existing architecture at a reasonable investment. This reinforces the perception that the internal IT department cannot deliver. Unless there are collaborative and mutually understanding environments, the perception is that IT is raising roadblocks. A digital-ready IT is a thresholding competency of the organization, application development needs to bring up the most business value. To break through IT performance bottleneck, the de facto best practices of managing IT portfolio need to include such as, only solve crucial business problems, not for technology's sake, measuring IT performance for improving revenue (enable the business to gain market share), prioritize IT workload, and manage the full application life cycle in a continuous mode.

IT has to continue tuning its processes and systems, enforcing cross-functional communication and collaboration, keep improving performance and repositioning itself as the premium provider of competitive business solutions. It is an enabler of business digital capabilities. IT is a business enabler, capability builder and digital catalyzer for the business to reach the era of radical digital.


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