Monday, August 5, 2019

Understand and Build IT Strength from Three Dimensions

IT maturity is based on overall business maturity. IT strength can further accelerate business changes and make a leap of digital transformation.

The digital organization is complex, informative, hyper-connected and interdependent, Digital IT is at a paradigm shift of role, responsibility, and attitude. To keep IT relevant, CIOs are expected to constantly propose new ideas and challenge the status quo. They need to make an objective SWOT assessment of their organization and build differentiated IT competencies. Here are three aspects of understanding and building IT strength.

Understand IT organizational strengths and weaknesses: IT strength and competency directly impact the competency of the entire company. Thus, SWOT analysis needs to be put in the CIO’s toolbox. Usually, the business weaknesses and strengths are inseparable, opportunities are tightly mingled with threats and vice versa. Take a critical look at IT, you need to be honest with yourself about assessing the strengths and weaknesses of IT organization. IT strengths and weakness assessment should cover people, processes, products, and partners both via performance and potential lens. IT leaders need to ask themselves and others tough questions about IT such as: How is IT doing for delivering quality business solutions timely? I How well IT is doing to meet the needs of the business and doesn’t waste time doing things that don’t matter? Where is the organization on the technology or process adoption curve? How fast that IT can respond to the rapid change and build dynamic business competency? Overall speaking, how does the business perceive IT? As a cost center, a service provider, a true strategic business enabler or a game changer? Etc. IT leaders should create a comprehensive list of IT organizational strength, weakness, goals and objectives based on self-evaluation and feedback from customers and partners. Because IT effectiveness and maturity are not based on how many years that IT organizations have been around to support the business, but about how fast IT can adapt to the business dynamic, how creatively IT can provide solutions to thorny business problems, as well as how amazingly IT can drive the top-line business growth. Understanding IT strengths and weakness is the first and one of the most critical steps of building differentiated IT competencies.

Understand IT teams strengths and weaknesses: In any organization from past, today or in the future, people are often the weakest link, but one of the most critical success factors for transforming and moving the organization to reach higher maturity. IT is no exception. In fact, IT skills gap is reality because IT talent often needs to have both technical and business skills for making sustainable IT-business relationship and solving business problems effectively. When assessing IT talent, more dynamic and balanced approaches are needed to understand individual talent, team strength, as well as how to put the right people with the right capabilities to solve the right problems. Forward-looking IT organizations need to discover and develop talent for tomorrow, rather than just hire for yesterday. Encourage staff to discover their innate strength and improve their skill proficiency. The team works as a whole with complementary strength is superior to achieve high performance business results. Develop strong teams by building trust, creating synergy, and amplifying collective creativity. Don't forget about communication, transparency, and acts of integrity on the part of management in creating organizational synergy. Without a conducive organizational climate, it is quite difficult to develop the team strength. Workforce planning and management have to be systematic, strategic, and innovative. Keep in mind, people are the human asset and capital needs to be invested wisely.

Understand the overall company strength and maturity: A strong IT can lift up the maturity of the entire company. And a strong business always empowers their IT organization to build up their unique competency. Every business is different, they are at a different stage of its business life cycle, they have their own unique strengths to delight customers and gain market shares. Strength often doubles up on strengths and threats often double up on threats. It’s important to have a deep knowledge of your business and your competitors and gain a deep understanding of the strength and maturity of the entire company such as the overall business effectiveness, efficiency, operational excellence, responsiveness, performance, innovation, intelligence, resilience, and people-centricity. The objective organizational strength assessment helps the management create an organizational strategy-capability mapping and make a road map that sets goals for strengthening the strength and building differentiated business competency. The process, technology, culture, capability tuning. etc, are all tactics to get the organization from here to there for moving into a more advanced stage of digital deployment and adapting to the over-complexity and fast-pace of changes.

IT is increasingly supportive of competitive position of the business. It’s very important for contemporary IT leaders to leverage the “SWOT” tool, continually do “self-reflection” by evaluating organizational strengths and weaknesses from different dimensions. IT maturity is based on overall business maturity. IT strength can further accelerate business changes and make a leap of digital transformation.


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