Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Can CIOs Spin Multiple Plates Magically Well?

IT management is complex and multifaceted, IT leaders should broaden their ecosystem view, learn how to spin the multiple plates skillfully in order to shape IT as a strategic business partner.

IT plays a critical role in catalyzing the digital paradigm shift as it can be used as a tool, enabler, catalyst, digital integrator & transformer and a unique capability builder to meet the ultimate goal of an organization for the long run. 

Increasingly, IT leaders look to play a role of supplementing the business vision with information technology as the accelerator and innovator. They need to be like the skillful performers who can spin multiple plates magically well, but put a lot of effort behind the scenes.

There are strategies for focusing so that progress will occur with the most beneficial impacts: Nowadays IT leaders have multiple personas, should engage business proactively for becoming a strategic business partner. Both strategic goals and tactical objectives should be set to achieve digital strategy and business objectives, these are then broken into objectives for the IT department. Metaphorically, running digital IT is like spinning plates, not only do you need to have multiple focuses, but also have a dynamic & cohesive strategy and create synergy to manage a balanced portfolio.

IT needs to be understood and harnessed by all stakeholders to fulfill the business potential. IT management is multifaceted, the challenge for IT leaders to spin multiple plates should be met comfortably by identifying important business areas that need investment for bringing growth opportunities, looking for new avenues of revenue, meeting top priorities of the business strategy management or enforcing better practices etc. IT should provide a cost effective and secure IT architecture that permits the rapid development of new business solutions, delivers perceived added value services at a reasonable cost, makes operational and service level agreements and commitments, supports the achievement of tactical business objectives, improves employee productivity and optimizes customer experiences.

Equate spin as "energy and effort": Many IT organizations suffer from overwhelming growth of information, under staffing management reality, and overloaded tasks. There are emerging issues coming out on a daily basis, and it sucks up as many resources as they can. There are also long term concerns or intermediate term requirement. In fact, there are so many things in IT plates now, and there are multiple plates IT leaders should spin well. To improve IT leadership effectiveness, and manage a balanced IT portfolio, equate spin as "energy and effort," note how you can spin one plate harder, leave it longer, then return to the wobbly ones for another quick spin. The goal is to strike the right balance of operational excellence and innovation competency, tactical tasks and strategic planning, and bring value to the company with continuous deliveries consistently.

IT proposes an effective service/solution portfolio that corresponds to demand and cost drivers. Usually IT initiatives are launched at different times, the need to monitor which one wobbles is critical in order to create synergy with existing programs IT execution management must ensure their efforts do not proceed without a "clear business rationale." Sometimes the wobble comes from a change in direction, unanticipated risks, and new information. Thus, IT management needs to become more dynamic, and tends to have varying degrees of focus (the spin) to keep them going synchronously, so they don't fall off the pole.

The best leaders will optimize each person's ability to handle the "plate load" effectively:
To improve IT productivity and effectiveness, bridging IT skill gaps and building high performance and multi-functional teams are crucial to the long term organizational maturity. Most IT teams aren't as good at this as IT leaders would like to think IT will be more productive and influential if putting the focus on what can be controlled, and optimize each individual or team’s ability to handle the plate load effectively.

Many business leaders are not foresightful to understand the criticality of IT and haven't learned enough about IT complexity, responsibility and the paradox of IT management. To spin multiple plates magically well, IT leaders should be strategic business leaders, not just tactical IT managers, to run IT as a trustful business partner. Forward-looking IT organizations need to identify IT skill gaps, discover and develop the talent technical/functional competencies for tomorrow, rather than just hire for yesterday. This requires quality training and constant monitoring for progress. Take a multi-stage of people management for increasing productivity, nurturing creativity, accelerating performance, and maximizing potential.

As the pervasiveness of an organization's digital transformation journey increases, IT can contribute significantly and directly to the business model renovation and strategic direction of the company. In practice, IT management is complex and multifaceted, IT leaders should broaden their ecosystem view, learn how to spin the multiple plates skillfully in order to shape IT as a strategic business partner.


Post a Comment