Friday, November 30, 2018

The CIO as “Chief Intrapreneur Officer”: Make Some New Twists to Reinvest IT

The aggressive role of IT today for many organizations is a business solutionary, information master, change agent and a digital transformer.

The digital world is so technology-driven and information-intensive, IT needs will only expand. The role of IT and that of the CIO is going through significant changes. IT leaders must understand the business from different angles to provide guidance, direction for leading change proactively. The IT department should provide business solutions in the application and adoption of information technology in the enablement of business objectives and make some new twists to reinvent IT for getting digital ready.

Running IT as the startup: The heart of entrepreneurship is about changes, and organizations no matter large or small, all face the unprecedented change, uncertainty, and accelerated business dynamic. An entrepreneur's mindset is important for CIOs to run IT as a startup, and manage both opportunities and risks accordingly. CIOs need to rise above the status quo and make some digital twists by taking on a new set of activities that have them involved in the strategy development process from the get-go. Because running IT as a startup and practicing intrapreneurship is about discovering the new path for digital transformation and balancing innovation with other organizational priorities, to focus on the top line business growth and catalyze change. Though the CIO’s proactive attitude in trying new things shall not get confused with spontaneity or do things without a plan. IT leaders need to be able to recognize areas of deficiencies and inefficiencies and take a structural approach to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. Running IT as a software startup helps to energize the business, speed up, go smarter and flexible, reduce the operational cost, increase margin, and bring the new business revenue stream.

Leverage design thinking to deliver user-friendly products or services: To keep relevant, the IT organization needs to shift from a maintenance center to a customer-centric digital powerhouse. The limitations of the CIO’s “industrial mindset” have made a negative impact on how IT can deliver successful business outcomes in the digital age. IT needs to be well aligned with the business, but even more crucially, be closer to the end customers and leverage design thinking to deliver user-friendly products or services. The new technology tools and business models allow a company to capture customer information on a continual basis. The strategic objective of design thinking is to understand what your customers need and to help the business orient itself towards those needs in pursuit of its objectives. Design thinking is an integral part of the success of a business, especially for business models centered around influencing customer behavior. In practice, to incorporate design inside an organization successfully, you should work at different levels, the management has to understand the value to become supportive, digital professionals need to be able to work effectively, and cross-functional collaboration is the key to bring business value for their organization.

Tap diversity to fuel innovation and prepare for the future of the digital workforce and workplace: Creativity in the "corporate" world has a lot to do with fostering a creative environment and tap the multitude of diversity. IT needs to become the linchpin for orchestrating a learning organization by leveraging the latest digital platforms and tools. CIOs need to ask themselves and others: Does IT drive team building and organizational learning? Do you want to be in a constant learning mode? Which role is IT playing in preparing for the future of the digital workforce and workplace? Tapping diversity to fuel innovation is about shaping a creative team by having people who can complement with each other’s viewpoint, broaden the knowledge base and deepen the understanding of varying issues to extend the thinking box and increasing the odds of fueling innovation. The top business leaders such as CIOs must work with the right mindset to create an inclusive organization with every dip in the business lifecycle. They should make an influence on core policies of the company, both developing positive policies and align actions and attitude with them. Innovation needs to become your business routine and corporate culture, to renew creativity energy, allow people to push boundaries and seek out new frontiers.

The aggressive role of IT today for many organizations is a business solutionary, information master, change agent and a digital transformer. The key to reinventing IT is about engaging the whole organization in knowing and understanding the direction and planning of the business, handling concurrency and simultaneity, making some new twists, creating the business synergy and taking a seamless digital paradigm shift.


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