Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Three Coherent Efforts to Reshape Digital IT

The focus of IT needs to get back to big “I”s such as information, intelligence, innovation, integration, and improvement.

IT faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation, also needs to take more responsibility as a true business partner. IT is the business in the business and the digital engine of the entire organization. However, there is no magic format to run a digital organization, every IT organization has to experiment, learn, explore, and discover the better way to reinvent a digital IT organization, rationalizing current IT department and planning to partner with the business to provide tailored services and solutions in new ways. Here are three coherent efforts to reshape IT to get digital ready.

Reshape IT organizational structure: IT can no longer be run as an isolated function, it must become an integral part of the business. From the organizational structure perspective, the most common anecdote is how managers/leaders tend to restructure if they sense things are becoming dysfunctional, and often with mixed results. You need leverage the latest digital platforms and technologies to fine tune an organization with digital characteristics aligned, having less organizational layers and optimized structure so that everyone is the organization is closer to the organizational leadership, align individuals’ daily tasks with the business’s goals, having some sort of direct line to provide people opportunities to contribute to the business objectives and innovation. The purpose is to improve productivity, enforce communication and collaboration, optimize business processes, and rejuvenate the culture of innovation. Keep in mind, before e you could create a new IT structure, you have to make sure it’s not just in alignment with the organizational "culture," but also, help to cultivate the culture of innovation in the entire company. To take advantage of the latest technologies, many organizations today adopt the hybrid organizational structure that creatively blends structured and unstructured processes to harness innovation efforts rather than overcoming organizational hurdles and pushing against structural boundaries.

Reshape IT Application Portfolio Management: IT leaders today need to strike the right balance of “run, grow and transform.” Nowadays, more and more new applications or new versions of the existing application will be delivered on Saas models, ease of management and capacity elasticity will provide significant incentives for migrating in that direction. What's missing in many organizations though is the CIO's ability to question the business's requirements and justifications. Portfolio management is essential to successful corporate governance and as such, a comprehensive fusing of a firm's strategic capabilities. To keep relevant, IT needs to build dynamic and differentiated business competency with continuous delivery. They also have to advocate for "departmental immersion" and other strategies to help IT become seamlessly integrated and aware of the organization as a whole. From the budgeting perspective, continue to figure out how to reshape a healthy IT application portfolio with an ideal ratio to both “keep the lights on” and drive innovation, digitalization, and business growth for the long run.

Reshape digital workforce management: IT skill gap is a reality. There is a high rate of employee disengagement either in IT or the entire business. There is a disconnect between IT short-term staff needs and long-term strategic competency perspectives. Traditional competency model puts too much focus on the quantified result, without doing enough for consideration of long-term potential realization. Therefore, reshape digital workforce management is imperative for driving the next level of IT organizational maturity. It is important to take an interdisciplinary management approach to integrate talent management, performance management, culture management, and change management into a holistic workforce management approach. Digital CIOs need to exemplify innovation leadership and create an open, creative and productive working environment, inspire authenticity, encourage the growth mindset, create synergy by putting the right people with the right capabilities in the right positions to solve the right problems at the right time.

Reshaping IT to keep digital fit needs to take the cohesive effort, the focus of IT needs to get back to big “I”s such as information, intelligence, innovation, integration, and improvement, to run IT as the business in the business; to leverage IT to unleash business potential and to actually consider changing the model to meet what the future may be bringing, and make a leap of digitalization.


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