Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Running Top-Notch IT with Three Differentiators

The higher mature IT is a trustful business partner, rather than a service desk.

Digital organizations are always on and over-complex, with abundant information and continuous disruptions. IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. The top performance IT organizations understand the business requirements, deliver on time, with the right technology and solutions in collaboration with the business. They also demonstrate the following three main differentiators.

Business orientation: Fundamentally, organizations should spend more time looking forward - looking ahead in order to be more proactive and to anticipate: With the faster pace of changes and often technology-led disruptions, business orientation is part of the foundation of running a highly responsive digital organization. If the team has a clear vision, everything starts moving in the right direction.   Business-engaged CIOs are the trustful leaders to run proactive IT. They need to share their technological vision and keeps navigating during rough sea. They must first be aware of new technologies before IT can apply them to the businesses. IT is an official owner of the information, and information management is one of the most critical works for IT to provide the business foresight and customer insight about upcoming trends or risks, understand what customers want even before they know themselves. To become the trustful business partner, IT needs to be like the light power telling the business about the opportunities and possibilities. That means IT should really understand the goals of the business and figure out how to synchronize with them. Future orientation is important because it is looking beyond today, and provides you the path to where you need to go. Hopefully, it’s also a thought-provoking process for digital leaders asking tough questions about what they can do better tomorrow or preparing for the likely business scenarios that could unfold in the next one to three years.

Setting priorities to win: CIOs have abilities to define, articulate and execute the IT strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy and set priorities needed to win. Many IT organizations suffer from overloaded tasks and overwhelming information. Priority matters. Because prioritization brings transparency and improves IT management effectiveness and efficiency. IT is the means to end. IT contribution to business value does not come from the technology itself, but from the business change that IT both shapes and enables. CIOs must go out and talk with customers to understand their tastes as well as current and future needs. There is no way to create a definitive prioritized list without more business context. CIOs can’t determine the CIO priorities until they have sufficient data, fully understand the business and customers first, also understand the industry, the geographical location, and the dynamic digital ecosystem. The CIO has to make a priority choice based on ROI and risks, and strike the right balance of short-term benefit and the long-term business results. To think long run, it’s important to leverage resource and set priority for innovation management even there is the pressure to "keep the lights on." As long as the business values IT as a strategic partner, the top IT priorities have to be on business focus whether that is promoting market share or product growth whilst optimizing the cost base and driving the overall IT management quality.

Orchestrate change and the digital transformation: IT leaders have abilities to listen, align, motivate, inspire their entire organization to achieve the desired resultIT organization is the linchpin of the digital organization. IT is the only function in an organization which has the touch point with all other functions and provides the necessary integration between them through efficient business processes and information systems. The proactive IT leaders and sponsors attend business reviews with the various business stakeholders in attendance and equally invited those business stakeholders to IT forums, to share IT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Ultimately, more transparency in the IT value proposition to the business plus more engagement a partnership is needed for developing a high-performance digital business. The high mature digital IT organization is run as the change department, IT leaders are able to constantly and dynamically lead IT that is seamlessly integrated with businesses and well ahead of the business requirement. They are able to interact with businesses in their processes and pain areas, and able to bring out, not technology driven, but business-focused solutions.

The higher mature IT is a trustful business partner, rather than a service desk. Forward-looking IT organizations empower CIOs and leverage IT in building differentiated business capabilities and accelerate organizational long-term growth. The better IT and the business can work collaboratively, the faster IT can lead the digital transformation at the premium speed.


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