Tuesday, February 26, 2019

CIO as "Chief Improvement Officer": Three Visualization Practices Improve IT Organizational Maturity

IT visualization practices help IT leaders improve communication and management effectiveness, to gain trust and respect. 

The emerging digital technologies, the exponential growth of information, and IT consumerization trend bring both challenges and opportunities for IT organization to move up its maturity level from a support center to a trusted business partner. IT management per se is mainly science from the best practices perspective. However, designing intuitive products or services requires creativity and artistic touch; improving IT organizational maturity from a reactive support function to a proactive change agent requires being able to lead courageously, with the ability to visualize, engage, communicate, and take a common sense approach. It is possibly more of an art than science.

Visualize IT management progress: It gives a holistic view of IT management considerations, approaches, structure, and components. IT can no longer hide at the corner to run a help desk. IT visibility depends on how clearly IT leaders can visualize IT management progress and convey the message about the value IT brought to the business. There are different target audiences who are interested in IT value presentation such as, IT staff, IT management, and business leadership including BoDs. Each has a different focus and interest. It’s good to make IT metrics transparent to the varying departments - to visualize the progress by tailoring different audience. IT is not just technical, but rather, business-driven, visualization of IT management helps to “keeping the end in mind,” setting the direction for IT and communicate the business value of IT. IT management is not just the business of IT department, but the responsibility of the entire company. CIOs need to become the highly visible business leader to work both within IT and on the IT, across the business scope and seek ways to improve profitability and spot innovation opportunities. Thus, they need to be able to think strategically, lead creatively, and communicate vividly about IT value proposition and progress, and work closely with the business to transform their vision into reality.

Visualize user experience:
Digital is the age of people, empathy, an option. User experience is the key differentiator and an important strategy for the business’s long-term profitability. When you really understand or attempt to capture the insight about what the customer actually want, that is when you can really develop an experience that fits them and their needs or desires. First, visualize "customer experience," and then, a valid strategic objective and the strategy mapping allow you to understand your customers and what they value, and then, identify how to best characterize that value. The next practice is to live as "customers," point out that customer inquiries are not just support related, customer-facing applications are critical at the end of the day as they generate revenue for the business. Visualizing user experience enables IT bringing highly innovative solutions that meet customers’ need, foster better ways the application can perform and optimize every touch point of user experience. Information abundance can bring new ideas; ideas have always driven business success. IT must bring to the table innovative solutions that meet customers’ needs, also digitize the touch point of customer experience.

Visualize digital transformation and improve business transparency: Forward-looking organizations empower IT to drive changes and lead the digital transformation. The CIO needs to be in touch with business partners, customers, and varying stakeholders based on a continuous fashion to head off the bigger issues and get a view of the organization and management team from an outside-in look. They should also share their vision of digital transformation. Having a story in mind for either static or dynamic visualization is critical to success from the current state to future state, of enablement, improvements, accomplishments, and implementation of digital business strategies. The picture is worth a thousand words. Such stories should be vivid enough to inspire imagination and persuasive enough to encourage comprehensive planning and step-by-step actions. To improve IT visibility and organizational maturity, it’s important to leverage the latest technologies or tools to continue trimming cost or retooling business processes. In this regard, IT performance story is not a fiction, but a reality show. Achieving visibility of costs provides a pathway into technology optimization and justification of IT value contribution to the business. For convincing the board and top management to continue IT investment, digital CIOs need to tell their data-supported story about how IT brings tangible value to both bottom-line business efficiency and top-line business growth.

IT visualization practices help IT leaders improve communication and management effectiveness, to gain trust and respect. A highly visible IT organization can deliver innovative business capabilities to capture first-mover advantages, improve IT transparency, adaptability, performance, and maturity.


Post a Comment