Thursday, May 28, 2020

Capture IT Management Unified Views to Drive Digital Transformation

Digital IT leaders today not just reactively look through and respond to the business ecosystem; they should actually proactively plan and architect the digital landscape.

IT is the linchpin of digital transformation. The current state assessment of IT organizational maturity should bring different perspectives on digital transformation initiatives and management disciplines. This includes identification of stakeholders, understanding of their preferences, priorities and pain points, understanding, and fine balancing the IT and business priorities!

From an architecture perspective, the unified and dynamic views of the “digital IT landscape” has many dimensions.

Logical view: A Logical View of IT is as the customers or users see and understand it, and should be used to communicate with them. It focuses on functional requirements or information modeling. It is concerned with the semantics of the elements, what do these things represent. IT architects and system development staff should communicate in a logical view and terms, and translate agreed/approved logical view or changes to physical view correctly. What architecture subsystems are considered at what level would depend on a variety of factors including organization, skillset, culture, business model, or the level of organizational commitment, etc.

A logical view provides a unified context for further analysis of the high-level functions of the IT organization, and ultimately guiding decision making. In the ITA part, all the information that is to be used by applications is dealt with at a logical level and establishes optimized structures for the best informational application including processes. Enterprises have parts of their business that are transaction-oriented and therefore process intensive, and parts of their business which are information intensive. So the logical view based IT management analysis needs to be wise to take heed of the nature of activities to determine how best to analyze the subject area.

Information view: Nowadays, information is permeating everywhere in the business, information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. and it’s the most time-intensive piece of business innovation. There are a plethora of opportunities on the IT horizon to drive business growth. In order not to miss opportunities, the information view helps the business grow and prevent risks. In practice, the organizational data environment is often fraught with inconsistency, redundancy, multiple, sometimes overlapping knowledge platforms, all of which make information management as one of the most difficult, but critical management disciplines.

In fact, nowadays, businesses across-sectors declare they are at information businesses. Information flow can further streamline idea flow, Information view enhances an in-depth understanding of business flow. In fact, the ability to explore intangible information assets becomes far more decisive to build competitive business advantage for the long term. Information systems incorporate both ends and means, they are continuously open to new information from the dynamic business environment and are able to circulate information within the system seamlessly and respond to changes continuously.

Business process/capability view: Business process modeling is about how workflows and activities are carried out through the organization. Enterprise process view enables a framework for refining and optimizing processes and information interactions at various levels of an enterprise influenced and informed by enterprise goals and objectives; the steps involved and who does what and how and what business logic/rules are used in the process, clearly recognize the need for improved technical support for these key business processes and identify the top business process area that needs technology investment.

A process view helps to take a fresh look at the processes, evaluate an organizational management approach, and how process-oriented it is, as well as process design, publication, ownership, improvement, etc, against each of the processes in the architecture. Keep in mind though, a process view perhaps causes stakeholders to limit their thinking to process deficiencies, and not consider the other resources inherent in exercising the process. By leveraging capability view, the management readily considers service, people, process, information, asset, etc, dimensions of the adequacy of the capability to fulfill their business strategy.

Organizational structural view: The IT department is not a silo by itself and it draws its energy from within the organization. The main reason corporations need to shape a structural view, create new structure schemes and organizational designs in IT is because business goals are not being met with current design and structure. Some organizations fail to capitalize on their great ideas because there was no structure in place to manage the ideas. The “organizational structure design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of the physical structure and virtual platform that enables the organizational interdependence and responsiveness.

IT can be a "pioneering" division to walk the talk and lead the change within the organization. There are both official structures and unofficial structures in the organization. The question is whether the official structure and the unofficial structure co-exist antagonistically or harmoniously. High responsive and high mature IT organizations are like the self-adaptive system which is able to re-configure their own structure and change their own behavior with its adaptation to environmental changes and move forward effortlessly.

IT Infrastructure views: “Keep the lights on,” is always fundamental for running IT smoothly. While IT infrastructure pieces are still complex, IT fundamentals should consist only of responsibility for IT infrastructure, the most important data standards, overarched by IT governance. Traditional IT organizations are perceived as an isolated function with monolithic hardware boxes, tangled wires, geek types of IT staff who speak a different language, and lack of business acumen. Through an infrastructural view, digital IT can consolidate, modernize, integrate, and optimize, shifting from “T” (hardware technological box) driven- to “I”- information-oriented; from monolithic to mosaic style; and from “built to last” to “designed for change.”

The black and white images of IT infrastructure are kind of boring and out of fashion. The real issue is that IT needs to stop touting how well it does infrastructure, and start demonstrating how they help the company achieve business objectives like accessing new markets, generating new products, or becoming more operationally effective. Focus on outcomes - running all production apps and infrastructure, and keep them all up and available. IT management is looking to improve service levels and responsiveness to clients as everyone had a common goal in mind.

Digital IT leaders today not just reactively look through and respond to the business ecosystem; they should actually proactively plan and architect the digital landscape, continually deliver what the business needs, and take further steps to maximize business potential and unlock performance for reaching the next level of organizational maturity.


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