Monday, February 25, 2019

Shaping IT from a Change Laggard to Digital Trendsetter

Information Technology should be seen by any forward-thinking business across the vertical sector as the change agent, trendsetter and “digital transformer.”

Traditional IT organizations are often inside-out operation-driven, mechanical and monolithic, it’s perceived by business as a controller and change laggard. Because in many cases, the business continues to evolve faster in grasping the market share and winning new customers, but sometimes failed due to lack of real-time information to capture business foresight and customer insight. With the exponential growth of information and often technology-led disruptions, IT has evolved significantly in running the business today, IT also faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation from a change laggard to the trendsetter of the digital organization.

The information-based forecasting is crucial to bring both insight and foresight of the business: In this digital information age, there isn't really much of an enterprise without the massive oceans of data that flows through the enterprise, at any given split second. Forward-thinking organizations across industrial sectors claim they are in the information management business. Digital organizations can harness the power of data to provide the emergent business trends with a more fact-based vision of where to aim and how to get there, through identifying the right information, validating it and communicating it to right people at the right time. Some trends are more significant than others in their impact on business growth. Some corrections require more radical paradigm shifts with corresponding economic impacts or predictable political challenges. New technology tools and abundant information allow a company to move into a more advanced stage of digital explorement; help to set trends and models that work best to meet the business goals which are needed before new schemes and designs are created and agreed upon across the business. Information Management involves the use of technologies and processes with the aim of refining business insight, creating premium business results, solving critical business problems, and improving customer satisfaction, etc.

To leverage information and technology for digital transformation, IT needs to proactively participate in business conversations: IT is not only for supporting the business goals but also helps the company win businesses. Foresight is also an ongoing conversation. CIOs can share their technological vision at the big table; advocate future trends and build IT reputation as a trustful business partner. IT is no longer just a support center or a change laggard, nowadays, business leaders are increasingly looking to the IT function to introduce beneficial change into their business models to improve business performance. Every technology change is the business initiative either for empowering employees or delighting customers, to improve business productivity, responsiveness, adaptability, innovativeness, and flexibility. Thus, IT leaders need to be able to listen to a wide range of opinions and approaches and understand the extent to which digital technologies enable people to manage a highly integrated business ecosystem of shareholders and operate as an effective business partner. They should become the real business leaders to work within IT and across the business scope and seek ways to grow revenues, improve profitability and spur innovation.

IT can integrate processes, tools, and people into differentiated business competency to drive digital transformation from strategy to deployment: Many traditional IT organizations still run in a reactive mode and act as a controller only, slow to change. But in forward-looking businesses, the IT organization has become synonymous with the change department and creates the business synchronization of all functions running at the multiple levels of the organization seamlessly. To shape IT from a change laggard to digital trendsetter, IT can no longer just be about numbers and algorithms, it plays an important role in fostering innovation, catalyzing passion, and integrating all important business elements into differentiated business competencies. Digital IT leaders are like the conductor who can orchestrate their own sheet music, not just the background music, so IT can truly become the change agent and trendsetter.

IT plays a pivotal role in the digital paradigm shift. Driving is not a passive activity, contemporary IT leaders should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match the pace with changes in technology and the pace at which organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes. Information Technology should be seen by any forward-thinking business across the vertical sector as the change agent, trendsetter and “digital transformer.”


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