Friday, July 27, 2018

Three Aspects of IT-Woven Digitalization Framework

IT has to continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and an innovative game changer. 

Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interactions in today’s dynamic digital ecosystem. IT provides an important structure and framework to streamline the processes and orchestrate the digital transformation. The well-developed IT-led digital transformation framework laser focuses on the strategic goals and maintains the digital balance for driving change in a structural way.

Develop a holistic strategy to leverage emerging digital technologies, and take a step-wise approach for digitalization: Any business looks ways to grow, innovate, and transform should take a structural way to improve the success rate. The digital strategy is essential to drive changes holistically and it requires a new way of viewing the organization through the collaboration, rather than silo lens. The traditional understanding of IT strategy has been shifted from supporting the functional level of business strategy to be the core of designing business strategies and creating the differentiated marketing value. In reality, the level of “silos” in many organizations remains still far too high. That means those IT leaders with the ability to break down organizational silos can bring unique value to the enterprise by sharing the technological vision and operating IT as the linchpin of the business. IT can contribute significantly and directly to the business model and strategic direction. Make sure the top executive team first understands what are key elements (such as emerging digital technologies) to drive the future business growth; and then, put the well-designed framework in place to map the strategic objectives Key Performance Indicators, and determine what information & technology investment will accelerate the changes you want to see in your performance indicators. Keep in mind, the soft elements such as leadership, communication, and culture are as important as the hard aspects such as process, platforms, or tools. The full digital potential of the business cannot be unleashed until the structural framework is put in the place and the step-wise approach is taken for driving the radical change step-by-step.

Examine the company’s needs to identify information-powered business opportunities that will be most beneficial and will yield the best ROI:
Besides people, information is the most invaluable asset which can help the organization discover the growth opportunities, and drive the progress of a business. When IT becomes only the mechanism for realizing a vision described by other C-level executives, it becomes a commodity. Thus, digital IT leaders should run IT from the outside-in business lens, not only serve internal users but also reach out to external clients, help organizations understand the customers’ evolving needs, and enable their organizations to grow the business. Keep in mind though, understanding technology is one thing, understanding the impact of the change on the business is another thing entirely. IT value-added position to the business does not come from technology or information itself, but from the business change that IT both shapes and enables. IT is the game changer of the business, and it creates the tangible business value qualitatively and quantitatively.

Build the close business relationship across the departments, integrate multiple functions to the business capability with IT as the linchpin, and develop the strategic business partnership with vendors and business partners: The IT led digitalization framework focuses on collaboration by leveraging the digital platforms and tools. IT has to ride ahead of the learning curves in digitizing the business, setting the digital principles, and developing the best and next digital practices. It takes greater transparency, trust, and collaboration, and leverage the repeatable processes, expectation management and support from C-Level peers and buy-in from staff for managing change smoothly and integrate the loosely coupled functions into integrated business capability with IT as the linchpin. To build differentiated business competency, organizations are also looking for “absorptive capacity” from their service providers who can provide high-quality customer-tailored solutions, expand their knowledge box, help to connect wider dots to stimulate innovation. It is also important to measure and validate the ROI. At the age of complexity and uncertainty, working with vendors/business partners in technology in a strategic manner can often open out ideas since they will be looking for business pain and solutions that IT/Technology can drive. All those efforts help IT become the strategic partner of the business.

IT has to continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and an innovative game changer. When IT leadership begins to show the higher level strategic value and dedicate more resources to innovation, IT is on the right track to improve its performance and maturity. IT woven-digital framework leverages emerging digital platforms and tools, practices engineering disciplines, manages innovation as the process, and drives digitalization systematically.


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