Thursday, December 19, 2019

Running IT as a Digital Business Catalyst

The role of the CIO is to drive the corporate vision and strategy through knowledge as the soft asset and information channels. 

Digital is about the exponential growth of information, increasing speed of change, hyper-connectivity, and fierce competition. IT has evolved significantly in running business today, not simply as a tool or mechanism to support business goals, but a digital catalyst to achieve strategic business goals. It takes the very solid leadership, focus, and abilities to achieve high performance business results.

Take an integrated approach to manage information and knowledge holistically: Information is situated between data and knowledge. The power of information management is to deal with the mountain of information with both technology and human know-how, convert information into invaluable knowledge or real-time insight in handling “VUCA’ digital new normal and solving business issues effectively. There is a pervasive appreciation throughout the enterprise, particularly executive-level management, for adequate, accurate and timely information management as a basis for decision-making.

Digital IT catalyzes information flow and drives business changes proactively. It involves the application of technologies and processes of capturing, developing, sharing, and applying information or knowledge to ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decisions and get their work done smoothly. Thus, business managers need to know what they are using data for and what they are trying to achieve, apply worthwhile Information Management maturity evaluation to reveal the inherent information value.

In practice, Information Management and Knowledge Management should be managed holistically and turn the most valuable personally-owned information and knowledge assets into corporately owned assets. Information and knowledge then can be tapped in monetizing the IT- driven business initiative’s benefits flow.

Demonstrate the ability to evolve the IT system at the pace of business to provide invaluable knowledge as the business asset while reducing the cost of the IT asset: Besides human capital, the key to ultimate business success today is intangible knowledge assets developed through smart data and antifragile processes. The intangible asset and innovation capital drive the business value, growth, and performance of organizations across the vertical sectors today.

Organizations should put some measurable value on the information and knowledge assets because it is "vital" to the ultimate business success. Nowadays, companies are highly dependent on IT executives who can make the proposal to change or replace the technology based on the needs of the business to catalyze change and build IT assets cost-effectively.

 In practice, IT often suffers from overloading, lack of resource managing business delivery including process development. CIOs need to demonstrate the ability to make consistent IT delivery as the soft asset along with re-framing of in-place processes that filter and fund investments both business oriented and technology oriented.

Present the capability to capture the latest digital technology trends for catalyzing business innovation: To make IT a digital catalyst and compliment the business road-map, IT management must get a feeler of the business view. That should help in trying new technologies to shape an innovative digital organization. 

Thus, CIOs need to be forward-looking to see where relevant technology, and their industry, is heading. They need to first understand their business and industry, then evaluate technology based on the value or competitive advantage it brings to the business. They have to balance real technology needs against the risk tolerance of the enterprise by asking: Is the new technology table stakes for the industry or does it provide the organization with a competitive advantage in generating revenue? Technology can be efficiency-driven, or it can be disruptive, changing the industry. It is the CIO's job to discern the difference and make a business case. If it doesn't represent innovation in a direction that supports the most critical business initiatives, it may not be a priority for the CIO.

As businesses move into the digital future, technology is the fastest growing arena, information is the lifeblood of the business; knowledge is more intangible, complex and dynamic compared to the physical asset. The role of the CIO is to drive the corporate vision and strategy through knowledge as the soft asset and information channels. Digital IT leaders should set a high standard and take the further steps in leading changes, catalyzing innovation, and driving digital transformation.


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