Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The CIO’s Digital Formulas to Guide Digitalization

The very purpose of any change is to make continuous improvement and focus on the long-term prosperity of both employees and business.

The Digital Era upon us means fast-paced changes and abundant information. There are systemic consequences and impacts of thinking and actions in terms of interconnections and interdependency of digital business management. The highly complex and dynamic digital paradigm shift needs to be elaborated in a well-organized effort. A digital CIO has to focus on guiding the company in the digital transformation through scientific reasoning and well-orchestrated business initiatives and continuous deliveries. Here are three digital formulas to guide change and innovation.

Engineering = Science + Methodology + Creativity + Design + Operation + Process + System: Running the digital IT organization is the engineering discipline as the practical application of principles and practices constrained by the laws of the science domain. It is about how to apply scientific logic with the structural approach and engineering discipline to break big business problems down into deliverable chunks for delivering value to the business at regular intervals. Though there is no one size fits all magic formula to run a high-performance digital IT organization. Systems, processes, methodologies, operation, design, creativity etc. are all important elements in IT engineering discipline. The scientific side of engineering is for automation, reliability, and continuity. An effective CIO’s job is to improve operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. The digital engineering approach is combined with the simplification of IT management tools and proliferation of “doing it yourself” interfaces for improving system performance, streamlining processes, optimizing costs and continually providing and expanding business solutions. The engineering side of IT organization enables the business taking a logical path to implement ideas and figure out business solutions to either existing or emerging issues and problems. On the other hand, the artistic side of engineering is about imagination, innovation, and invention. Engineering is a piece of art because it involves designing thinking, personalized observation & judgment, creativity, and intuition. Digital IT is like the whole brain of the business. The balance of art and science in IT is how to enforce scientific discipline, but also make continuous efforts in building intuitive and high-quality products/services and improving product adoption rate, customer satisfaction, as well as the overall IT organizational maturity.

Innovation = Strategy + Culture + People + Process + Tools: The digital CIO needs to shift the mantra from “doing more with less,” to “doing more with innovation.” Innovation is synonymous with positive changes. Innovation is not serendipity; strategy, culture, people, process, and tool are all important element in innovation management. "Innovation strategy is a critical component of the business strategy. At today's modern organizations, variety, complexity, diversification, and collaboration are the characteristics of the digital innovation ecosystem. There is a great deal of uncertainty involved in the process of innovation. To run a highly innovative IT organization, the challenge is not just launching successful teams, but how to build a culture of learning and creativity, and help the team stay focus and motivated. Talented people are empowered to leverage the creative side of their thinking for discovering new ways of doing things that allow for innovation to happen. The innovation management is not a thing or even a state, but a management process of lining up the culture of change and creativity that people would like to take the calculated risks in experimenting a new way to do things. Innovation process includes both idea creation and implementation. After ideation, companies need to filter, prototype and validate their ideas. Innovation leaders should fill their innovation toolbox with tailored frameworks, processes, and the various tools such as problem-solving tools, new products development tools, analytics, and failure prediction tools, as well as the metrics to evaluate innovation performance.

Integral digital management competency = Holism + Interdisciplinarity: Business management, especially at senior management level, practicing integral digital management is about taking a holistic view and applying interdisciplinary management approach for planning and taking actions, which are always based on rough estimations of what the future conditions of business execution would be. Organizations that thrive on consistency and predictability are of course excellent at maintaining business growth momentum. Unlike the traditional organizations often being perceived as the mechanical system keeps spinning; the digital organizations are the living things keep growing. Thus, the mechanistic production metaphor needs to be replaced with an organic service metaphor. The linear business system perception needs to be replaced by the adaptive digital system, and the technical behavior is replaced by the socio-technical behavior. The operation-centric and inside-out management disciplines need to become people-centric, holistic and multidisciplinary approach. An integrated digital management approach is about leveraging nonlinear processes and interconnectivity between problems in a managerial context, to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. To improve the digital management maturity, the business managers need to have a contextual understanding of the interconnectivity of both visible and invisible business success factors underlying the surface, to enforce inter-organizational linkages for running high-performance digital businesses.

The very purpose of any change is to make continuous improvement and focus on the long-term prosperity of both employees and business. Driving digital is a multidimensional pursuit to embed digital into core business processes and build differentiated business capability. The digital paradigm has many dimensions. it is like to solve a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture. In order to be effective, digital CIOs must understand every aspect of the business and have digital fluency for driving the business transformation. IT needs to proactively work as an integral part of the business to capitalize on opportunities and tackling challenges for leading changes smoothly.


Post a Comment