Monday, September 30, 2019

Incorporate Both Ends and Means to Build a High Mature Digital Organization

The journey of digital transformation is a bumpy journey with many ups and downs. It could be misled because of the wrong focus, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means.

The digital paradigm shift is multidimensional expansion and interdisciplinary management practice. The information technology, process, capability and culture tuning, etc, are all tactics to expand both horizontally and vertically, get the organization from here to there for managing a seamless digital transformation. High mature organizations are incorporating both ends and means, moving solidly from doing digital by applying digital technologies to going digital and being digital confidently.

Information systems incorporate both means and ends: Information-technology is solely about means. Information-technology is a specific subset of information management system that emphasizes the various tools, techniques and other means via which organizations can achieve the aims of that information-system. Information Systems are business oriented, designed to integrate crucial IT components for processing and refining information to improve decision effectiveness and problem-solving, and help users accomplish ultimate business goals and objectives. It incorporates both means and ends. Information Systems are logically independent of technology - in the context of information defined by information flows and stores, which are logically independent of technology although commonly implemented with technology. The key point is to make sure the “system-of-interest” is defined to establish the flexible business boundary and the properties that interact with the environment dynamically and ensure information system is purposeful and functional. The systematic view of Information Management helps the management understand information management as a system for shaping high-responsive and high-intelligent digital organizations.

Innovation management systems incorporate both means and ends: Innovation is production, assimilation, and exploration of a value-added novelty in business, economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methodologies of production. Innovation management system include many critical business elements such as framework, people, system, process, culture, tools, etc, to manage “systematic innovation” and develop business-wide innovation capabilities. It is both a process and an outcome. The traditional organizations can become more innovative if they can consciously break down the bureaucratic management style and proactively develop the resource-rich innovation hubs and hyperconnected cluster across enterprise ecosystems for enabling idea flow and creating business synergy. Only at the macroeconomic level, innovation starts becoming visible, that's also why clustering is becoming more and more important for creating a creative atmosphere. In practice, participation and people engagement is both means and end for building a highly innovative people-centric digital organization.

Enterprise performance management incorporates both means and ends: Performance Management is about how organizations manage performance at both strategic and operational level to achieve the well-set strategic business goals and objectives. It is important to track the right metrics and know what to do with them to see the performance improvement. The performance metrics incorporate both means and end. Because performance metrics are not just number but tell stories, and the good measurement aids setting direction for the digital transformation journey. At the strategic level, the performance measurement setting should focus on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole for the long term. It needs to connect multidisciplinary management dots to involve development, enablement, and enhancement, tell the full story with the business context, and ensure the business  is superior to the sum of pieces.

Dealing with the challenge of digital transformation requires accelerated digital mindsets, as well as leveraging multidisciplinary knowledge and practices. The journey of digital transformation is a bumpy journey with many ups and downs. It could be misled because of the wrong focus, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means. Digital organizations are living systems keep evolving. By incorporating means and ends of business systems seamlessly, organizations can take a logical step and navigate through the right direction, harmonize a hyperconnected and interactive digital ecosystem in which the business can grow organically and people can unleash their potential completely.


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