Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Running Digital IT to Supercharge Business

Leading evolutionary change and driving business growth are the never-ended journey.

Running a digital business is all about dealing with rapid changes, abundant information, blurred functional/business/industry territories, and expanded organizational horizons. The high-responsive and high-performance digital organizations have to be solid enough to give some sort of form/meaning and fluid enough to its environment and respond to changes dynamically. Solidity and stability are not equal to stagnation. How to run a balanced IT organization to supercharge business with differentiated competency and lead through digital transformation effortlessly.

Be holistic, but not lose the focus:
Digital transformation is the scalable expansion toward multiple directions, not just about adopting some fancy gadgets or the latest technologies only. IT is the thresholding business competency built through both hard and soft business elements to enable changes. Running digital IT helps to supercharge digital models, constantly improve business functions and structures, and see change as an opportunity while keeping a holistic overview of the business ecosystem. For digital CIOs, walking the digital talk is a well-prepared and business-focused journey. Focus is essential to achieve strategic business goals and exceed shareholders’ expectation. If you take on too many things at once, you seldom succeed with any of them. To lead effectively and add the business value, digital IT leaders should learn the business, share their vision, get their voice heard, grasp opportunities to participate in varying digital dialogs, set the right priorities, and implement strategic goals to achieve high-performance business results. The digital transformation is the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces. To get the right clues and solve it, you have to understand it in a holistic matter; then, figure out how to put them all in the right places to discover the true meaning. The digital organization is an organic system with dynamic resource, scalable performance, and harmonized relationships. Such a dynamic digital ecosystem also explicitly seeks to create a holistic and creative environment in which people can grow, innovate, and reach the next level of the professional maturity, and the business as a whole can unleash the full digital potential.

Be competent, but not arrogant:
Many traditional IT organizations are perceived by the business as a controller. Now with the increasing pace of changes, IT can no longer feel like it has a monopoly on delivering solutions to the business due to fierce competitions and on-demand services provided by the third party. It requires IT leaders to constantly reappraise their skills, knowledge, and management approach to organizational needs, get out of the comfort zone and be highly innovative, develop their best and next practices to stay relevant. IT has to look at itself first, improve its own responsiveness and effectiveness, simplify the way it does things, from controlling to enabling to driving changes proactively, allow for the element of ultimate control to be released in order for the change to take effect. CIOs should also work with the business on plugging revenue leakages, contributing to new revenue generation, supplying differentiated business solutions to exceed the customers' expectation, and building IT organizational competency. With fierce competitions in many industries, the opportunities for cost-leadership as a strategy are now much harder as everything moves so much more quickly. The digital CIOs are not only enthusiastic digital catalysts but also cool-headed business executives who can play the number game wisely by setting key performance indicators, managing budgets, and achieving high-performance business results.

Be innovative, but not lack disciplines and standards: There are high expectations of modern IT and there are a lot of opportunities to clarify the role of IT in innovation. IT has to continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and an innovative game changer. CIOs need to rise above the status quo and keep an eye on the horizon. Digital technologies are creative disruptors, and information provides the very clue for the growth opportunity. There are a lot of opportunities to clarify the role of IT in innovation. The challenging part is that innovation is not only about technology; it involves people, process, culture, partnership, manners, etc. As a CIO, it means that you have to take on a new set of digital mindsets and activities involved in the strategy development process from the get-go. If you can innovate across the business, regardless of which function you are involved in, and then, you can surely change the shape of what you deliver, not just how it's delivered. Innovation is a management process and discipline. it is important to set a framework with a certain standard to keep focus, leverage the limited resources and talent to manage a balanced innovation portfolio and maximize the business value.

Leading evolutionary change and driving business growth are the never-ended journey. Reimagining the future of digital business is exciting, but investigating the different path for recharging organization and unlocking business performance and potential needs to take a systematic approach and develop it into a more solid form. This is a golden opportunity for CIOs to lead the way by enabling changes, optimizing business processes, rejuvenating cultures, and catalyzing digital transformation.

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