Monday, January 7, 2019

Make Proactive Preparation for the Digital Paradigm Shift

 Dynamic planning and proactive preparation are crucial steps in building the digital premium into the very foundation of companies.

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. They should not only do the planning but also make proactive preparation for the ongoing digital paradigm shift.

Prepare to deal with the continuous digital disruptions: Unpredictability, uncertainty, the exponential growth of information and the probability of surprising emergent properties bring both unprecedented opportunities and risks to organizations across industrial sectors today. There is no doubt that the business leaders face a huge survival pressure to make some short-term quick win for meeting shareholders’ demand. However, to run a successful business for the long term, companies must learn how to make proactive preparation for dealing with continuous digital disruptions and adapting to the digital new normal with high velocity and fierce competitions. Today, the emerging digital technologies and trends disrupt not only the business boundary but also the industrial boundary and geographical boundary. There are different aspects of a business change at different rates - business managers experience the pressures for change differently. Thus the digital leaders today must broaden their view and accelerate their speed to changes. In reality, many business managers perceive their IT organization as the controller, with the tendency to align with the slow changing parts of the organization. To well prepare for changes, the transition from a maintenance mindset to a value creating and game-changing mindset is a stretch for many CIOs. IT plays as a linchpin to run a highly innovative and high-performance digital business. CIOs should keep tuning IT changeability and differentiated competency, seeking out and partner with those leaders in the innovative companies who most agitate for speed and change, start to transform their organization into a proactive business partner and build a strong IT brand to get digital ready.

Prepare the new technology adoption which can truly increase business value: Information & Technology is the backbone of modern businesses. Technology can be efficiency-driven, or it can be disruptive - changing the industry. It is the CIO's job to discern the difference and make a business case. A forward-thinking CIO needs to be forward-looking, to see where relevant technology, and their industry, is heading. Then, make IT investment strategy, prepare the new technology adoption which can truly increase business value. Keep in mind, the CIO’s proactive attitude in trying new things shall not get confused with spontaneity or do things without a plan.  CIOs should share their technological vision, predict future trends and capturing business opportunities. On the other side, there are risks and return on investment sharing models to experiment with new technologies. They have to balance real technology needs against the risk appetite of the company by making an objective evaluation without too much excitement about the shining new gadgets. In most organizations, IT is actually accountable for potential risks, that’s why they should feel cautious -being prepared to change, sometimes being a fast follower gives a CIO time to see how the technology actually stands up, and take the solid step in technology update.

Prepare the coming skill shift and develop the desired talent competency: Due to the overwhelming growth of information and shorten knowledge cycle, today’s digital workforce has to continue learning and keep updating skills and build their professional competency. IT is no longer that isolated back-office function, but a trustful business partner. IT professionals need to understand business, truly help to solve the critical business problems. They are business gurus who happen to be technically proficient as well. However, in reality, there are large skill gaps existing in many IT organizations, they fail to keep up on standards within their domain that can lead to the holistic enterprise viewpoint and execution of IT strategies that fit within that enterprise viewpoint. Talent Management is throwing fresh challenges and calls for radical change to be embraced. Digital is the age of innovation. Thus, forward-thinking organizations look for people with learning agility and creativity, with synthetic problem-solving competency, not just linear skills. From a team-building perspective, you need both best fit employees and high-performing teams. Sometimes, it’s not easy to bring all talented people and mold them into an effective team. Developing people-centricity and preparing people to get digital ready is critical to accelerating business speed.

There is no one size fits all formula to pursue the digital transformation. Understanding that digital business development is multifaceted, dynamic planning and proactive preparation are crucial steps in building the digital premium into the very foundation of their companies such as digital strategy, culture, structure, processes, etc. A high-mature organization always looks for opportunities across the business ecosystem to increase the usage of emergent digital technologies accordingly and charter digital paradigm shift seamlessly.


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