Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Three Obstacles to Overcome Change Inertia for Building a Collaborative IT Organization

 Running a highly collaborative IT organization means how to leverage information and technology for providing tailored business solutions that will improve performance, responsiveness, and maturity.

Many IT organizations are on the crossroad, either riding the learning curve to get digital ready or becoming irrelevant gradually. The role of the CIO continues to evolve rapidly in the midst of the information or digitalization and accelerating changes in technology. They should make an objective assessment of IT: Does IT stretch, challenge, or interrupt the status quo? Does IT expand the zone of possible change and development? Is IT in a high-involvement process? What are the obstacles to building a collaborative IT organization?

The issue being raised regarding obstacles is that IT is viewed as an inhibitor, rather than an enabler or driver of change: Driving digital paradigm shift is not a passive activity, it is a proactive pursuit. To improve the change success rate, understanding the learning curve needs to be the prerequisite that comes before change can actually take place. Having a collaborative understanding environment is essential. Too often IT is not involved at a goal level but instead at a task level. To make effective large-scale organizational scope changes and run a collaborative IT organization, CIOs need to be able to understand the struggles of companies, you need to maintain and fix any imbalance in key business elements such as people, process, and technology. Usually, the symptom of IT slow to change comes from gaps created between IT and the rest of the company. It’s important to establish a cross-functional change team to involve the management of different business functions, space and time are made to scope, plan, and execute, but not through ad-hoc activities. It is also critical to take multi-step iterative processes for change management. To adapt to the increasing speed of change and manage a smooth IT change continuum, organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and make continuous change deliveries.

The old school of silo thinking is the very obstacle to running a highly collaborative IT organization: Silo enforces the wall between organizational functions, stifles information flow, and decelerates the speed of changes, and makes those business divisions which are supposed to work collaboratively for solving common business problems, compete for the limited resources and budget to achieve functional performance or short-term benefit, but sometimes with the cost of the organizational level business achievement and long-term win. Because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age, IT can drive the digital transformation but it should be in conjunction with the business. IT and business are not separate departments. the business will not just use IT as a digital extension, but leverage IT across their organization to attain the enterprise-wide business competency. It means having IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that strategies, portfolios, structures, and people, etc, work in harmony. It requires a seamless IT-business integration through a serious amount of positive communication whilst continuously looking for a cost-efficient replacement of unstable or "old" processes, tighten coordination and collaboration with business partners. It’s critical to build a trustful business relationship and exemplify how IT can directly impact productivity and catalyze business change and innovation.

The internal focus is the barrier to run a collaborative IT organization: When traditional IT organizations are inside-out, and focus on the performance indicators that only IT is interested in, the gap between IT and business is enlarged. To run a collaborative IT organization, IT management needs to shift from inside-out operation-oriented to outside-in business driven. The role of modern CIO is to identify and blend the ways that information and technology can assist and shape the business by linking all digital aspects together to create business synergy for solving complex problems today. Thinking creatively about a problem requires being close to the problem, understanding context, and intangible variables. It requires IT leaders and staff to work closely with the business and take a systematic view of framing the right problems and solving them effectively. With continuous disruptions often caused by technologies, the businesses are looking to IT for leadership around the competitive application of information & technology in a rapidly changing market. Thus, running a highly collaborative IT organization means how to leverage information and the latest technology tools for providing tailored business solutions that will improve business responsiveness, performance, and overall maturity.

Running a highly collaborative IT organization needs both mind shift (from the controller to enabler) and management shift (from “T” technology focus to I-information based). IT should help the organization harness and understand the information to capture the real-time business insight, provide ways to better recognize and act on that information for gaining competitive advantage. This requires a holistic look at the entire knowledge environment and identifies how the information management initiative aligns with the company or business unit objectives, to improve communication, collaboration, and overall organizational maturity.


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