Monday, November 5, 2018

Modern CIOs as Digital Adventurists

CIOs need to become the digital adventurists who can discover the new scenes at the voyage of digital transformation, practice bold leadership for capturing business opportunities and foster innovation.

Traditional IT organizations have been perceived as technical support centers and help desks, and traditional CIOs have been portrayed as technology geeks and controllers to keep the lights on. Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. IT plays a differentiated role in such a paradigm shift. Modern CIOs need to keep eyes on what happens today, also be focused on what is next. They are the digital adventurist to lead radical changes and innovation breakthrough.

Trending future technology to explore the unique path of digitalization: As the saying is going, the future is already here, just hasn’t been fully distributed yet. When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, organizational leaders should be able to envision and determine what the future needs to look like, what the transformation must look like, how to overcome roadblocks, close blind spots, and deal with change inertia. Future mining is always interesting and important. This is particularly true for IT leaders, because nowadays, information is the gold mine every forward-look organization digs into, and technology is the emerging force behind frequent digital disruptions. Information Technology changes very fast. You must first be aware of the new technology before you can learn how to apply it to the business. Thus, trending future technology is an important skill for digital CIOs so that they can see things further, share their vision generously, be able to apply the right technology to the business with tailored solutions, and explore the unique path of digitalization. Organizations today can harness the power of information to capture emerging trends with the fact-based vision of where to aim and how to get there through identifying the right information, validating it, and communicating it to the right people at the right time to enable them making effective decisions. Modern CIOs are bold leaders and digital adventurists, who can craft and cast the vision for the way in which tomorrow’s business technologies can create sustainable business value, align the business reality into digital strategy, and draw from the experience and expertise of those around them to take a unique path of digital transformation.

Charting strategic shift to foster innovation: Organizations are different, they have different cultures, different structures, they compete in different markets, they have a different capability and scale. Thus, there is no "one size fitting all" formula for digitalization. Every organization must chart their own course, apply multidisciplinary practices and take an integrated approach for dynamic business planning and actions. Digitalization is a strategic shift, which comes with information shift, a shift which organizations will take advantage of information to gain business insight to foster innovation; a shift from playing smart gadgets or tools to being smart in running a real-time and highly innovative digital business. CIOs play a critical role in such a digital adventure. The strategy needs to change when the underlying data changes otherwise it will become outdated & no longer serve the purpose. The goal is to improve the strategic responsiveness of the business and make sure the work environment encourages creativity, inspires positive changes, and fosters innovation. CIOs as the digital adventurist can drive all sorts of innovation, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage technology to drive revenue growth, improve business responsiveness, performance, and maturity.

Creating business opportunities by identifying business foresight and customer insight: The digital revolution means that channels to customers and run a people-centric organization. Modern CIOs today need to focus outward on the horizon for future opportunities and pitfalls, act as digital adventurists to explore and create business opportunities. IT should spend more resources on spotting business growth opportunities, looking for solutions which will directly benefit the external end customers, improve the competitive advantage and in-turn, bring in increased revenue. IT has both internal and external customers. IT doesn’t exist to take the order from internal clients only. They should become closer to the end customers, customer insight mining is important to help the business understand their customers better, and ensure that the goal of “adding value to the company by adding value to the customer” is achieved. If you're going to innovate without knowledge of "evident customer needs," and then, the things that you are good at may distract you to build something which can really increase customer value and help business success for the long term. Total Customer Delight is an index of total participation in the growth of the enterprise, directly or indirectly. It defines the degree of value ownership of customers in the enterprise. After understanding of customers' needs; you can look at the company’s technical capabilities, and foster innovation to meet customers’ needs and business profitability.

To reinvent IT as a change agent, IT leaders shouldn’t get stuck to “we always do things like this,” mentality. They need to become the digital adventurists who can discover the new scenes at the voyage of digital transformation, practice bold leadership for capturing business opportunities and foster breakthrough innovations. The ultimate goal to run a differentiated digital IT is to help the organization build a set of unique capabilities, improve the entire business competency and reach the high level of organizational maturity.


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