Friday, January 17, 2020

The CIO’s IT Strategic Planning for Making a Stride toward the Future

As the saying goes, plan is nothing, and planning is everything. This is especially true due to the increasing speed of changes and continuous disruption. As information is permeating into every corner of the busy and emerging technology is often the disruptive force of digital transformation. Nowadays IT is the organization that touches every initiative, every functional organization, every business unit of the company. A strategic CIO knows how to do dynamic planning with the following focal points, make a stride toward the future and lead his/her organization to become a competitive differentiator.

Opportunity/innovation: With the fast pace of changes and exponential growth of information, there is a danger of not having a dynamic strategy management process to "develop and nurture" business potential which includes the ability to perform in the future and that’s what really matters. Either for individuals or businesses, unleashing potential is about how to discover your innate ability, and strengthen your strength to develop a unique set of capabilities. Take a wide look around at what's going on outside the organization and how it might affect the organization. Take a hard look at what's going on inside the organization, including its strengths and weaknesses.

Information and technology recharge the digital business with the power to respond to changes quickly and innovate relentlessly. Thus, CIOs need to make strategic planning, proactively push ideas on how to leverage IT to drive business revenue growth, improve business responsiveness, flexibility, and profitability. Forward-looking digital organizations explore new possibilities and build the core competencies to perform in the future so that the organization does not only “earn enough from today,” but “thrive in the future.”

Operational efficiency: To run a highly effective IT, there are three things IT leaders need to be accomplished: Get the "utility" aspect of IT solidified. Develop IT staff, into capable business experts rather than inflexible technicians. Learn the business and its strategic imperatives. IT has to keep consolidating, integrating, modernizing, innovating, and optimizing.

When an organization becomes too complicated with outdated rules or overly rigid processes or procedures, people get frustrated and annoyed by not being able to accomplish things easily. This drives the search for simplicity and pursues operational excellence. “Keeping it Simple” should always be one of the guiding principles and management disciplines to achieve operational excellence. When the business operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, the organization reaches the inflection point to achieve high-level business maturity.

Mature strategic alignment: Alignment is fundamental and multidimensional, implies both arrangement and alliance. Do not underestimate the perfect wave of combined IT-business integration of all of the exponential growth curves. There are IT-business alignment and IT customer alignment, inside-out and outside-in view alignment, etc. With enlarged digital gaps caused by high velocity and interdependence, it is a persistent and pervasive problem that demands an ongoing process/capability alignment to ensure that IT and business strategies adapt effectively and efficiently together for achieving high-performance business results.

Those organizations that have a more mature strategic alignment (integration, collaboration, harmony, etc.) outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to the business dynamic. Living in coherent alignment means that digital organizations need to step up from IT-business alignment to IT-customer alignment to reflect the customer-centric trend; from inside-out operation driven to outside-in business focus, digitize touchpoint of customer experience, and making a direct impact on the top line business growth.

Improve business reliability and resilience by managing business risks: The purpose of assessing risk against consequence criteria is to determine what risk must be managed, and who needs to be involved in that management. In reality, most of today’s risk management is reserved for huge and costly endeavors. The problem with this is that the lack of risk awareness creates more blind spots uncovered and gaps unfilled. It’s critical to embed risk mechanisms into business strategy management processes for monitoring and mitigating risks that would prevent the execution of the strategy or operational plans from achieving the stated aims or that would even make the strategy and operational plans completely obsolete.

Pay more attention to the risk management pitfalls such as too preoccupied with those nitty-gritty risks whilst losing sight of the big picture risk. It’s important to develop an effective risk management model for integrating all crucial elements such as processes, technologies, talent, communication, culture, tools, etc, to model, manage, and measure risks.

ROI factors: Analyze total cost, total value, and total impact in order to improve organizational maturity. Return On Investment value proposition should be an overall measurement based on the combination of cost, schedule, quality, performance, and satisfaction of the customers and stakeholders, cost/benefit, payback period, etc. It is important to make a comparison of the current value (the value that considers the current scenario with the current costs) and projected value (the value considering a conservative scenario according to what you expect in the future). The comparisons help to review progress, deviations and make effective decisions.

The ROI performance management should take into account both financial and non-financial measures, assessing internal improvements, past outcomes and ongoing requirements as indications of future performance. Performance monitoring is not limited to financial performance only. Return on Investment should be expanded into the broader perspective which usually cannot be measured fully in time and dollars such as employee satisfaction, creativity, teamwork or culture evolution, etc.

CIOs need to become less technically focused (but not less technically literate), and far more business-focused. Digital strategic planning is dynamic with two key points to remember: The planning process is at least as important as the planning document itself. And the planning process is never "done" - the planning process is a continuous cycle that's part of the management process itself. To do effective strategic planning, you need to understand your competition, also have to build up a strong partnership with executive peers, business managers, and other service providers, pull up the resources and partners to build up new business differentiators.


Post a Comment