Monday, May 18, 2020

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Integration Officer” May 2020

The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective, and operation-efficient.

   CIOs as “Chief Integration Officer” 

CIO as ‘Chief Integration Officer’: Quality Attributes in IT Integration To compete at digital speed, IT is transforming from a builder to an integrator, from a plumber to an orchestrator; from an order taker to a business advisor; IT management philosophy is also transforming from ’built to last’ to ‘wired to change,' or "wireless to design." Integration becomes the key step in building solid IT-enabled business capabilities. But what are the top quality attributes in IT integration though?

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 11 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Integration Officer” Traditional IT organizations are often seen as one of the weakest links in the company. To close the gaps and enforce the business-IT relationship, the CIO as the “Chief Integration Officer” needs to know how to play a bridge between what businesses understand and what technology understands. The highly effective corporations need to embed the power of information in its fiber to ensure IT is an integral part of the business to build the differentiated business competency. And IT can truly become the digital integrator, accelerator, innovator, and trusted business partner.

CIO as “Chief Integration Officer”: What is Driving the Need for better IT Integration It is the digital era, IT organizations are transforming from “Build to last,” to “Design to Change” and “Cloudify to Speed Up”. Especially, In large complex enterprises where there are many revenue streams, many business units, many geographies involved, many products and services will be having a variety of data, and a variety of systems to handle the business. Whether the cloud is used or not, here comes the need for integration and with much complexity as well. From the management perspective, what is driving the need for better integration of IT systems, and how to manage it effectively.

CIO as Chief Integration Officer: API as Lego Blocks Today’s CIO has many roles, from business strategist to innovative intrepreneur, from technology visionary to talent master, now, we may need to add a new one: CIO as Chief Integration Officer, a producer, not for the TV show, but for digital business services, as IT turns to be a platform for co-creation and digital engagement via an agile IT architecture with speed. A recent released API business value report from PWC may help CIOs gain some insight upon being a successful Chief Integration Officer:

Standardization vs. Integration The balance between standardization and integration, at the business or enterprise level, was the defining characteristic of the industrial age. Organizations today are even more complex and hyper-connected, hence, standardization and integration are more crucial, not less, as at all levels in life and business, there is an understanding about standards and why - and in this day of globalization and global marketplaces - the use of standards and the benefits they bring as to form a foundation, enabling integration, market and customer potential and speed to market. The point is: Are they always good, or are there scenarios where they might not be feasible? Both standardization and integration normally come with a cost. What mechanisms, practices, or methodology would you normally use to justify these costs to the business?

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today, and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.