Monday, April 23, 2018

The Systematic Views of IT Management

The systematic view of Information Technology helps the management understand IT as a living system for moving the business to a dynamic, iterative, integral, and interactive digital flow. 

The digital organization is a complex ecosystem with the blurring line between functions, organizations and geographic locations. Digital exploration is all about planning, investing, designing, developing, operating, consolidating, integrating, securing, modernizing, optimizing, balancing, accelerating, renewing, and orchestrating. IT plays a critical role in knitting all important elements into differentiated business competency. IT is no longer that support function to “keep the lights on” only or an isolated and mechanic function to keep spinning. It is an innovation hub of the company and a change department of the business. How to leverage the Systems Thinking (ST) view for running IT as a “living system” to catalyze business growth and drive digitalization?

The system is more than the sum of its parts: Due to the digital characteristics such as hyperconnectivity and interdependence, Systems Thinking is important for the management to understand the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, look at each function in the enterprise as a system and then finding a unified means of looking at the essence. The digital organization is an organic system which needs to keep growing and expanding. Systems Thinking helps digital leaders discover the interconnectivity and interdependence of the digital business ecosystem, improve business processes and optimize business capabilities. From the management perspective, Systems Thinking helps business leaders and managers today understand the variety of business relationship, optimize management processes which help to reduce tensions, frictions, and conflict that arise; enforce interrelational communication and collaboration. When a system produces "bad" side-effects, we may wish to intervene. From IT management perspective, an effective CIO’s job is to leverage system view and take the structural approach to improve operations by reducing the waste and burden on the company, and understanding a system is a necessary precondition for effective intervention. Digital management processes are dynamic, robust and antifragile to keep businesses flow and ensure the system as a whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Information Management is a living system if Information' is defined as objective and externally accessible, and fulfill its purpose: Information Management means that the business has the information, the information has the right quality, the information is used properly, and refined into insight to create business value. In most organizations getting stuck at a low level of maturity, data is in dissimilar systems which are being migrated, converted or just staying out due to budget and time constraints. Or in some cases, information is defined as the result of subjective interpretation of data, and thus, it is not accessible from an objective point of view and also is not externalized, it doesn’t fit in its purpose. Perhaps we should first work to identify how information is associated with the tangible value of businesses; products and resources; like information flow in processes, know how to prioritize based on the business needs, communicate extensively, focus on information adoption, be able to mitigate risks and deliver tangible and visible business benefits. The systematic view of Information Management puts the effort of valuing information independent of its association to the value of related tangibles, to ensure information, one of the most invaluable business assets can create or multiply the business value and maximize its return on investment.

IT is a system which has an emergent property of people making sense of experiences in time and place: The information system as pure technology elements (processor, software/firmware, power, enclosure, I/O) is not complete as a “living system,” people are the important element and should be the center of the information-abundant environment. Though in reality, people are often the weakest link in many ineffective organizations. The key differentiator between high performance IT and the average IT is people. To run a people-centric, insightful digital organization, you need to integrate change management and performance management, utilize technology and manage information lifecycle in a structural way. The strategic and structural workforce planning is a responsibility of all functions in the organization, which requires cross-functional collaboration between executive team, managers, finance, marketing, IT and others. Information Management systems have potential to improve the quality of people management, for example, sometimes when the systems are broken, outdated or have severe defects, it decrease productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency either individually or collectively. A powerful IT system can help to build an innovative working environment which stimulates creativity, improves employee engagement and optimizes user experience significantly.

The systematic view of Information Technology helps the management understand IT as a living system with a set of interdisciplinary practices for moving the business to a dynamic, iterative, integral and interactive digital flow. In order to get quality out of anything whether it is people or process, or technology, organizations need to cultivate a climate that is conducive to growth rather than using catch-phrases that make things look good, and truly make business information-savvy and digital ready.


Good post and useful information
Thank you for the post
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