Friday, November 8, 2019

Running Digital IT with “STEAM“ Themes

The digital paradigm has many dimensions. it is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture cross disciplinary domains.

IT is the business. Digital IT is a paradigm shift in role, responsibility, and attitude. IT should continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner.

The management of IT is the integral management discipline to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. CIOs are no longer just glorified geeks, they are digital savvy strategists and open-minded digital modernists to run IT with “STEAM“ theme.

Science - the scientific side of IT: Talking about science, it claims to be based on both inductive and deductive reasoning. Science = "At" & "How." What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time, through the application of known facts. From an IT management perspective, it’s the ability to produce business solutions in a problem domain repeatedly.

IT management is a science as it is precise, exact and can be accurately and logically represented and reused. IT management has a scientific part in which a lot of things are proven, repeatable, and methodology that can be effectively used, etc. In fact, the computation has become one of the most important disciplines of science because it’s the science of how machines can be made to carry out intellectual processes and capabilities. Running IT as a scientific discipline is to ensure its products/services functionality, reliability, performance, and maintainability, etc.

Technology - the strong pillar of IT: Emerging digital technologies is often the hard force behind business disruptions and bring huge opportunities to reinvent business models and create a new revenue stream. However, running high performance digital IT is not just about playing some cool technology gadgets, it needs to expand digitally in every dimension of the business, to optimize underlying functions, structures, or processes, streamline information flow, and connect business to the ecosystem for involving customers and business partners in the digital dialogues to co-solving problems and co-creating knowledge.

Due to the complex nature of technology and shortened knowledge life cycle, a highly effective CIO’s job is to achieve operational excellence by reducing the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. That includes reducing costs, improving systems, optimizing processes and providing continually expanding business solutions. In the end, it is not about technology, but what technology can do when it is enabling and integrating with change management and business processes to deliver strategic differentiation and improve business performance and maturity.

Engineering - the core discipline of IT: The engineering side of IT enables it to take a logical path to implement ideas as well as to figure out solutions to most types of problems. An engineer should always think about the goals, but their first concern should be meeting the narrower requirements that their aspect of the overall design must meet, be able to design down to the last detail.

IT management and professionals can apply scientific logic with the structural approach and engineering discipline to break big business problems down into deliverable chunks for delivering value to the business at regular intervals. From a software management perspective, it is the step-wise scenario and interdisciplinary approach that would include strategic and tactical planning, systems engineering, concurrent engineering, project design, quality engineering, portfolio management and optimization, systems ecology, etc. In practice, often, in practice, the engineering side of IT is hidden inside the business perspective of IT, make it invisible and humble. Ideally, the magic formula of Engineering = System + Operation + Methodology + Design + Creativity + Science + Process.

Art - the intuitive side of IT: IT management is science from the learning perspective and art in implementing what you learned in combination with other skills. In essence, engineering is a piece of art because it involves design thinking, personalized judgment, experimentation, intuition, and innovation. The element of art in IT can improve customer satisfaction by designing an intuitive interface and cool products/services.

Running high performance digital IT takes both logic and intuition. It is a mix of art and science which helps in open communication, realistic expectations, and mutually acceptable timelines for products/services deliveries and governance. Digital IT leaders with artistic touch need to wear their design thinking hat to tap the creative side of IT for meeting the company’s long term goals, building a strong brand and improving the overall organizational maturity.

Mathematics - the structural perspective of IT: Mathematics is the science of structure. It studies structural relations. While the structure and structural relations are not the only concerns. Mathematics helps us understand our perceptions of reality and is described as the science of complexity (“complexity‘ means “a lot of structure”).

Mathematics is not usually classified as a science because it does not rely on an experiment in the traditional sense. Theoretically speaking, mathematics encompasses arithmetic and algebra, geometry and trigonometry, calculus and analysis, statics and dynamics, probability and statistics, etc. It just turns out that, as human society gets more and more complex, the very natural attempt of humans to take the very powerful techniques of mathematics, such as techniques of linear mathematics or non-linear mathematics, and apply it to the world very quickly come up against insurmountable difficulties. Still, mathematics is the foundation of computer science and brings the structural perspective of IT.

The digital paradigm has many dimensions. it is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture cross disciplinary domains. An interdisciplinary IT leaders should embrace “STEAM” themes, keep shaping the digital mindset, re-imagine their leadership influence and effectiveness, continually reinvent IT to adapt to changes, inspire and facilitate innovation across the technology and business interface.


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