IT has to learn the business; be the business and become the business.
IT plays a critical role in enabling business and driving digital transformation. However, Information & Technology is not for its own sake, but to catalyze the business growth and improve the organizational competency. IT has to learn the business; be the business and become the business. CIOs have to provide the foresightful leadership for running a goal-driven digital IT and achieve the high-performance business result both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Effectively managing existing and new technologies to enable business goals: Many IT organizations have the existing back end traditional enterprise IT services and now the new consumerized digital inventive IT. An effective CIO needs to ensure the delivery of agreed IT enablement to the business goals. The underpinnings of this success are providing vision and development of business capabilities, management of expectations, development of relationships up, down and sideward, and implementation of the process to ensure predictability, and development of talent within the organization. Highly effective IT management exists within a business to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve services/solutions, manage/mitigate risks and/or assist with statutory/corporate compliance. The goal-driven IT also keeps improving effectiveness, efficiency, agility, innovation, flexibility, and scalability; managing and utilizing IT budget for achieving better Return on Investment.
Optimizing business (Process + Scope) to improve productivity and efficiency: Effective IT management means understanding every island of operation and every workflow process. It is through this comprehensive understanding that IT would be able to help the business identify true cost savings, workflow optimizations, process efficiency, and additional revenue opportunities. Improving productivity is a noble business goal behind the consumerization of IT. Digitizing business should be perceived as an amazing opportunity to utilize and optimize processes and risk management skills to achieve something the users actually want without compromising the quality. With more powerful, also lightweight digital technologies, and the right strategy in place, IT can become more nimble, flexible and customer-centric. Though the transformation would not be easy, and more importantly, a big piece of this puzzle seems to be how users themselves identify their role as IT digitization. The business goal-driven IT not only expands the scope, optimizes business processes to improve employee productivity and business efficiency, but more importantly, it should accelerate the speed of changes and build the business competency for the long-term organizational growth and maturity.
Refine & abstract information to business insight, and apply technology in new and innovative ways to stay ahead of competition and industry: Nowadays information is overloading and technologies are permeating into every corner of the organization. A digital CIO needs to think on his/her feet during strategy planning and implementation. A goal-driven digital IT shouldn’t be limited to “keep the lights on” only, IT has to leverage more resource and asset to the business growth and innovation. CIOs must look into opportunities for businesses and then see what IT can do to grow the business and catalyze innovation. CIOs must focus on “building the knowledge,” not just “having the knowledge,” or more precisely, managing information life cycle (information-knowledge-insight-intelligence-wisdom) in order to expand the horizon for innovation and grasp the growth opportunity for the business timely. CIOs must also continuously educate C-Level executives that the IT organization is an innovation engine to catalyze business growth. When BoDs/top executive teams recognize growth opportunities, the CIO can translate this into an IT-enabled business solution that will support the company's vision, in the example to grow market share and customer satisfaction.
Running IT as a business. Running a goal-driven digital IT to qualify and quantify business achievements is beneficial to run IT as the business. The main issue is the dynamic between running the IT utility and being a strategic business partner. Invest more on driving the top-line business growth. As applying technical capabilities to market opportunities is where the magic happens to reinvent IT as the business differentiator and make IT more shared, integrated, fast, flexible and reliable.