Monday, October 4, 2021


It’s important to define a good set of IT management parameters and key performance indicators, track them down, know what to do with them, and make continuous IT performance improvement.

Due to the varying nature of organizations and business dynamic, there is no one size fitting all magic formula on how to run a high-mature IT organization. It’s important to collect obtained data, analyze information, evaluate measurement results, determine what needs to be improved, assign the right people with the right capabilities to take actions for performing IT-enabled business improvement, and make proper adjustments in the strategic management to achieve high performance results. Here is a set of IT management parameters to improve overall organizational effectiveness and speed.

Automation: Information Technology is complex, however, the purpose of IT is to simplify things. But excessive IT complexity limits performance and enlarges gaps between IT and business. Many IT departments operate in silos with separate teams delivering separate functional tasks. The level of automation can improve IT efficiency and speed. IT automation and optimization involve retiring legacy systems; reassessing any systems that suck too much resource and energy or that require too much IT effort. Effective automation should first examine these functions and understand the connections, then define any constraints in the organizational system; and then, identify and remove inefficiencies and rationalize the manual actions first.

The long-term IT automation success will require lowing maintainability, scalability, lowing IT overhead and technical risks. IT leaders should evaluate whether they can provide cost-effective and secure IT-enabled business solutions that drive continuous improvement via a structural consolidation, modernization, automation, integration, and optimization. As this process goes along, see what can be automated by using the automation available natively within many of the tools you already have, but don’t use it because you don’t examine the processes from a holistic viewpoint on a regular basis. Ultimately, IT automation ensures less divergence in the execution and improves the overall organizational efficiency and responsiveness.

Integration: IT may provide a service, but that does not mean it should be labeled as a service provider. IT is an integral component of the business. Integration is very simply the task of connecting systems so they can share and consume each other's data, process, resources or talent, etc. IT integration is to maximize the value from existing IT systems and the need for better business performance and responsiveness. To make seamless business-IT integration, you need to understand that "integration" is not always about cost efficiency, often about improving the value from existing IT systems and the need for better business intelligence, applications optimization, performance acceleration, etc.

To run IT as an integral part of the business, the purpose of integration is to enforce collaboration and unification in order to create business synergy and catalyze business growth continually. You integrate when a justification can be made for realizing ROI. IT management needs to evaluate important issues, do the due diligence, pick the right software and hardware that can do the work, help IT become seamlessly integrated with the business and be aware of the company as a whole to achieve high-performance business results.

Agility: In philosophy, agile is the state of mind and a set of principles to run today’s business. IT plays a crucial role in building up an agile business which can succeed in combining two distinct, cohesive, and also interconnected business capabilities: strategic responsiveness and business flexibility. IT is at the unique position to oversee business processes which underpin digital capabilities of the organization. IT needs to proactively solve the problems with setting priority right. IT also plays a significant role in shaping a culture of change and innovation that promotes responsiveness and adaptability across the enterprise ecosystem. Agile isn't a process, it's a culture and a point of view. The Agile community should view the cross-pollination of at least parts of its philosophy into traditional management as a progressive movement.

In practice, mature IT organizations can focus on radical digital transformation; but for many other organizations at the lower level of maturity, there are perhaps more back office support hassles they have to overcome first. Agility is the emerging methodology to manage a balanced IT enabled business initiative portfolio with agile development practices by frequent rapid delivery of usable software through self-organizing teams with regular adaptation to change. Especially when there are clear timelines for deliverables, the team needs to develop a plan which can help the business meet the need, or inform of impediments, trade-offs, etc.

People-centricity: Traditional IT is inside-out operation-driven, focusing on handling technical difficulties; running a customer-centric IT would follow the principle to gain customer empathy and optimize the customer experience. IT has both internal business customers and external end customers. When IT and business are not one team, sometimes, what IT and users define "innovation" are two entirely different things, it is the customer that ultimately will feel the pain of less than stellar products or services and decrease customer satisfaction. Building customer-facing applications is both strategic to delight customers and tactical to improve project success rate via building the mature team and experimenting with the best practices or the next practices.

Fierce competition, on-demand IT delivery models force IT leaders to get really creative in running a people-centric IT organization to enchant customers, empower employees, evolve business partners, invite all sorts of business partners for feedback, and ensure the right people get the right information at the right time to make the right decisions for solving right problems. IT consumerization is the catalyst to improve people-centricity, to boost employees’ productivity, to reduce the cost and to delight customers. It provides the opportunity to think of new ways to do things, running IT in a very entrepreneurial fashion. Delivering customer-facing applications is strategic to delight customers with new solutions and build up the high-performance team with the best and the next practices to run IT as a customer champion.

Speed: With rapid change and frequent disruptions, IT must speed up because speed matters for the organization to adapt to the business dynamic and grasp the opportunities for marketing expansion. Information flow can streamline the idea flow and stimulate collective creativity which will catalyze business growth and improve organizational viability. Timing is critical, deliver what you promise, on time, on budget, and most importantly, on-value. With rapid changes and fierce competition, IT needs to shorten its product/services delivery cycle for speeding up and improving business responsiveness and adaptability.

In reality, many traditional IT organizations perhaps operate at a hybrid speed; legacy IT infrastructures and technologies work ok to keep the lights on. But to speed up, lightweight digital technologies do make IT nimble, ambidextrous, fast-responsive for adapting to changes. Forward-thinking IT separates the exploitation of the existing methods and legacy technologies from the exploration of the new way to do things by evolving emerging trends to accelerate its speed. Customers nowadays become more selective, IT application and its dynamics have a significant difference compared to the previous age, IT managers need to manage cost scientifically and shorten the IT development cycle significantly.

IT management needs to properly understand and evaluate all elements of value that are translated to the organization, and how all the pieces and parts of the organization are ultimately impacted, for good or bad, by each new business initiative tangibly. You can now create a true business equation with IT as a contributor or success factor to the company. It’s important to define a good set of IT management parameters and key performance indicators, track them down, know what to do with them, and make continuous IT performance improvement.


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