Sunday, April 28, 2019

Five Determinant Speed Factors of Digital IT

Running digital IT with accelerated speed evolves planning, designing, building, operating, modernizing, integrating, optimizing and maturing.

In the industrial age, IT is often perceived as a controller and it’s too slow to adapt to the "VUCA" digital new normal in the majority of organizations. With the increasing speed of changes and exponential growth of information, how successfully organizations can handle digital disruptions and win the competition depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment to deliver high-performance business results. In fact, nowadays IT has to speed up, drive changes and play a pivotal role in digital transformation. Here are five determinant speed factors of digital IT.

The speed of transactions: The fundamental responsibility of IT is to “keep the lights on” of the business. “Transactional" refers to operational transactions, taking input at one end and churning it out at the other with processes in between. The transactional side of IT seeks continuity. From IT transactional lens, following standard operating procedures is important to improve IT productivity and efficiency. With the high velocity of change in the business environment today, IT has to improve its speed of transactions either for providing technical services or fixing technology-related business problems. The root cause of speed issues often comes from gaps created between IT and the rest of the company. To mind the gap, IT leaders and staffs need to work closely with the business, simplify operations, optimize business processes, and find better solutions to the business problems at the premium speed in order to become the better partners with the rest of the organizations. To strike the balance of acceleration and stability, some IT organizations run with a hybrid speed, separate the exploitation of the existing technologies, methods, and practices from the exploration of new ways to do things. On one side, IT strives to achieve operational excellence by taking a structural approach with solid pace; on the other side, IT needs to accelerate the speed of adopting new technologies or practices and focus on the fastest speed available because that is where the main threat to competitiveness.

The speed of information flow and decision-making:
In the digital era, information is one of the most invaluable assets in organizations across vertical sectors. The speed of information flow directly impacts the speed of the business because smart businesses leverage information to make better decisions, capture market foresight and customer insight for grasping growth opportunities or managing risks timely. Information is permeating into everywhere in the organization, thus, the value of information is not isolated, and the speed of processing information matters as well. Information Management is all about having the right people access the right information to make the right decisions at the right time to make the right decisions for solving the right problems timely.  Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. IT needs to manage a data-information-knowledge-insight life cycle efficiently at the premium speed to maximize information value and improve decision-making effectiveness. Some highly intelligent leading organizations can manage information excellently to capture business insight almost at the real-time, in order to respond to changes promptly and deliver high-performance business results.

The speed with which new ideas are created and how fast well-selected ideas are brought to market: Information is one of the most time-intensive pieces of innovation puzzle, from idea generation to idea implementation, speed matters for winning customers and gaining market shares. One of the real challenges to innovation management is how to accelerate idea validation and streamline innovation process. IT can help to reframe business innovation processes to keep ideas flow and evaluated effectively because there are some critical pieces of information needed for accelerating idea validation such as facts about ideas, benefits, and shortcomings, etc. Ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique. Information flow can further streamline the idea flow and stimulate collective creativity which will catalyze business growth and improve organizational viability. Having a large number of ideas is a good thing as long as you can leverage information & technology, try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into the solid implementation and outcome, accelerate the speed for bringing ideas to market and achieving their commercial business value.

The velocity of business capital flows:
There are both tangible and intangible business capitals need to be managed well in today’s organzations. Besides financial capital flow, there are human capital including all the talent, competencies, and experience of employees and managers; there are information capital including all data which can be refined into business knowledge and insight; there are organizational structural capital including knowledge, processes, software and intellectual property; and there are relationship capital including all key external relationships that drive business growth with customers, suppliers, partners, to name a few, etc. The velocity of capital flow directly impacts the performance and changeability of the company. With emerging digital technology trend and the importance of information capital, forward-thinking industrial leaders empower and invest IT boldly to as a strategic differentiator. Digital IT can shorten the products/services delivery cycle, take minimum time to market, and improve the return on IT capital investment with a solid velocity.

The speed which knowledge flows through the economic system: Knowledge is power. Knowledge does not stand still! It flows into the company, it flows out of it, it erodes; it gets created, and hopefully, it flows to the customers of that company in terms of products and services delivery at its own pace. Thus, it's critical to create an environment that encourages the utilization and the flow of knowledge because the speed of knowledge flows and the maturity of knowledge management will directly impact the business responsiveness, innovation capacity, and organizational performance. Speed matters because it doesn’t take long for the knowledge to become a commodity due to the rapid changes and overwhelming growth of information. There is a shift from static knowledge management approaches to techniques that enhance the knowledge flow within an organization to improve its access and use either for solving critical business problems or developing unique business competencies.

IT organizations are at the digital frontier to drive changes, optimize business processes, build organizational capabilities, and catalyze business growth. Speed matters for businesses’ surviving and thriving. Running digital IT with accelerated speed evolves planning, designing, building, operating, modernizing, integrating, optimizing and maturing.


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