Monday, May 7, 2018

Insight, Innovation, and Influence of Modern Digital IT

 IT needs to have its own sheet music. You can always change the tone of an old song, rearrange and make it better.

The exponential growth of information, the wave of emerging digital technologies and the tide of “digital transformation” are creating new opportunities for the business to grow and mature. Forward-looking organizations begin to see IT as an integral part of the business, empower IT to lead changes and learn how to strike the right balance between “old” and “new” way to do things. Here is insight, innovation, and influence of modern digital IT organization.

Insight: The abundance of information flow and lightweight technologies make it possible to gain real-time insight and business foresight if organizations are truly being digitized underneath, at the process level. IT plays a crucial role in managing the data-information- knowledge-insight lifecycle. What should be focused on is the integration of IT into the business decisions and processes to be highly responsive and highly insightful. Thus, running digital IT is the foundation to run an intelligent digital organization. Because IT is in a better position to understand the business holistically and forecast the future needs of customers scientifically. Facing digital new normal with the characteristics of velocity, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity, misunderstanding or misinterpretation is the root cause of many businesses or fundamentally human problems. CIOs need to deal with constant ambiguity, unprecedented uncertainty, overwhelming information, interdisciplinary management manners, and multigenerational workforce. Therefore, they should have both business acumen and technical knowledge, getting to understand the whole meaning of functional dialects and business dynamic, as business context aids IT leaders in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not; each of these contexts requires in-depth digital insight both inside-out and outside-in for improving decision effectiveness and taking differentiate management approach. The insight-driven digital transformation can create the synchronization of running all functions seamlessly to build a unique business advantage.

Innovation: IT is the threshold to build innovation as the crucial business capability because any innovation practice today is always a combination of people, process, and technology. Innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a strategic business partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving the business. However, many of today’s C-suites are unaware of what is technologically possible now or in the future. Digital CIOs need to share their vision of where a company should go and how it will get there, how it might be missing out opportunities because of limitation on the understanding of disruptive technology and information potential. In fact, information is one of the most time-intensive pieces of innovation puzzling. IT leaders need to identify the issues associated with innovation in an enterprise actually have developed a unique model and platform for managing a balanced innovation portfolio with both breakthrough innovation and incremental innovation. Being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, and create new things based on its own needs, true knowledge is the optimal solution. IT has to take a holistic approach to handle the investigation of innovative business solutions and create business differentiation. Talented IT professionals are business ‘gurus’ who also happen to be technically proficient, so they can understand the real world business problems deeply and investigate innovative business solutions proactively.

Influence: IT is shifting its role from a support function to a change catalyzer. IT is now considered a driver of a company’s growth strategy rather than just the keep-the-light-on function. As a result, “Chief Influence Officer,” is one of the proper titles for digital CIOs. The CIO’s ability to create fundamental business value is greater than ever. CIOs now have more accountability and visibility than ever before. CIOs not only should have a seat on the table, more importantly, but their intellectual voice also needs to get heard and plays a significant role in co-creating business strategy. The effective CIOs should have excellent working relationships with other business leaders, preparing, listening, questioning and participating. The CIO needs to assume the role of change agent, translator - orchestrator - leader and encourage others to do the same. The IT department should provide guidance, support, assistance, and direction in the application and adoption of information technology solutions, and make the influence on the business’s direction and culture based on systematic understanding, information-based reasoning, and tangible measurement. CIOs who have developed influential competence seek to understand the mindset of all related parties, also be understood by others. Modern corporations are massive, hyperconnected, interdependent complex dynamic ecosystems, the multitude of leadership competency includes openness, courage, temperance, adaptability, creativity, sound judgment, inclusiveness for leading empathetically and managing effortlessly.

IT is and will continue to be, a critical department. The real question is whether IT is seen as a necessary expense - a provider of devices and software - or a true strategic business enabler and a game changer. IT needs to have its own sheet music. You can always change the tone of an old song, rearrange and make it better. Reimaging and reinventing IT is a strategic imperative. There is no secret recipe for running modern digital IT. every CIO must both "walk the talk and talk the walk,” based on their own strength, mix candor with openness, leverage humility and courage to convey business insight, drive innovation and make influence to get digital ready.


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