Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Multiple Aspects of Driving Success of Digitizing IT

IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, the true value is created at the intersection of many disciplines. 

Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, what technology is expected to do has changed significantly over recent years, although every company has its own circumstances. Overall speaking, IT has become so critical that there’s no function can be run without certain information or technology evolved. IT also has to reinvent itself that it can be perceived as the strategic partner and innovation hub of the business. Here are the multitude of aspects to drive the success of digitalizing IT.

Automation: Many IT departments operate in silos with separate teams delivering separate functional tasks such as backup, monitoring, risk management, server administration, mail administration, etc. The first stage in the journey to automation must be to examine every process and identify how it can be made more efficiently and how it connects to other processes, in order to run more streamlined and profitable operations. To improve productivity, identify and remove inefficiencies and rationalize the manual actions. It has to keep optimizing its process and trimming the cost to keep digital fit. Automation is needed for efficiency to balance the demand and supply. Effective automation should first examine certain functions and understand the connections and define any constraints in the system. Identify any constraining tasks and look to automate these first to reduce the overall delivery cycle for a task. As this process goes along, see what can be automated by using the automation available natively within many of the tools you already have. Developing and delivering tools down to departments and users help those better do their job - the job of more streamlined and profitable operations - is one of the most critical roles for IT.

People-Centricity: Digital is the age of people and operations. Digital IT organization plays a crucial role in either delighting customers or engaging employees, as well as evolving business partners to getting right feedback for making the improvement. It provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things for improving organizational effectiveness and maturity. The part of the digital transformation journey is to prepare people for the new structures and to recognize this is a crucial step. However, for many organizations, people are the center of the business, but also the weakest link in organizations. IT is the linchpin to integrate people, process, and technology for building differentiated business competency as well as a productive working environment in which people are empowered with efficient tools and the right information to get the job well done and do more with innovation. A real customer-centric approach permeates into everything about the way the CIO leads in the business. IT needs to champion intuitive and customer-tailored solutions to achieve specified goals with continuous delivery way.

Revenue-Generation: IT needs to reinvent its reputation from a cost center to a profit center. IT needs to be run as the business. CIOs should perform necessary levels of communication across functionally and make an objective evaluation of how IT can directly contribute to the organization’s top line business growth and associate its efforts directly with sources of income. Communication is key. CIOs should encourage IT teams spending time on the business as well as customers’ side for getting to know what they really need; these engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing ideas for better ways to do things or creating new customer value or revenue. Digital IT organization has to go a step further from IT-business alignment to IT-business integration and IT-customer alignment. IT can help business improve net by eliminating the cost of doing business by various means such as right sourcing & sizing, keeping IT costs flat while at the same time maximizing its output so that when business revenue increasing, IT cost remains the same, which will improve the net value.

Decomplexity: Digital organizations today are overcomplex and interdependent, with hyper-connecting nature and expansive territories. Behind every intuitive user interface or features, there is the certain level of technical complexity in it. However, digital IT is not for complicating things, but about how to fine-tuning business processes or structures to maximizing performance as well as unlocking business potential. In fact, overcoming complication and managing complexity become one of the biggest challenges in businesses today. Every IT initiative is to solve business problems, not a purely technical challenge. Imagine, the future of digital organizations is complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to the change promptly. Further, just like preventing risk is more effective than fixing the problem; avoiding waste is better than eliminating waste. Therefore, it’s important to follow the "SIMPLICITY" principle for maximizing outcome.

Competency Building: Digital IT is like the spinal cord for the organization to integrate various functional capabilities into business competencies. There are two sets of business competency: competitive necessity and differentiated competency. IT should contribute to both. CIOs have to define the set of IT competency to tailor the organizational needs and map to the business strategy management. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, resources, and technology to achieve. IT needs to truly understand stakeholders’ expectations and propose a service/solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and build competitive business capability. Horizontally, compare your set of competency with competitors’ to ensure that it is updated and has the long-term advantage of leading the industry forward.

IT is no longer just that isolated function or a support desk. IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, the true value is created at the intersection of many disciplines. IT-driven digital exploration is all about planning, investing, designing, developing, operating, consolidating, integrating, securing, modernizing, optimizing, balancing, and orchestrating, and last but not least, innovating.


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