Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Characteristics of Top IT Performer

IT cannot architect itself in isolation, top IT performer has a harmonized vision about overall IT capabilities and maturities.

With the exponential growth of information and often technology-led digital disruptions, "IT" isn't just a back-end operational role anymore but encompassing more proactive functions. Thus, enterprise IT needs to adopt both new technologies and behaviors to keep up with the rising waves of changes.

In fact, the whole move towards non-monolithic applications has already happened. CIOs should see beyond the confines of his or her own function by understanding all the moving parts of the business and contribute to the overall improvement of the greater company,

They can strike a good balance of inward (IT) and outward (business) focus: Today's digital businesses have very high expectations about IT for being a real partner in the business. First of all, “keeping the lights on” is still fundamental for the business’s survival. IT management does have the inward focus performance which is measured with metrics such as “uptime,” “cost per transaction,” etc. However, to run IT as a strategic business partner, it is the outside-in lenses to see IT management from a business view, instead of just IT operation perspectives. IT needs to have outward (business) focus as to measure "margin contribution," "sales win percentage," or "yield on investment," etc.

To put simply, run IT as the business to capitalize on growth opportunities and lead digital transformation. It means having IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that strategies, portfolios, structures, and people, etc, work in harmony such that initiatives, especially those focused on leveraging IT to increase revenues are successful.

They care about “the customer”: To reinvent IT for getting digital ready, the next practice of IT management is to live as "customers." Customer-facing applications are critical at the end of the day, they generate revenues for the business. Every company just has to take a good look at which information would be the most valuable to them and tailor their needs accordingly. It is important to capture customer insight, not just getting information and understand it partially.

 IT has both internal customers end customers. Point out that customer inquiries are not just support related, but can foster better ways the application can perform and optimize every touch point of customer experience. Running a customer-centric IT means that you need to first understand your customers and what they value, and then identifies how to best characterize that value through project portfolio management, define key indicators, and then set those measures appropriate to best assess the performance of these indicators because they show you how well they satisfy or delight customers. Improvement and achieving the right balance in any truly customer-centric organization requires all team members to believe that things can be improved.

They are always on the lookout for ways to improve: Every organization needs to drive continual improvement in order to meet their objectives and stay competitive. Top performer IT continually optimizes revenue, increases profits and improves customer satisfaction. That includes reducing costs, improving organizational systems, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding services, people and process (skills, organization, workflow, efficiency, and process)

The systematic view of Information Management helps the management understand information management as a system for shaping high-responsive and high-intelligent digital organizations. As a matter of fact, "continual improvement" is the IT mantra in the digital era; there is never an "enough" to optimizing operations. Also, it includes a broad range of monitoring, performance measurement, performance reporting, functional failover schemes, etc.

To improve IT visibility and organizational maturity, it’s important to leverage the latest technologies or tools to continue trimming cost or retooling business processes for running IT as a business enabler and enhancer by planning, funding, designing, building, operating, securing, optimizing, and maturing.

They realize the technology is just a means to an end:
Digital is the age of technological advancement and information abundance. But still, either the latest fancy technology gadgets or powerful enterprise digital technologies are the means to an end, not the end. Different information is required at different points in the decision and operational delivery chain. Information is the means to the end, you have to know how to swim more effortlessly in the sea of information, but you should always keep in mind that information only has a value when it has been used.

IT is not just technical, but rather, business-driven. IT application development can add value to any organization if it understands the various business lines needs and wants; it can provide cross line synergies by understanding the various lines and providing efficient interfaces between lines; understands the direction of the IT industry and of the organization's internal direction/goals and the organizations, industries future, expected direction. The visualization of IT management helps to “keeping the end in mind,” setting the direction for IT and communicate the business value of IT, with the goal to achieve the ultimate business value.

They can bridge the gap between technology and the people who use it: With the age of IT consumerization, these are the days of business users becoming more tech savvy. As now users have the opportunity to be more selective in terms of how they want to consume information technology. 

With lightweight digital technologies, more and more businesses expect the consumerization style responsiveness from IT. But there are a lot of risks and planning required for embracing the "consumerization of IT.” IT management needs to ensure its strategy and practices allowing the digital speed, the maturity level of IT organization matches the requirements of strategic business goals. 

In fact, IT consumerization trends provide an important opportunity for the IT organization to speed up the transformation from a reactive support center to a proactive business partner and from a rigid, controlling IT department to a flexible IT. Although the transformation would not be easy, and more importantly, a big piece of this puzzle seems to be how users themselves identify their role as consumers of IT.

IT cannot architect itself in isolation, top IT performer has a harmonized vision about overall IT capabilities and maturities and they are the strategic partner to help the business build competitive advantage. IT matters because it becomes an integral part and unique characteristics of the business, and IT is a key attribute to business capabilities for building a high-performance enterprise.


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