Sunday, January 6, 2019

Running Fit, Healthy, and High-Performance Digital IT organization

A digital fit IT organization can bring greater awareness of business ecosystem intricacies and the systemic perspective of organizational fitness.

Digital means the increasing speed of changes, fierce competitions, hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and always-on business dynamic. IT is no longer just a reactive support function or a cost center, but a change organization that keeps information flowing and enables business growing and drive digital paradigm shift. CIOs need to have strong digital awareness, understand how they relate to other functional leaders, business partners as well as the varying shareholders. They should also make an objective assessment: Which speed can they swim in the uncharted water; what competency do they need for the business’s surviving and thriving? Or to put simply, how to run a digital fit, healthy, and high performance IT organization?

Cultivate resources: Organizations have limited resources, many businesses took a big bite of resource to keep the lights on, only left very little for growing and innovating the business. IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. Thus, resource management becomes an important management discipline to keep digital fit. The resource allocation scenario needs to be transparent. How resource allocation is determined should be understood by all important parties. To address the resource competition issue, the 'benefit' must often be articulated in user-specific currency. The bottom line is, for any company to succeed, it is essential for the entire company to be pulling in the right direction, cultivate resources and improve business efficiency. An effective resource allocation scenario helps to take advantage of resources effectively, optimize cost, set priority, keep the process transparent, and manage a well-rounded digital portfolio effectively and efficiently. To improve IT fitness and performance, successful capacity planning and resource management are critical to ensuring that IT resource is available before they are needed. IT capacity planning process must obtain accurate information on business growth needs. IT capacity planning needs to be part of the corporate initiatives around continuous business improvement.

Strike the right balance: Companies today have huge pressures to survive and thrive in today’s hypercompetitive economic dynamic. They are the mixed bag of something old and new; physical building and virtual platform, diverse workforce and varying speed. They are at the crossroads where the segregation or silo of business units are at a need to reach across the aisles and respectively work with each other. In order to survive and thrive amid constant change, businesses must strike the right balance of the digital speed and the industrial speed; standardization and flexibility; short-term gain and long-term win. They need to keep optimizing business functions and processes and fine-tune the organizational structure. Until business leaders come to terms with the reality that digital structures are really smarter and faster than ‘pure hierarchies,’ managers who understand the paradigm shift have to discover ways to resolve the manager’s paradox. Companies must strike the right balance and build strategic and operational agility into their business foundations. There is a huge pressure for businesses to achieving certain financial targets quickly, but the management perhaps knows that, in many instances, it’s not sustainable until they can balance things well to meet or exceed long-term goals.

Achieve the desired competency: IT can no longer just be run as a commodity service provider or a support desk to keep the lights on only. CIOs have to define a set of IT competency to tailor the organizational needs and rebrand IT as the change agent and revenue maker. Create an organizational roadmap that sets goals for competence building, because it takes time and effort to build sophisticated enterprise capabilities and differentiated business competency. IT must ensure that operational business ecosystems not only function as expected but also achieve operational excellence and build IT operational competency. It is challenging because it requires some kind of rethinking and reinventing corporate processes and functions via continuous consolidation, modernization, integration, optimization, and orchestration to facilitate business outcomes. Further, IT is the value-added delivery that makes the organization different and competitive. IT is, in fact, the strategic competency of the business. The digital CIOs as the C-level need to share their technological vision and contribute to the formulation of the business strategy in which new trends of technology and information abundance will provide strategic competencies to enhance the competitive advantage of the company. The leading companies empower their IT organizations to drive changes and catalyze innovation, building innovation competency requires much more time, energy, passion, courage, experimentation, practices, retreat, reflection, and even failures. A high mature digital IT needs to understand stakeholders’ high expectations and propose a balanced service/solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and building unique business competency.

A digital fit IT organization can bring greater awareness of business ecosystem intricacies and the systemic perspective of organizational structure, empower people with advanced tools to improve their productivity, engagement, and creativity; delight customers (both internal and external) via digitizing the touch point of their user experience; and improve the overall maturity of the company.

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