Thursday, August 2, 2018

Creating Paradigm Shift for Reinventing IT

CIOs should keep in mind that IT is about information and innovation, as well as how to unlock business performance and maximize the full digital potential. 

Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the business venture. Walking the digital talks is a broader and longer journey with many leaps and jumps, bumps and curves. IT is the threshold of going digital, CIOs will continue to be put on the front line to run IT as a change agent. They need to really understand the vision and strategy of the business and synchronize with those strategic goals, create the paradigm shift for reinventing IT as the change agent and innovation engine of the business.

From segregation to immersion: The gap between IT and the business is the reality, many say it is even enlarged because different departments evolve going digital at a different speed. Organizations today are at the crossroads where the segregation or silo of business units are at a need to reach across the aisles and respectively work with each other for running a holistic business. Effective IT management means understanding every island of operation and workflow process smoothly in order to build differentiated business competency. Thanks for the powerful and lightweight digital technologies today, the traditional boundaries of business functions are disappearing or becoming murky, in fact, IT is not the function that can be handled only in the IT department or by IT managers only. Because they don’t have all the information needed, they don’t have all the mechanism and authority to collect that information and they do not have all the skills necessary to evaluate the information. It takes organizational scope support to break down silos, enable data flow, and manage business information lifecycle smoothly. Nowadays, IT leaders must participate in co-developing digital strategies and advocate for “departmental immersion” to ensure that IT is an integral part of the business and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.

From controlling to innovating: In the industrial age, IT has a controller’s mentality and focuses on keeping the bottom line efficiency, avoids risks, sometimes misses opportunities as well. The reason many IT organizations get stuck in the lower level of organizational maturity is that they are too busy on fixing the symptoms or taking care of immediate problems, without doing enough with innovation or digging into the root cause of real issues, not putting enough resource on strategic initiatives. To reimagine the art of possibility and reinvent IT as the growth engine of the business, CIOs need to understand the organization’s expectation from IT through business innovation lens. Business transformation is not for faint hearts, digital CIOs need to have the right dose of risk appetite and good risk attitude for leading changes or driving innovation. The emerging digital technologies and IT consumerization have largely focused on IT getting its arm around the trend, empowering users with efficient tools to improve productivity and creativity and create the paradigm shift. They should be both creative and logical, proactively work with the business as the trustful partner upon the great new digital technologies which can catalyze the business growth and lead the business forward.

From transactional to transformational: Many IT organizations spend a significant proportion of time and resources on transaction-related activities. They get trapped into busyness, overloaded and ineffective. Being transactional is about “keeping the lights on”; being transformational is about radical change. To reinvent IT for getting digital ready, IT needs to take a structural approach to manage change, especially the large-scale change effort. The driver for transformation would differ from organization to organization based on their current state, as well as what the specific problem they're trying to solve is. A comprehensive IT Change Management roadmap can guide through business transformation by involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to drive performance improvement. Conversations and connections between leadership, management, and employees will help to monitor the internal transition which equals buy-in, adoption, and behavior change, etc. It is important to integrate Change Mangement into strategic level business processes and practice, with the goal to build change as the strategic management competency.

At the dawn of the Digital Era with an increasing rate of changes, CIOs should keep in mind that IT is about information and innovation, as well as how to unlock business performance and maximize the full digital potential. They are able to create the paradigm shift by shaping digital mindsets, leveraging outside-in business lens, and focusing on the mid and long-term perspective of running IT as the business solutionary, innovation hub, and the game changer.


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