Thursday, September 27, 2018

How to Keep IT “Fresh” and Get Digital Ready

To keep a fresh image, IT needs to move up its maturity level from functioning to firm to delight, to catalyze changes and orchestrate the digital transformation.

The majority of IT organizations are perceived as monolithic, isolated, and stereotypical support centers with heavyweight hardware boxes, focus on “keeping the business lights on.” IT running in an industrial mode as a business controller or a restraint no longer fits in the dynamic business circumstances or volatile digital new normal. Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. To build IT reputation as the business partner, IT leaders should ask themselves on how to keep IT “Fresh,” and get digital ready.

Spot modern CIOs as the Digital Catalyst: To run a fresh IT organization, the CIO role needs to be continually reimagined, refreshed, and reinvented. CIOs can no longer act as the tactical manager only, they must be the change agent and digital catalyst for a business to differentiate by leveraging of IT to build competitive advantage. CIOs needs to keep the fresh view of the business, they are able to look ahead and relevance of certain trends in its industry may indicate. IT leaders should also encourage their teams to spend more time with other executives on the business side and customers so that the business can gain the fresh view of how IT can help them solve business problems and improve their production and ability to innovate. Digital CIOs, are born to change, how they overcome these digital transformation challenges depend on their ability to think, adapt, and proactively plan and execute. Sustainability and blueprint for proper execution and vision are vital. A modern CIO as the digital catalyst should help IT recharge itself, digitizing its own business processes and build unique organizational competency. IT delivers the best solution to the business problems which meet the business’s requirement or tailor customers’ needs. IT proactively works as an integral part of the business to capitalize on opportunities and drive the digital transformation. It’s important to build up a positive emotional climate, foster business partnership and communicate relentlessly to keep IT fresh and get digital ready.

Spot innovation opportunities: To keep IT fresh, the CIO as Chief Innovation Officers,” should actively look for the innovation hot spots in the business. The original gem of a creative idea often, if not always arrives at the interaction of ideas from different domains of thoughts and experiences. There are many areas within a company where the innovation process can be applied to create business value, including both hard and soft innovations. Businesses love to see IT getting deeply immersed in the new apps, devices, and solutions and make internal customers more productive, collaborative and smart. Focusing on customers’ need and what the marketplace was moving towards should be a reasonable path to grow the innovation fruit and keep IT fresh. Businesses are looking for IT to add new innovative methods for the management of complexity and investigating innovative business solutions. Rather than waiting for the business to tell IT what they need, IT should proactively work with the business and partners upon the great new digital technologies which can change the business for better and fuel innovation engine. To keep IT fresh and become the innovator of tomorrow, IT leaders have to keep learning the new tricks, develop the growth mindset, updating their knowledge, methodology, and approach to lead changes and innovation.

Spot innovators: Bright people with fresh thinking keep IT fresh. When people get stuck in the old ways to do things, IT goes stale. Creative people who have “thought candor,” ask open questions, identify blind spots, and recognize patterns from the random things, can keep their environment dynamic and fresh. However, many traditional organizations are still managed through overly restricted hierarchical management discipline which discourages “Thinking differently,” and make the working environment stale. Thus, it's important to spot innovators who can break down the boundary, shape a bigger box of thinking, look at the outside of the function, company, or industry for connecting the dots to spark innovation. Digital fluidity keeps things fresh. Build a strong culture with trust and transparency to keep the workplace positive and fresh, create the right environment in which sharing knowledge is the must, creativity is encouraged, innovation is managed effectively. Put the right people with the right capabilities in the right seat for the right purpose to solve the right problems timely.

IT can no longer just hide in the corner to play the background music only and was run as a cost center. To keep a fresh image, IT needs to move up its maturity level from functioning to firm to delight, to catalyze changes and orchestrate the digital transformation,


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