Wednesday, December 29, 2021


IT in the high mature organizations progressively see themselves as an integral enabler of business advances, a value creator, translating the promise of technology to a strategic and competitive advantage.

As businesses move into the digital future, technology is the fastest growing arena, information is the lifeblood of the business, and IT becomes the backbone of running a high performance organization. 

The idea that the IT organization is overlooked as a digital driver and is being bypassed by business units comes at an odd time when you consider the robust new technology prospects and pervasive information influence. 

IT not only matters, just as much as any other key functional area within an organization, but it can also become a change agent, riding above the learning curve ahead of other functions; as well as becoming a differentiated business advantage. IT management needs to ask insightful questions, engage business partners in getting invaluable feedback, keep consolidation, integration, and modernization, and improve the overall organizational maturity.

Is IT a competitive necessity or the differentiated advantage of the business?
In many companies that get stuck at the lower level of business maturity, IT is the support function that “keeps the light on” only," sometimes IT is seen as a drag on innovation. To improve business efficiency and profitability, IT needs to keep reducing the waste, trimming the cost and trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. There is a never-ending IT management improvement cycle of refining information, advancing systems, streamlining processes, expanding IT products or services, and making continuous deliveries. IT is a competitive necessity if it can help to improve operational excellence, lubricate business processes, and build business capacity for incremental improvement.

But in many lagging companies, IT organization is overlooked as an innovation driver and is being bypassed by business units. To improve IT organizational maturity and run IT as an innovation engine of the company, IT leaders must have a deep understanding of the business model and how organizations make the profit and gain the competitive business advantage. So they can consider the robust new technology prospects and pervasive information influence for improving the top line business growth. In the end, it is not about information, but how to refine information into customer insight and business foresight to pursue business growth opportunities and prevent risks. Also, it is not about technology, but what technology can do when it is enabling and integrating with change/innovation management and business processes to deliver strategic differentiation. IT needs to get the top leadership sponsorship and understanding and continuing investing and evolving for improving business competency.

What's the business perception of an IT organization
: IT and business gaps are the reality in quite many companies, the user perception of IT is very low and generally, this perception is ignored by senior IT management as not being of importance. To improve IT effectiveness, not only should IT understand the business, but the non-IT organizations need to understand IT- as IT touches almost every aspect of the company from customer experience touchpoints to employee engagement mechanism. IT management is the responsibility of the entire company. IT needs to provide a strategic advantage to the business manager; IT needs to make the function more productive and improve overall business performance. Running a highly responsive IT needs to get support from front desks to boardrooms, IT needs to understand stakeholders’ expectations and propose a service/solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and building unique business competency.

In a high performance company, every department needs to work together to be successful. IT can expect some sort of partnership with the business, where you have business folks coming up with further ideas on how they can benefit from IT. Collaboration, transparency, respect and clear leadership are the keys to breaking down the realities and the perceptions of this issue. IT has to change the business’s perception of their organization, from a back office commodity service provider to an equal business partner for co-creating the strategy and contributing to the top line business growth. When the corporate organization invests in information technology resources, it entrusts the IT organization with the stewardship of that considerable investment and the responsibility of providing effective management of that investment.

Does the company ever appreciate the benefits of IT?
In order to demonstrate IT value, organizations need to first know wherein lies the IT value. IT value is multidimensional, besides financial benefit by optimizing business operational cost and increasing profit margin, there is customer value that builds business brand; culture value that improves business reputation. IT needs to first understand what the business is, what their pain points are, identify areas for improvement and then those that can be improved with IT and achieve IT value proposition. If you understand that upfront by doing the right strategic questioning, you can later go back and ask if you achieved the value that had been set out to attain.

The critical point is relationships and developing a partnership mentality. IT has to demonstrate value with each business manager to be fully appreciated - and that is up to the IT leadership in each company. IT in the high mature organizations progressively see themselves as an integral enabler of business advances, a value creator, translating the promise of technology to a strategic and competitive advantage for the company's long term prosperity. Top management teams truly understand the implications of emerging technology trends and identify the opportunities for defining a successful business rationale in order to make wise IT investment toward getting a higher ROI.

The optimization of information technology shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all at the expense of the health of the overall organization. IT organizations are shifting from the monolithic industrial mode to mosaic digital style. There are very progressive organizations where IT sparks organizational innovation. It's important to run IT as a strategic partner by taking customized approaches that may apply differently to each problem, and it involves people, process, and technology to build differentiated business competency and improve overall business performance and maturity.


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