Sunday, November 24, 2019

Running Digital IT as a Business Integrator

 IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all-important key business elements into differentiated business competencies and make change sustainable.

Many organizations are reaching the inflection point for the radical digitalization, it’s important to understand that digital business development is multifaceted. IT provides an important framework and structure to streamline processes, acts as a linchpin, change agent, and business integrator, to lead digital transformation in a structural way. Running digital IT is both art and science, a progressive journey, and a cautionary tale.

Use of appropriate language: One of the major sources of the divide that segregates business and IT is the communications dialog - the lexicon used to communicate between people. Language influences perception. Besides the finance language, there is a different way to communicate, and that is the key to becoming a better business partner. To reinvent IT as a strategic partner, IT must speak the language of business in terms of management, governance, and performance metrics, make every effort to simplify IT speak. More specifically, as today, CIO sits in a unique seat of having the opportunity to see across the entire landscape of the business, they need to facilitate digital dialogues with functional managers and deliver “competitive capability” to business as many businesses will plateau without IT. IT leaders who can speak architectural dialect help to facilitate the digital dialogues between organizational decision-makers and thereby assist the organization in continuously designing and redesigning itself in pursuit of new and more viable strategies, enhancing cross-functional business coordination, developing expertise, and enforcing business responsibility. CIOs need to become digital ambassadors for enabling and engaging with business and demonstrate IT as a strategic partner of the business.

Marketing of IT: Digital IT is no longer that isolated function. Modern CIOs and other IT leaders do need to become good marketers themselves in order to engage in business communication and change. In fact, the CIO as the strategic leader needs to seek ways to grow revenues, profitability, and spur innovation. Either to internal or external audiences, promoting IT is to achieve business objectives. IT should cultivate talent with multiple skill sets including how to influence others, understand both business and technology, cure the root cause of problems, instead of just fixing the symptoms. The effective IT promotion skill is to know how to explain technical concepts to technical people and non-technical people. That's a completely different mindset than managing technology only. It requires a blend of technical understanding and expertise in best practices in communications. IT leaders should have the expertise to understand the value and benefit of an IT initiative and how that will positively change an organization or business processes and build a great reputation as the digital integrator and run IT as the business inside the business.

IT Change Management and metrics: IT is in the middle of a sea change, there are organizational change, technological change, and behavior changes. CIOs shouldn't get pushed for changes, they are actually in a better position to play a role as the change agent and digital integrator to set principles, guidelines, and rules to run digital IT organization. Running a highly responsive IT organization needs to get support across the organizational boundaries and integrate all critical business factors into the organizational changeability. The clear goals for change should focus on betterment, forwarding, and upward improvement. The changes delivered could be incremental by training, transitional by improving processes; or transformational if it is fundamentally shifting the entire business model of an organization. In addition, continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. IT needs to develop a systematic measurement approach to assessing its multidimensional value beyond just monetary benefit.

Digital transformation is inevitable, transformation means to change the "nature" of something, albeit that the increasing pace of technological advances has clearly impacted the nature and scope of opportunities or disruptions. The dynamic IT planning and proactive preparation are crucial steps in building the digital premium into the very foundation of their companies. IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all-important key business elements into differentiated business competencies and make change sustainable.


Post a Comment