Sunday, April 22, 2018

Three Highlight of CIO’s Digital Agenda

IT leaders should build a comprehensive agenda with a few crucial highlights to drive digital transformation with focus.

With overwhelming growth of information and increasing pace of changes, businesses across sectors are moving from industry speed to digital speed. IT becomes so pervasive and critical, Information Technology should be seen by any business as a “digital game changer.” But from here to there is not a spontaneous adventure, it’s a well-planned, step-wise and non-stoppable journey. How can CIOs lead change confidently and what are the important highlight of the CIO's digital agenda?

Rejuvenate digital thinking of IT: Traditional IT organizations are often the “order taker,” waiting for the business request without taking enough initiatives to drive change proactively. Traditional CIOs are perceived as the IT geeks who do not spend enough time on practicing strategic thinking and innovative thinking about IT’s long-term competitive advantage. Thus, to make the digital paradigm shift, it starts with IT leaders and professionals who can think “out of the box” more often and broaden their lens to understand the business outside-in and doing more with innovation. At today’s information-driven business dynamic, there’s no shortage of problems to tackle, it’s all about to be able to get all the way around the task, to see it from all interests. It is IT responsibility to identify opportunity for business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of transformation efforts? One of the major sources of the divide that segregates business and IT is the communications dialog - the lexicon used to communicate with people. One of the many paths to attempt to close IT-business chasm and get IT closer to the business is the mindset, words, concept descriptions used. IT needs to be like the startup to keep a growth mindset and manage a shorter products/services delivery cycle. A great CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new technology and abundance of information can create fresh new opportunities. CIOs will spend time with peer executives one on one to explain the shift in thinking, only with the support of top executive teams, they can row the boat. The CIO is at a unique position in driving business transformation and needs to handle it cautiously but firmly.

Reinforce IT accountability: While CIOs need to be prepared to invest in the future, they cannot ignore the benefits of properly leveraging what already exists. To push the digital agenda forward, it is an opportunity to demonstrate the execution of responsibility. There is no doubt IT plays a more critical role in both improving business bottom line (keeping the light on, efficiency) and top-line growth (innovation, capability building, and performance acceleration). Proposing new technologies would be the final touch. As IT leaders, the goal in this regard should be focused on business outcomes via evolving IT systems at the pace of business need to provide such knowledge while reducing the cost of the IT asset. Transparency can help IT leaders tell a story. In the end, it is not about technology, but what technology can do when it is enabling and integrating with change management and business processes to deliver strategic differentiation. IT needs to proactively solve the problems with setting priority right. A good relationship between business and IT becomes visible by clearly defining tasks, authorities, and responsibilities. Without your peers' collaborating, the work will become much harder - to get as many people pulling in the same direction. Ensuring high-performing, high-reliable and high-proactive IT is the key success factor in organizational digital transformation.

Refine IT reputation: IT needs to move up its maturity from a reactive support function to a proactive game changer. CIOs have to get the transformation agenda right to refine IT reputation. Determining IT brand identity begins with questioning the business fundamental and concept clarification: What is the vision for your company? What is the mission of the IT Department? How does the IT Department see itself as contributing to the company’s mission? What are the products and services that are offered by the IT Department? What value do these products and services bring to the company? What would happen if the IT Department did not provide these services? Who is the target market for these products and services? How does business functions perceive IT? What are competency necessities, what are differentiated competency? To put simply, IT faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation, also needs to take more responsibility as a true business partner. o build the good credibility and reputation. IT tends to measure itself against trivial things IT considers important but are often less important and impactful through the business lens. To refine IT reputation, IT leaders have to be able to demonstrate in very tangible ways that IT understands business, IT needs to be perceived as the change department of the company. The challenge for the IT leader is to set the right priority, manage the limited budget and resource, for “doing more with Innovation,” and making continuous improvement.

The pervasive digitization requires both business and technology professionals to rethink how things are done in organizations. IT leaders should build a comprehensive agenda with a few crucial highlights to drive digital transformation with focus. The “reach and range” flexibility now exists removes barriers that have existed in the past. The business-engaged CIO is an accepted leader to run a contemporary IT organization with the great reputation.


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