Digital CIOs, Rise for Changes!

The purpose of "CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT " is to provide guidelines for building a framework to run a highly effective, highly innovative and highly mature digital IT organization. Also, it provides the principles to reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

  • Rebrand digital CIOs with multiple personas 
  • Reinvent IT to unleash its full digital potential 
  • Reenergize change as an ongoing digital capability 
  • Refine talent management to bridge IT skills gap 
  • Remaster multidimensional IT to create multi-level business value 
  • Renovate strategy execution continuum to improve the effectiveness 
  • Reimagine IT as an innovation engine to catalyze business growth 
  • Reshape IT via leveraging “3P”s: Principle, Portfolio, Performance 
  • Retool IT agility to adapt to change

Part I: The Changing Role of Digital CIO: The prominence of the CIO role has risen greatly as IT has become an increasingly important success factor of the digital organization. The CIO position has a shorter history, but a more dynamic role to play due to the continuous changes in information and technology. Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles: to make positive influences as a “Chief Influence Officer”; to deliver the right information and insight as a “Chief Information Officer”; to orchestrate seamless integrations as a “Chief Integration Officer”; to convey the vision, bridge the gap and enforce the multi-layer, multi-cultural, and multi-dimensional communication as a “Chief Interpretation Officer”; to practice intrapreneur-executive leadership for exploring new business opportunities as a “Chief Intrapreneur Officer”; to scrutinize business cases, master business languages as a “Chief Investment Officer.” A modern CIO must also be a digital visionary, business strategist, customer champion, governance advocate, talent master, and change agent, etc., to ultimately grow into a CIO master. In the first part of CIO Master, we brainstorm CIO leadership from the following perspectives:

Chapter 1 Twelve Digital CIO Personas: Due to the changing nature of the digital business, the omnipresence of technology and the abundance of information, the IT leadership role continues to be reimagined, refined, refreshed, and reinvented. Too often the perception is that the CIO is a glorified geek. The reality is that the CIO is one of the most important executive roles in the organization, the person in that role must be business savvy and not only understand the vision of the company but also be able to formulate it. This is the sophisticated leadership role with multiple personas.

Chapter 2  CIO as Digital Visionary: Due to the changing nature and continuous disruption of information and technology in business nowadays, the CIO seems to be always at hot seat, the saying about the demise of the internal IT has been around for years, the fact is that because of the pervasiveness of technology within the enterprise and radical digital transformation facing in the majority of organizations today, there is now a greater need for CIOs to understand business drivers and apply digital technologies to speed up IT and build business competitive capabilities. So CIOs must go digital, like a Pro!

Chapter 3  CIO as Change Agent: Change is one of the most popular words in the 21st century. Why change is so tough and what really keeps C-suite executives from embracing organizational transformation is FEAR: fear of letting go of heroic leadership, fear of losing control, fear of navigating through uncharted territory, fear of chaos. But change is inevitable, due to the changing nature of technology, CIOs shouldn’t get pushed for the change, they are actually in a better position to play such a role as change agent in leading organizations’ change and digital transformation.

Chapter 4  CIO as Talent Master: People are always the most invaluable asset in businesses. “Hiring the right person for the right position at the right time,” is the mantra of many forward-thinking organizations. The question is how would you define the right people? How do you define wrong, average, mediocre, good, great or extraordinary person? Or put simply, for what should they be right?

Part II: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT: The business paradigm is shifting from the industrial age to a new digital era. Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent, and they have to continue to adapt to the digital new normal with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. IT has been treated as a cost center and technology controller for years, because many IT organizations are seen as a help desk and a maintenance center to keep the lights on, but some simply cannot give a fair accounting of where the money is going in terms of business capabilities or, more importantly, directly identifying business value. Information is now the lifeblood and technology is the innovation catalyzer, to outsmart and outpace digital disruptors, IT plays a pivotal role in digital transformation with many expectations from business partners: The business needs IT to deliver services that drive productivity and effectiveness; the business wants fit-for-purpose IT solutions that enable them to be efficient in delivering products and services to their market at the right cost to deliver profits to the shareholders. Every business needs IT to provide better information as a nervous system for making effective decisions and improving profitability. And every business is also looking for IT to explore innovative practices for complexity management, data transformation, quality improvement, and agile construction, etc. Now with the acceleration of digital speed, IT organizations are at a crossroad, where it will either reinvent its tarnished image or become irrelevant in the digital age. So the challenge facing IT leaders is on how to re-imagine IT and unleash its full digital potential. In the second part of CIO Master, we refine digital IT from the following perspectives:

Chapter 5  Thirteen Digital Flavored IT: All forward-looking enterprises claim they are an information business. Thus, enterprises across sectors work on enhancements and modernizing their platforms, in order to optimize customer experiences, build business capabilities, and improve organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and agility. IT should play a critical role in radical digital transformation. As more often than not, technology is a major digital disruptor today, the purpose of digital transformation is to embed digital technology into key business processes, to optimize business capabilities and competencies to compete for the future. IT is business, digital transformation is neither an IT project nor an operational change, it’s a strategic initiative for business leapfrogging. From the IT management perspective, we introduce 13 “digital-flavored IT” to accelerate digital transformation in this chapter.

Chapter 6  Digital Strategy-Execution Continuum:  The biggest challenge now is the increasing rate of change, and this isn't going to change! Preparing a strategic plan is important because it points the organization in a direction where it can maximize its value position and reap as many benefits as possible. This direction must allow for economic, market or customer change and let the business adapt swiftly. Alternatives and adaptation are the keywords to survival. To put another way, the value of IT is providing the right information on demand to make or arrive at a strategic business decision. The information provided should be accurate, precise and relevant so that the decision-making process is more successful. The objective of the IT strategy is not just to be aligned with business strategy, but it is an integral part of business strategy, and digital strategy execution is not linear steps, but an iterative continuum.

Chapter 7  IT Innovation Management:  Digital is the age of innovation, and the importance of creativity for organizations is well-known. Rather than being disrupted, innovation needs to be well embedded into business culture and process mechanism in order to run IT as an innovation engine of the organization. Innovation is not just about technology, innovation is not always about using the latest gadget, it’s about people, culture, partnership, manners, etc. Isn't that what innovation is all about? Do it better, differentiate yourself from your competition, run, grow and transform the business. So it’s necessary to educate the IT team on the special requirements of the business and encourage them to engage with business counterparts in a value-oriented manner.

Chapter 8  Three “P”s in Running  Digital IT: To reimagine IT potential, reinvent IT management and maximize IT value, it’s important to set guiding principles for practicing the multitude of IT management. Leverage three “P”s - Principle, Portfolio, and Performance to run a high mature IT organization. Develop and nurture a high-performing IT team, strive to be a leaner and more business-focused. From IT Performance perspective, do not just measure the cost of IT but on the return that it provides. IIT needs to develop a systematic measure approach to assessing its multi-dimensional value beyond just monetary benefit, it is important for management to calculating IT value-added contribution, rather than just pushing the technology out, as IT has to rebrand itself as a value creator and strategic business partner.

Chapter 9  IT Agility:  Agility is not only the ability to create change but also the capability to adapt to changes. Within an IT, organizational agility should be defined as the speed in which the organization can enable the enterprise's goals and objectives because IT strategy is an integral element of the business strategy. Agile is a culture as well! It is important to recognize that moving from doing Agile to being agile may require a significant culture change that affects the entire business. It certainly is not just a "development thing,” it is a mind shift.
Digital is now well embedded in every business. But even with IT as an integral part of the organization and its strategy, it is people who will underpin success in an organization that continues to reinvent itself at an unprecedented rate. Looking through these multi-dimensional lenses, IT value creation starts with keeping the business running efficiently and securely but extends quickly and broadly to include the facilitation of employee productivity and orchestration of business growth, agility, and innovation. The truly successful CIOs and their entire IT organizations can establish the foundation for the success of the company with a real partnership with the rest of the business. It is the shift from doing digital to being digital.

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“CIO Master” Book Preview Conclusion Running IT as Digital Transformer
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 9 IT Agility
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 8 Three "P"s in Running Digital IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 7 IT Innovation Management
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 6 Digital Strategy-Execution Continuum
"CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 5 Thirteen Digital Flavored IT
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 4 CIO as Talent Master Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 3 “CIOs as Change Agent” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 2 “CIOs as Digital Visionary” Introduction
“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 1 “Twelve Digital CIO Personas” Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Introduction
"CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT" Book Preview


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