Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Running Digital IT with Three Value-Added Characteristics

Visionary digital leaders are optimistic realists to keep the business viable, enjoy variety, and discover versatility. 

Modern businesses today rely more and more on technology; people tend to have a high expectation of digital flow. IT is in a unique position of overseeing the organization's structure and optimizing the underlying functions and processes of the businesses. CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. IT department has more and more challenges to overcome for adding differentiated business value and running at digital mode.

Viability: The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern with exponential speed. Running a digital organization means that you have to strike the right balance between chaos and order, stability and changes. IT plays a critical role in keeping the business viable and reliable, delivering tactical actions for strategic effect, and managing IT portfolio for improving business competency. The highly complex and dynamic system needs to be elaborated in a well-organized effort, enables emergent business changes in its own behavior, function, and structure. IT helps the business “keeping the lights on,” to stabilize the business environment, but also help the digital business strike the right balance between solid and flow. Digital organizations need to be solid enough to keep things in order; but also fluid enough to interact with the expanded digital ecosystem seamlessly, to improve the organizational responsiveness, changeability, and flexibility of the business. Digital IT brings companies into the full-spectrum of dynamically transforming a mixture of systemic spanning and systemic intensity related capabilities. IT should help the business overcome the business maturity challenges, deal with paradoxes and pathologies across individuals, teams, loose groups, and network-enterprise, in order to fine-tune a holistic digital ecosystem to get digital ready.

Variety: Today’s organizations are always on, hyperconnected and interdependent. The digital workforce has the very characteristics of the variety, complexity, diversification, and collaboration. There are many components in an effective digital ecosystem, IT can weave them all into differentiated business competency by taking the structural approach. Today’s working environment is hyperdiverse, diversity is a facilitator for merging significant building blocks of new and existing ideas and concept. Organizations have to appreciate nature variety of digital organizations and improve cross-functional communication and collaboration, with the goal to build a people-centric and innovation-driven digital organization. As we bring more people into the dialog, we increase the probability of those various assumptions surfacing as each person filters different things. Focusing on digital variety will force you to confront new ideas. With lightweight digital technologies, IT can provide powerful collaboration platforms and tools for enabling people across the organization to share knowledge and co-develope fresh ideas. The variety of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints directly contribute to the business value in terms of productivity and profitability. That in turn, should lead to “inspirations” which will further fuel more inclusiveness and innovation. As the matter of fact, variety is not something you need to plan for. It is a basic reality of the modern digital world that needs to be better understood and well orchestrated.

Versatility: Digitalization is not a single dimensional technological expansion, but a multifaceted management discipline. Digital organizations and their people must learn through their interactions with the business environment, they apply their learning, act, observe the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future actions. Either for individuals or organizations, to survive and thrive in today’s digital dynamic, you need to be versatile and talented for adapting to changes, be informative to act, be flexible to take alternative paths, be nimble to adapt, be intelligent to decide, be elastic to scale, be resilient to recover, and be innovative to thrive. The versatile IT leaders need to shift the old thinking (leads to a burden of support for operations) to the digital thinking whereas the true potential is in liberating new products, services, and business models. It is important that you understand your work environment, understand what is required to be done, have the right resources; including the appropriate mindset, and channel your energy into what is expected of you. The versatile IT teams with ultra-modern mindset can work with business counterparts collaboratively in a value-oriented manner to inspire creativity and advance the business to reach the pinnacle of the business growth cycle.

Visionary digital leaders are optimistic realists to keep the business viable, enjoy variety, and discover versatility. They embody vitality, imagination, hope, and sense of energy. The digital CIO today has to look forward and actively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities, derive the most appropriate strategy and deployment, to unleash business potential and maximize its benefit, for building a people-centric digital organization.


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