Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Running High-Caliber IT Organization

The high caliber IT organizations are at an inflection point to orchestrate the critical business processes, tools, and products to drive the digital transformation from strategy to deployment. 

With rapid change and continuous disruptions, never before has technology moved more quickly and missteps have larger trajectory impacts on every aspect of the business; never before has IT and business been so closely tied together. How can CIO provide effective digital leadership for adapting to changes and run a high-caliber IT organization to drive digital transformation systematically?

Pervasive appreciation: The most powerful and differentiating tool in today's businesses is information; information does not live alone but permeates into everywhere in the businesses. The aim of managing information is to deal with the mountain of information with both technology and human know-how, and then, to convert the information into invaluable knowledge and business insight in handling business uncertainty and solving business issues effectively. There is a pervasive appreciation throughout the enterprise, particularly the senior management for adequate, accurate, and timely information management to capture business foresight and customer insight, make effective decisions, and grasp the growth opportunities and manage risks effectively. Keep in mind though, many companies don't seem to have learned the lessons of each wave of new systems over the years that a system or information can only provide value if you have a clear understanding of how you will use it. Information is the means to the end. Information and knowledge can be tapped in monetizing the IT-driven business initiative’s benefits flow. The point is that the business managers have to know what they are using the data for and what they are trying to achieve with the abundance of information. Information Management is a business or human problem, not just a technological problem. It doesn't matter how good the tool is if you don't know how to use it properly, you won't get expected business results. When the right people get the right information at the right time to get their work well done, they would appreciate the value of information management and the power of knowledge.

Cohesive competency:
IT is the value-added delivery that makes the organization different and competitive. Information & Technology is, in fact, the threshold to knit all important business elements into cohesive business competencies. Although IT becomes more crucial and touches almost every key process and dimensions of business today, in many organizations with the lower level of business maturity, business and IT work as the silo, fighting for the limited resources or competing for the never-enough budget or resources. Not mention that many IT organizations suffer from overloaded tasks, understaffing, and overwhelming growth of information. Thus, it’s important to leverage prioritization, transparency, and accountability alongside strong support on the business side, well align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives, to improve IT management effectiveness and the organizational maturity. IT and the business need to integrate and act as one in a flowing process which is ever active, because, with the accelerating digital speed, everything is always moving forward promptly. Nowadays, the ability to evolve IT systems at the pace of business needs and provide the cohesive competency is the decisive factor of long-term business success.

Progressive movement: IT is in a unique position to have the oversight of the business processes or functions, as well as the better view for the digital ecosystem to play a fore-running role in digital transformation. In order to develop sound plans for the progressive movement, plenty of IT and process expertise needs to be involved, to ensure that the IT organizational leadership is involved in setting the business strategy and goals of the company. IT can enforce the business benefit via mixing the diverse business ingredients to create products, services, or processes which generate differentiated business value and boost the long term business growth. IT can drive the digital transformation but it should be in conjunction with the business. Having a collaborative understanding environment is essential. The issue being raised regarding obstacles is that IT is viewed as an inhibitor, rather than an enabler/driver of change. Too often IT is not involved at a goal level but instead at a task level. To change the perception and reinvent IT as the strategic business partner, digital IT leaders should work closely with their executive peers to digest information, understand opportunities and threats, practice data support communication and build the trustful relationship for leading change proactively and progressively. To achieve the tangible results, it’s also important to set digital principles, drive the calculable business value, measure output and input, recognize and organize change in a structural way.

The high caliber IT organizations are at an inflection point to orchestrate the critical business processes, tools, and products that organizations use to drive the digital transformation from strategy to deployment. Such a technology-powered and insight-driven digital transformation can create synchronization of all functions running seamlessly, to achieve a higher purpose and reach the next level of business maturity.


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