Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Three Characteristics of High-Mature Digital IT

There is the time to sow, and there is time to reap; there is time to lead, and there is time to follow.

With the exponential growth of information and rapid changes, IT is uniquely positioned to observe underlying business processes and organizational structures across the enterprise, as well as integrate all essential business elements such as people, process, and technology into differentiated organizational competencies. IT should continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner, retool IT management for adapting to the digital business dynamic, train IT staff with updated knowledge and skills, and solve critical business problems, not just fix technical symptoms. Here are three characteristics of high-mature digital IT.

Relevance: With fierce competitions, on-demand IT service delivery model, rapid changes, and high customer expectation, IT simply cannot just “keep the lights on” only, respond to the business’s requests in a reactive way, or get stuck with the old “command and control” management mentality. The digital new normal drives CIOs to run IT as the business because IT can no longer feel like it has a monopoly on delivering services to the business, it has to become the strategic partner and the business solution provider with continuous deliveries. To keep it relevant and improve organizational maturity, IT should prove that the combination of quality and price for any given service feature is comparable to the marketplace. IT needs to ride change curves ahead of the rest of the organization, as well as bridge the gap between business and IT. To keep IT relevant is about keeping IT digital fit. IT should never stop trimming the cost and remove the weeds, keep consolidating, integration, modernizing, and optimizing, seamlessly enable and optimize the organizational capabilities and capacities ahead of the business requirement. To keep improving IT performance and exceed customers’ expectations, leading IT organizations are moving from “aligning IT with the business,” to “aligning IT to customers.” IT leaders are able to listen to a wide range of options, work closely with the business from outside-in, share great insight, truly understand critical business problems, deliver the tailored solutions to customers and meet the market need consistently.

Balance: We have more computing power, greater connectivity, overwhelming growth of data, greater potential empowerment of digital workforce, etc. But more of something isn't always necessarily good. It’s important for today’s digital leaders knowing how to stay focus, set the right priority to get important work done timely and strike the right balance of business stability and growth; standardization and innovation; transaction and transformation. IT should strive to improve operational excellence, it also needs to spend more resources and time for doing innovation and become “Transformational,” which means redesigning existing transactions to something new, being innovative and creative and also introducing completely new transactions with higher efficiency. To put simply, IT should follow the “balance” principle which means you need to keep the business running forward with steadfast speed and know when to “rock the boat” accordingly. CIOs are responsible for the new technology adoption, also maximizing the use of existing technologies. Technology can be efficiency-driven, or it can be disruptive - changing the industry. CIOs need to be forward-looking to see where relevant technology, and their industry, is heading. It is the CIO's job to discern the difference and make a business case.

Emergence: Business are systems, any system must have some emergent characteristics. Digital organizations today have to enable desirable emergent property. It is important for the organization to identify those emergent business properties, as well as how information is associated with the valued tangibles of businesses. Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, organizations have to enable the desirable emergent property, which is being called synergy. To improve IT maturity, CIOs must do more than just manage the “bits or bytes,” they need to leverage IT to create the business synergy which implies the emerging business capabilities being built by optimizing company processes or taking certain business activities. High mature organizations try to design for the emergence and develop for creating synergy. It is useful and normal to start with a set of outcomes and then model the system that does or could produce them. The healthy planning-adjusting-evolving digital refinement cycle creates the business synergy to strive vigorously in leading digital transformation. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring digital is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern or exponential speed, as the pervasiveness of an organization's digital transformation journey increases. IT needs to be run as the digital energizer and business solutionary to fix either old or emergent business problems.

Organizations rely more and more on technology; the IT department has more and more to overcome. There is the time to sow, and there is time to reap; there is time to lead, and there is time to follow. This is particularly true for running high-mature digital IT today. The journey of improving business maturity is more evolutionary than revolutionary, it takes strategic planning and flawless execution.


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From Japs a researcher from Always Open Commerce

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