Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO”: Being "Digital Ready" from Multidimensional Lenses 6/30/2016

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.


Being "Digital Ready" from Multidimensional Lenses  6/30/2016
  • Closing Three Gaps to Run an Innovative IT: Digital CIOs have many personas indicated in the “I” of the CIO title, “Chief Innovation Officer” is one of the most pertinent roles they need to fulfill, Because more often than not, technology is the disruptive force of innovation, and information is the very clue to developing the next and best products or service, as well as delighting customers. A great CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new technology and abundance of information can create fresh new opportunities. The point is: What are innovation gaps organizations need to bridge, how can a CIO build a solid innovation agenda, and play such a digital role more effectively?

  • Three Aspects in Running a Digital-Ready IT Either running IT or managing the organization as a whole, being digitally ready goes beyond just applying the latest technologies or playing the trendy gadgets. The management has to follow digital principles and take a structured approach to shifting from inside-out operation focus to outside-in customer-centric. Digital transformation starts with mind shift, business value has to be driven, indicated and understood at all levels of the organization. This is accomplished by establishing strong interdependent relationships, shared vision, and wisdom. Here are three aspects of running a digital-ready IT organization.


  • Running a Digital Ready Talent Management: 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? Furthermore, how do you define “Digital Fit,” and develop the best and next practices of "Digital-Ready" Talent Management?

  • How to Build an IT Roadmap for Digital Transformation? Forward-looking IT organizations are on the journey to digital transformation. And strategic IT leaders also build a solid roadmap to show the time sequence of a strategy. A "roadmap" is simply a plan for moving or transitioning, from one state to another. More specifically, how can CIOs build a digital-ready IT roadmap?

  • “Leadership Master” Book Introduction Chapter 3: Visionary Leadership: The substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about making a positive influence, providing direction, both for oneself and others. At the Digital Era with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, visionary leadership is in strong demand to navigate through uncharted water and blurred digital borders to guide businesses towards the right direction. Fundamentally, leadership is more about future but starts at today. A visionary mind has the ability to think the past, perceive what is now and foresee the future.

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Three Barriers in Change Management

Be humble, desire insight, squash arrogance, and be cognizance of unknown.


Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. How capable the business is handling
change would directly impact on the business competency. However, there is a high failure rate of Change Management statistically. What are the big barriers and how to craft change as an ongoing capability?



Ineffective change leadership: Change needs to have reasons: Remember no one like change  especially when one can not identify the justification for the change, the “What’s It In Me” argument. Lack of effective change leadership is no doubt one of the root-causes to fail change efforts. Successful transformations require leaders to over-communicate the transformation vision. Unclear communication for vision, goals, the need for change, benefits of change and each one's role in the change is a huge mistake. The top leaders need to be the Change Agent to walk the talk, to set the right tone for others to follow. Top leaders' sponsorship for change is absolutely helpful, and change also must be adopted and led by all of the first line managers who can then drive the specific change activities from bottom-up. Only through the effective leadership, the change management can be well designed and practiced systematically.


Silo Mentality: Silo mentality is a common challenge for lots of organizations to make change sustainable and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. In essence, with silo mentality, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as they are being over managed and under led, remain disconnected, hoard knowledge and power within silos, have change inertia, and do not have the competence to collaborate in the long term. Even businesses step into the hyper-connected digital world, many business managers and professional still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing, and this legacy of the old economy limits many 'networked' organizations. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes change and progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic amorphous mass designed to preserve the status quo. Hence, the breakdown of silo mentality is one of the important requirements for Change Management success.


Ignorance of unknown: There is no prescribed change formula, or one size fits all change scenario. Businesses are different, people are different, the very goal behind each change initiative is also different. Therefore, you have to be humble to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Until that happens, you will continue on the lives in blindness. Change is the team effort, encourage all employees to provide feedback, ask questions, and participate change proactively, to expand their view of the business and gain a holistic understanding of changes. As a change leader or manager, be humble, desire insight, squash arrogance, and be cognizance of unknown. Do not fuel the fire with an over-reaction, but provide calm inquiry clearing the blind spots to help find out what is really happening, and drive changes effortlessly.

'Change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. The desires of stakeholders, clients and employees are evolving naturally. The change or overall business transformation journey is thorny, there are many roadblocks on the way. Change Management, therefore, should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift. And now, social and enterprise collaboration tools do provide effective and interesting digital platforms to make change more tangible and measurable. Do not make a change just as a one-time initiative, but an ongoing business capability for achieving long-term prosperity.





Three Pitfalls in Running a Differentiated Digital IT

IT needs to become more differentiated, integrated, and aware of the organization as a whole.


In the static industrial environment, many IT organizations only focus on the commodity level of services to “keep the lights on.” However, today’s digital business environment is unprecedentedly dynamic, complex and uncertain, the differentiation provided by innovative technology allows companies to reach the "long-tail" customer that previously was impossible or uneconomic. And technologies can push you out of business if you are not agile enough to change your business model or adapt to change timely. Either being different or being irrelevant, what are the pitfalls in running a differentiated digital IT?


Lack of transformative IT leadership: Contemporary IT leaders are not just tactical technology managers, they are business visionaries and strategists, innovators and change agents. To run a differentiated digital IT, CIOs need to be in a continuous learning mode, and discover the new way to solve the old problems or emergent challenges. The CIO must be concerned as to whether the operational ecosystem will function as expected. CIOs also need to become Chief Innovation Officers to run IT as innovation engine; otherwise, you will become Chiefly Irrelevant Officers. What's missing in many organizations is the CIO's ability to question the business' requirements and justifications used for IT based projects, or they lack a clear vision and step-wise strategy to drive digital transformation. To lead effectively, CIOs have to advocate for "departmental immersion" and other strategies to help IT become more differentiated, integrated and aware of the organization as a whole. IT needs to be proactive, not reactive. Fortunately, there's a fundamental shift happening with the emergence of converging digital technologies that impact the business through cross-departmental collaboration. When CIOs realize they need more visibility, communication, and better tools to empower that to improve organizational maturity, the IT organization becomes a key differentiator to help the business build a set of unique capabilities to compete for the future.


Excessive IT complexity limits innovation and the enlarges gaps between IT and business: The pitfalls to run a differentiated IT is also due to silo thinking, analysis paralysis, legacy technologies, lack of business/IT understanding, not leveraging the collective brainpower of strategic vendor partnerships, lack of in-depth understanding the business capabilities or resources, lack of business/IT understanding and lack of outside-in customer-centric approaches as well. To run a differentiated digital IT, forward-looking organizations have to empower IT to become the change department of the business, encourage IT and business to try out new ideas, learn from what is working and what doesn't, and improve deliverables in a continuous mode. The bottom-line driven IT thinking can not move fast enough in the age of the digitalization. Solely focus on quantifiable benefits or short-term result, aside from treating innovation initiatives like typical IT projects that are constrained by quick ROI, will also stifle radical innovation to drive business growth. A differentiated IT, on the other hand, has much more of an opportunity to enable incremental top-line and bottom-line value across the business, not just within IT, but cross-organizational scope.


Lack of open culture in most organizations: As IT is increasingly supportive of the competitive position and the business, in general, careful consideration must be made about which knowledge or skills have to be secured. Mis-judgement in this regard will hamper the long-term ability of the IT department to independently support strategic initiatives from the business. Many of the innovation management challenges are not exclusive to IT yet the symptoms are often more visible in IT due to the fact that IT work touches, serve, and supports virtually every aspect of the enterprise. These challenges are not easily solved and can not be addressed through the use of a tactical project management approach. Hence, it is also critical to build an open culture and a flexible structure to eliminate those innovation pitfalls. From innovation management perspective, to enforce a culture of creativity, the innovative leadership team should well mix the innovator personas: movers and shakers, thought leaders, critical thinkers, experimenters, reframers, set the right tone to inspire the new thinking and encourage the new way to do things and lead enterprise-wide innovation management smoothly.

The ultimate goal to run a differentiated digital IT is to help the organization build a set of unique capabilities, and improve the whole business’s competency. The real differentiation is to create true value, look forward, not backward, avoid those pitfalls discussed above on the way, and present the high-performance results.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Running a Digital Ready Talent Management

“Digital Fitting” doesn’t take cookie cutting approach. On the opposite, the beauty is in the color of characters, the distinction of capabilities, and many shades of creativity.

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? Furthermore, how do you define “Digital Fit,” and develop the best and next practices of "Digital-Ready" Talent Management?


   Running a Digital Ready Talent Management
  • How do you define “Digital Fit”? The term 'fit' can be interpreted with a degree of variability: “Digital fit” should be first defined as “mind fit.” The right mindset is utmost quality for being a right fit because the power of the mind is the force to change the business or even the world for better, and then following with attitude fit and behavior fit. Where you want to look for 'fit' is in relation to the cognitive intelligence to speed up digital transformation, values you want to build or maintain within your organizations, and the kinds of behaviors that you would expect to see as a result of, or in alignment with those values. “Fitting” doesn’t take cookie cutting approach, organizational fit means "incluversity." “Digital Fit” doesn't mean that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, or the same experiences. On the opposite, the beauty is in the color of characters and many shades of creativity.


  • How to Innovate Talent Management  With the increasing speed of changes and advanced digital technologies, organizations large or small are also facing the challenges to innovate talent management and take care of their most important assets - people more effectively. It starts with mind shift - from treating people as cost and resource to plug in, to thinking them as human capital to invest in. Research show that the foundation of business success is innovation. Creativity is #1 skill needed in the digital Era, how can organizations build a creative working environment and unleash their talent potential as well as the full business potential?


  • The Business Fitness for Digital Paradigm Shift: Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. But how to assess the digital fitness of your organization for such a paradigm shift?


  • Three "C's in Building an innovative team: There are still full of serendipity in creativity: How many forms of creativity are there? How are they different? How are they similar? Isn't what makes them similar or different, also what makes them creativity? Creativity has many forms and manifestations. Take the standpoint that creativity has its starting point within an individual. Individual creativity is absolutely critical, but how to build a creative team to harness collective creativity?


  • Three Perspectives to Bridge the “Trust Gaps”: Digital workforce in organizations today are multigenerational, multicultural, multidevicing; on one hand, the business becomes hyperconnected and always on; on the other hand, every person is different, every generation is different, and every region in the multinational company is also different, from talent management perspective, besides “skills gap” the organization needs to close; minding the trust gap is perhaps another challenging facing in businesses and our society.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Make Digital Leap via Closing Three Blind Spots

To clear the path, whether that be the elimination of obstacles, closing the blind spots, or to provide guidance - so that the business as a whole can take a digital leap and unleash its full potential.


Digital means changes, it brings unprecedented opportunities and numerous risks. Being static is no longer a choice for today’s digital professionals or businesses. If you do not move fast enough to adapt to changes, you already lag behind. Furthermore, digital dynamic also creates many blind spots and generate quite a few gaps because of its “VUCA” characteristics - Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, also because different individuals and organizations evolve digital in the different speed. So how to drive the business in the fast lane and take digital leap via closing those fatal blind spots?


Strategy blind spot created by the lack of future-driven mindset: With increasing speed of changes, many organizations are inundated with tactical tasks and daily operational duties, they don’t spend enough time on scrutinizing the long term strategy and identify disastrous blind spots in order to make a smooth business transformation. Indeed, there are both blind spots in strategy formulation and execution.That also means they probably wouldn't know where is the weakest link in the business and how to invest in new capabilities for their business, even if the organization thought there was any value justification for making the investment. To clear the path, whether that be the elimination of obstacles, closing the blind spots, or to provide guidance - so that the business as a whole can take a digital leap and unleash its full potential.


Talent blind spot caused by silo thinking and homogeneous team setting: Many organizations are still running at the industrial speed with bureaucratic culture and hierarchical decision-making scenario, business is the sum of pieces than a holistic whole, functional silos compete for resources, rather than work collaboratively to optimize business. Such silo mentalities will create numerous blind spots in talent, resources, process, capacity, and capability. The company's reputation and success today are founded on innovation and to a very large extent, the most invaluable asset of the business is the talented people. Therefore, it’s important to build high-performance teams with the heterogeneous group setting, complementary skills, and distinctive capabilities in order to fill blind spots, clear business vision, and spur creativity. The productivity is higher in an innovative organization, and an innovative organization has less blind spots because people do not fear to provide feedback, creativity is encouraged, cognitive difference expands the lenses to comprehend the business thoroughly, and the talent employees are limited only by their imagination.


Measurement blind spots are generated by dysfunctional management practices: One possible cause of the blind spots is the fact that many traditional organizations can neither set the right measures to improve business agility nor sufficiently measure the business value in a multidimensional way, as a consequence, articulate their value to the organization’s shareholders.That also means they probably wouldn't know where to invest in new capabilities. even if the organization thought there was any value justification for making the investment. The "measurement" of productivity -- not productivity itself has blind spots as well. Because of the business manager keep on asking employee productivity instead of focusing on getting things to work correctly. Sometimes, the selected metrics show productivity improvements, but no real business improvements. Measurement becomes the end, for its own sake, and create more blind spots, to distract businesses from implementing strategy effectively.

The business speed can only be accelerated with a clear vision, strong focus, and distinctive capabilities. By closing all those fatal blind spots, an organization can be well prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept change in all its forms; an organization in which change does not disrupt and interfere with business as usual, an organization for which the ability to evolve, adapt and innovate is business as usual. The intention is to enable an inclusive digital leadership culture at all levels across the organizations for clearing the path and taking a digital leap confidently.

"CIO Master" Book Tuning XXXXXVIIII: How to set the Right Priorities for Running Digital IT with Full Speed

Setting priority to leverage limited resources and talent to maximizing business value is an important step in climbing organizational maturity.

IT plays a significant role in the digital transformation of the organization because information is permeating into every corner of the business and technology is often the disruptive force of innovation. However, the majority of IT organizations get stuck in the lower level of maturity, overloaded and understaffed, slow to change, and operate in a "surviving mode." How to set the right priority to thrive and run digital IT with the full speed?


Setting priority to solving the problems making the most impact on strategy: The higher mature IT is as a business partner, rather than a service desk, the faster IT can lead the business's digital transformation. IT leaders need to have the strategic mind and skill-set to contribute business problem defining and solving. IT should play as an optimistic and cautious innovator with an in-depth understanding of technology potential and limitation, opportunity, and risk, IT needs to become a strategic partner of the business by focusing on the things matter for the business's long-term perspective based on the technological vision.The intimate Business-IT partnership is the ultimate status for IT to deliver better fit, right-on and cost-effective solutions, even you can not fulfill all business’s demands, but you deliver what you promise, and you do what is the best fit for the business’s strategy and goals.


It is both the art and science to know when to say YES, and when to say NO to your internal customers: Being customer-centric doesn't mean just being an order taker, to overpromise, but under-delivery; it means to focus on implementing things really important to improve customer satisfaction. Hence, you need to be humble enough to listen to customers; also be confident enough to say 'NO' with the fair reasons. Sometimes, what IT and users define as "innovation" are two entirely different things. To the IT department, it means pushing the limits of technology, whereas to the users it means making their jobs and lives simpler. In some well-established organizations, IT is the controller with a bit ‘arrogant' attitude, without doing enough to engage business into collecting requirement and setting priority. The business requires that IT provides solutions to real-life business problems. This can only be achieved by constant engagement and both sides seeing the other as a "partner" rather than an adversary.


The CIO has to make a priority choice based on ROI and risks: Many forward-thinking IT organization are run as change organizations of businesses. However, change is not for its own sake or busyness. Understanding the technology is one thing, understanding the impact of the change to the business is another thing entirely. IT contribution to business value does not come from the technology itself, but from the change that IT both shapes and enables. Only through the in-depth understanding of business, the CIO can make a priority choice based on ROI and calculated risks. The CIO is responsible for new technology adoption, the CIO's role is beyond strategy implementer and more into a strategy maker or at least with the influential power to shape and keep in harmony with the business, market, products, and resources. The CIO can only set the right priority choice if they have the data available to them and proactively understand business and customer first to avoid changing for the technology’s sake. So IT organizations can innovate towards simplicity and discover the new secure way to improve business agility and customer satisfaction.

Setting priority to leverage limited resources and talent to maximizing business value is an important step in climbing organizational maturity. Ultimately, more transparency in the IT value proposition to the business plus more engagement a partnership is needed with the organization. IT should be creating value across organizational lines and not silo-ed as years gone by, and IT can run with full speed without too many distractions and misunderstanding by setting the right priority and doing works effectively.





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bridging Three Gaps to Make the Business “Digital Ready”

Being digital ready is both an attitude and a set of the leadership and business capabilities.


Although developing and implementing a digital strategy is at the top list of business executives’ agenda, Being digital ready goes beyond just applying the latest technologies, or playing the latest gadget. There are still many gaps need to be close, and there are also a lot of pitfalls on the way. Therefore, truly forward-thinking organizations are taking a holistic approach to making the business “Digital Ready” via bridging the following three gaps in order to implement digital strategy seamlessly.


Trust gap: Many organizations are still running in a command and control mode and live in the work environment lack of trust. One thing that is true, fear and anger operate on the lowest level and can do little more than create order in the short term. When leaders realize that if you want to achieve greatness in your realm, you will have to touch the upper levels, thus, eliminating fear and anger as options. There are so many things employees will not tell their managers what're in their mind, and unfortunately, there are not so many things that are positives. It is an indication of a lack of trust. Also no blind trust or trust too little. Leaders need to show staff that you respect them, first, understand what they care, trust them in a safe environment. The great leadership is not based on fear or command control, but through trust, empathy, and inspiration. Help employees not to fail, and if they do, show yourself to be trustworthy by supporting them. In order to close trust gap, continue to see the importance of dealing with blind spots by learning how to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Your signal light behavior illustrates the value of maintaining self-control when you face hardships in business or your personal life.The more we understand its vitality and the anatomy, the better will be our ability to lead in different situations.


Strategy-Execution Gap: Digital strategy execution is not linear steps, but an iterative continuum. Often, the business strategy execution gaps exist at people’s mindsets, organizational cultures, business processes & capabilities, measurement methods, and tools, etc. The ‎managements need to make sure that STRATEGY is on the right track, otherwise, they ‎have to take ‎corrective ACTIONS. More specifically, what you are going to achieve could be “LONG TERM” or “SHORT TERM” goals. If strategy (the deliberate strategy) is planned or intended, usually it is LONG TERM. After that, they need to have SHORT-TERM actions which are aligned with the ‎goals. The gaps exist because the strategy planning or ideation team and implementation team have a different focal point, priority, and performance evaluation criteria. Thus, to close the gap, cross-functional communication and collaboration are important, also it’s crucial to take a systematic approach via leveraging effective tools such as a balanced scorecard, and set measurement to gauge the right things and gain holistic perspectives.


IT-Business Gap: IT business synchronization is one of the most important aspects to achieve digital harmonization. However, many think the gap between business and IT has actually widened due to the increasing speed of changes, that business and IT have evolved at a different pace over the past few decades. Bridging the gap between IT and the business are really issues of all about change. Thus, the resulting time gap between the costs of changing the environment and getting a quantifiable benefit (usually measured in money) makes changing the transformation. While IT has evolved significantly in all aspects - people, process, technology - business has, and continues to evolve faster. Therefore, digital leaders should empower the IT organizations to become a change agent and run change projects. For many organizations, the IT department has become synonymous with the change department. In today’s world and in most organizations, Technology change tends to be large, complex and frequent and so changing the other parts has tended to become subsumed into the remit of the IT department.


Being digital ready is both an attitude and a set of the leadership and business capabilities. Highly mature organizations not only apply the most advanced digital technologies into their business but more importantly, they weave all important factors, from shaping the holistic digital mindset to building the high-performing digital culture, from filling blind spots to closing multiple gaps, with the ultimate goal to achieve long-term business prosperity.

“CIO Master” Book Tuning XXXXXVIII: How to Build an IT Roadmap for Digital Transformation

Building a digital-ready IT roadmap is a proactive approach to well prepare for the digital transformation.

Forward-looking IT organizations are on the journey to digital transformation. And strategic IT leaders also build a solid roadmap to show the time sequence of a strategy. A "roadmap" is simply a plan for moving or transitioning, from one state to another. More specifically, how can CIOs build a digital-ready IT roadmap?


Roadmaps can sometimes be just technology transitions, but usually, have social and organizational components of change: A roadmap shows the transition plan, it is the set of investments, programs, projects and milestones that take you from the current state to the target state of the business. The end result is a dynamic tree-like structure of roadmaps with interlocking deliverables and schedules. IT sustenance and business innovation are on every CIO's roadmap, especially in the well-established enterprises. Every IT project is the business project, for any forward-thinking organization, develop a business plan for the IT strategic roadmap; develop the business case for the roadmap; begin to socialize with business team and management to gain support. IT must be managed in two ways; the utility side of the house where IT constantly drives costs lower; the second being a business innovation engine which is the only way to lift IT from commoditized service to strategic partner; from the cost center to value creator; and from the reactive service provider to the proactive game changer. And it is doing so that IT can enable the business to increase market share, acquire new customers and increase innovation.


Define more than one ways of achieving the goal: Conduct organizational level briefing and choose most suitable and acceptable approach. Once you know that current state (the starting point) for both the business and IT and how well they interrelate and get a vision for the business, then you can begin to put a vision together for IT. The last step will be to determine how you get from current state to the vision state in detail (the roadmap). A key ingredient will be the expectations and requirements from business management on how they expect IT to contribute to the overall business. Digital strategy making and execution are a collective effort of IT and other business departments to fit business purposes, leverage digital speed and delight customer. Digitalization is driving unpredictability, demanding a more rapid deployment that quickly can adapt to the changes and adjust to the new market conditions. IT strategy is one of the most significant components of the corporate digital strategy. It is how to leverage the resources and assets of the IT departments to create the optimal business value - which in the next step, will generate revenue growth, brand or increased market shares. Define more than one way of achieving the goal. For each approach, estimate costs, resources required, timelines, risks involved, and trends.
(a) Break it down into several stages. Each stage being a point where in business gets the benefit of the activities so far or taken up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the big step.
(b) Attach timelines, interim goals, assumptions, business units’ support needs and implementation plans.
(c) Get acceptance from the senior management for the costs, timelines, budget allocation, resource requirements, training, and freeze the road map and publish it.


Have a clear “To-Be” statement with prioritized / desired capabilities, and define a roadmap of the strategy for both long term and tactical quick wins timeline: At the age of people including both customers and employees, IT needs to set priority to digitalize every touch point of customer experience. IT has two sets of customers as well, the internal users who count on IT to equip them with the effective technology tools to improve productivity and work satisfaction; and the end customers who shop the business’s products or service and continue to compare their customer experience with competitors.' The user would need a delightful experience because if the user is bored or confused with the applications, the revenue or productivity will decrease, it will directly impact the business’s top line growth or bottom line efficiency. The artifact of digital-ready IT roadmap becomes one that covers the following:
(1) what the application portfolio looks like today
(2) what it needs to look like to achieve the business goals
(3) the series of initiative/changes/steps that bring the portfolio from here to there.


Building a digital-ready IT roadmap is a proactive approach to well prepare for the digital transformation. Digital organizations are often characterized by a continuous transformation correlated to the changed customer behavior and technical evolution. However, at today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, be cognizant of unknown. CIOs as top leaders, you have to be humble to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Therefore, even you have built a comprehensive roadmap handy, be alert to identify blind spots, be flexible to adjust the planning, be open to listening to the different points of views, and be determined when you have to make a tough choice and take the calculated risk. Digital is the journey to practice leadership effectiveness and weave all important business success factors into the digital symphony.

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