Sunday, June 11, 2017

Re-energize IT to get Digital Ready

Running digital IT needs to work cross boxes instead within the box, and re-energize IT to get digital ready.

With the fast pace of changes and overwhelming data growth in the digital era, Information & Technology are permeating to every corner of the business, IT is no doubt becoming more critical in either making or breaking a business. All the forward-thinking organizations declare they are in the information management business. 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-innovative and high-mature IT organizations, every IT organization has to experiment, learn, and discover the better way to run a digital IT organization. Still, there are a couple of digital credos IT leaders can follow for reenergizing IT to get digital ready.

Running IT as the business. Doing more with innovation, and doing less to achieve more: IT is always in the changing environment, creating unexpected situations and requiring quick and appropriate responses based on the business conditions. The traditional IT organization is often perceived as the change laggard because it only responds to the business’s requests in a reactive way, and it has the controller’s mentality without spending sufficient resource, talent, and time on doing innovation. That is perhaps OK to survive in the considerably slow to change industrial age. But the digital era is all about changes, with increasing speed. Innovation is no longer nice to have, but a “must have” strategic capability of the business. And business creativity is to apply the creative thinking for problem-solving and achieving business goals. The leverage point is to structure innovation to keep focus, but not adding too much complexity. IT should position itself as a strategic partner and an innovation hub of the company, rather than just an enabler of technology. IT innovation capabilities directly impact on how it helps the business gain competitive advantage and capture upcoming trend to compete for the future. IT Transformation focuses on goals of business innovation. To manage innovation in a structural way, you need to frame the creative process and leverage limited resources to keep focus, set time limits, apply varying thinking techniques for managing innovation portfolios in a more productive and sustainable way.

Follow “Keep It Simple” principle: Technology is complex, people are complex, and businesses are complex nowadays. But it doesn’t mean that IT should make things more complicated. The opposite is true, one of the important goals for IT is to optimize the business and eliminate redundant processes or unnecessary complicacy because IT is the only entity in the organization supposed to understand business entirely and catch the oversight of organizational processes horizontally.; IT should keep trimming cost, tuning structures and optimizing business to improve its responsiveness, flexibility, resilience, and maturity. IT also needs to provide intuitive products or service to delight customers via following “Keep It Simple” principles. Technology is complex, but it doesn’t mean it should make things more complicated, or perhaps they get to achieve something mediocre in the estimated time or cost undermining the quality of the deliverables. From customers’ perspective, simplicity is an optimal level of complexity. The digital CIO should be able to constantly and dynamically lead an IT structure that will seamlessly enable and optimize the business and well ahead of the business requirement; the ability to interact with business in their processes and pain areas, the ability to bring out a customer-tailored and technology driven solutions,

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals: Traditional IT organizations often measure things from inside out IT operational lens, but to build a customer-centric IT organization, the measurement of IT digital transformation success should focus on how IT impacts the top line business growth and builds the long-term business competency from an outside-in business lens. IT should work with stakeholders to develop the right set of measurement that shows how IT is improving the business performance and enforcing business capabilities. Managing performance and improving IT reputation means understanding results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to ensure the strategic goals are on the right track to get implemented, and communicated effectively across the organization. Businesses need to avoid vanity metrics and really focus on key metrics that correlate to better business outcomes. Set S.M.A.R.T goals based on meeting the five criteria- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Ensure that IT performance measures are quantitative, and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the information and deliver the results. Make sure IT and business are always on the same page.

Running digital IT needs to work cross boxes instead within the box, and re-energize IT to get digital ready. IT is the key element of the business capabilities. IT transformation means rationalizing current IT department and planning to partner with the business to provide tailored service and solutions in new ways. The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.   





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