Saturday, November 24, 2018

Creating Digital Pathways to Innovate IT

Digitalization is not just about technology, innovation is not always equal to the latest gadget. It’s about people, process, culture, partnership, and manners, etc.

Organizations rely more and more on technology, technology needs will only expand. IT a lightning rod for change and innovation. Digital CIOs are uniquely qualified to envision technological trends and take risks above the status quo, take on a new set of activities that are involved in defining, developing, and differentiating their organization to get digital ready.

Creating options and pathways to digitize IT: Traditional IT is inside-out operation-driven, but digital IT is outside-in business oriented and customer-centric. Focusing on customers' needs should be an easier path to digitize IT and grow innovation fruits. Thus, it’s important to get IT staff engaging in open dialogs with business people, sharing ideas and learning, and make those sort of informal conversations a regular habit, identify the most innovative companies in the sector and learn how they leverage information & technology to create business value. Digital organizations have always been parts of simple and complex business ecosystems, to function seamlessly, IT needs to be the linchpin for connecting the enterprise to the varying touch points between itself and the dynamic digital ecosystem. IT, thus, is also at a unique position to explore the digital pathway for recharging itself and energizing the entire business. If CIOs don’t realize that stifling IT innovation will set back the business, their IT organizations would continue to be perceived a cost center. Think like customers and let the business know how digital technologies can change the way to do business and delight customers. Businesses that facing fierce competitions and demanding customers, love to see IT getting deeply immersed in new apps, devices, and business solutions which make internal users productive and collaborative or improve end customers’ satisfaction.

The digital race of business model innovation: Emerging digital technologies bring huge opportunities to reinvent business models and create a new revenue stream. The available digital technology just makes innovation easier to do now than in the past - less costly, more easily accessible. What CIOs can do is to share their technological vision and educate business about IT capacity and complexity and marketing IT-enabled business capabilities & opportunities within the company. They should educate IT teams on the business context and encourage them to engage with business counterparts in value-oriented manner. In practice, intrapreneurship activities can improve business growth and profitability, and depending on the company’s competitive environment, their impact may increase over time. Thus, it’s important to develop a deep understanding of the company’s existing business models, competitive landscapes, enterprise architectures, P&L drivers, and balance sheet strengths and constraints. Then, you should identify core competencies and critical business elements early enough to catch the wave before its crest breaks, explore new opportunities to grow the business and develop new business models.

Leverage IT to solve critical business problems: From information management to insight management to innovation management, being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, discover, and create new things based on its own needs, true knowledge is an optimal solution. Innovation without a direction or purpose is building technology for technology sake. Innovation is the core of what makes IT strategic in any company, but it is critical that the creativity is focused not on the technology but on how it can be used to solve critical business problems and advance business goals. Therefore, CIOs need to gain insight into the business problems, provide pieces of advice and recommendations to the business on how to leverage information and technology to find a proper solution to that problem. The role of IT in the current business environment should become a digital solutionary and be able to enable business outcomes. Keep in mind though, problems does not exist in isolation, but, as an interacting system of problems. A good IT-woven problem-solving framework helps to leverage structured methodologies and efficient tools, which allow you to frame problems systematically and solve complex problems with a step-wise approach.

Digitalization is not just about technology, innovation is not always equal to the latest gadget. It’s about people, process, culture, partnership, and manners, etc. Every organization needs to develop tailored practices for creating digital pathways by leveraging effective technologies, tools or methodologies and applying them wisely with the expertise to really add value and drive digitalization systematically.


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