Thursday, August 9, 2018

Running IT as the Change Engine of the Digital Business

The digital organization is a living thing with the ability to continually change as the world changes and evolves with an intersecting and interacting business ecosystem seamlessly.

Digital is about change. IT is in a unique position because they can oversee the whole organizational processes and they should have the program skills to implement digital transformation successfully. Thus, in forward-looking organizations, IT has become synonymous with the change department. Change Management needs to be the mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management disciplines, in order to run IT as a change agent.

Running IT as the business change engine which keeps moving forward with speed: Change is a dance between the top management and the affected parts of the organization. Change Management is all about balancing the main elements impacting change such as people, strategies, processes/ procedures, and Information & Technology. IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all important change elements seamlessly and make people change, process change, and technology change sustainable for the long term. Change Management have to maintain and fix any imbalance in those elements by involving the executives in the variety of business functions and taking a structured approach, to make sure all of the management is on board and educated well on the change objectives and how to carry them out effectively. Organizations can make major leaps forward in developing change capability by running IT as the business change engine, involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to drive performance improvement.

Developing IT-driven Change practices to reach the next level of business maturity: Change Management is a journey, not just a one-time business effort. There are little “c” changes, such as implement a new software tool, reorganize a department or Big “C” changes, such as merging organizations with overlapping or duplicate functions, or radical digital transformation. CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. Change is not for its own sake, it is IT responsibility to identify opportunity for business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of transformation efforts. Thus, a clearly defined change roadmap should be handy, and industry best practices of change management need to be in place to serve as a framework upon which the solution can be implemented over time. The changes delivered could be incremental through training and practices; transitional through improving on a process, or transformational if it is fundamentally shifting the entire business model of an organization. It requires tools, training, and practice in order for the participants to feel comfortable to change and improve staff engagement. Only if the CIO is proactive and innovative, IT can be run in a proactive mode to practice and lead change effortlessly.

Amplifying the change effect to the organizational scope: Change is the vehicle. A “Change Agent” IT can orchestrate processes, tools, products/services that organizations use to affect the business transformation from strategy to deployment, from change assessment to measurement. The CIO as a change agent not only touches his/her own function but also needs to make an influence on the entire organization and the business ecosystem. It takes strategic planning, methodology, and practices to make change happening and also sustain change to achieve the expected business results. The range of technologies and knowledge have emerged that can help to foster a deeper sense of connection and purpose in employees, ignite their passion and bring together disparate parts of the organization, to make the change as the new normal and a healthy habit. Collectively, IT should cultivate a healthy change habit through practicing, practicing, and practicing more, make the continuous delivery of customer-tailored products/services/solutions, and to become a changing organization in their company.

The digital organization is a living thing with the ability to continually change as the world changes and evolves with an intersecting and interacting business ecosystem seamlessly. Thus, contemporary IT leaders should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation, to run IT as the change engine of the digital business.


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