Three Principles Modern IT Need Practice

Sunday, May 6, 2012 | comments

Information is like blood, and technology is like backbone for any modern business today, however, most of IT organization has reputation as a cost center than a value creator, a controller than an enabler,  a tool than a magic.

With the new wave of latest technology trend such as cloud, mobile, consumerization and social, the contemporary IT leaders need refresh the innovative mindset, embrace the lightweight technology, practice following three principles, run IT with simplicity technically, culturally and politically, in order to become the strategic business partners and reach high-level of IT maturity.  

1.   Every IT Project is Business Project

Every IT investment has business purpose,  therefore every IT project is business project, Some critical root causes of IT project failures include :
  • Business purpose of project is not well-defined and communicated,  clear-defined project purpose should well describe the business problems need be solved or the strategic vision need be implemented.
  • Business initiated projects runs as an interesting technical challenge. The projects may have relatively simple and sensible scope but get over-engineered by an excessively risk-averse IT department, adding so much cost and complexity that the project exceeds the cost / benefit or technical viability hurdles.   
  • Governance was missing or was skipped; with convergence of enterprise governance and IT governance, projects that compete for resources should be assessed on the metrics of the business - not only ROI but also include business case &strategic input, and balanced scorecard metrics.

 2.   Simplicity is Optimum of Sophistication

Managing complexity is a systematic effort: as today’s IT switch focus from “T” technology to “I” information, permeating into every corner in modern business, and related system such as  financial, productivity or customer service, supply chain platforms will be simplified either via the effective process or methodology.

·      EA, BPM, PMO need be managed holistically: The IT complexity maybe also caused by short term goals, to run IT as silo, with over complicated, poorly architected application/platform infrastructures. However, long term success require enterprise architecture, business process management and project portfolio management team work more closely to reduce the waste and optimize the process.

·        Overall, simplicity should become the rule for communication: less terminology, more business language; Furthermore, “Less is more” for modern enterprise architecture design; resilient process and elastic IT framework are all based on “simplicity is optimum of sophistication” philosophy.

3.   Do More with Less

Though CIO & IT staff work extremely hard to support business, however, they are still being beaten down and told IT is not agile, too slow to adopt the new technology, with over-complex processes. In this regard, IT need:
  • As steward of information technology in organization, how can IT stay ahead of curve, to build up security and governance model & framework before business request new technology or service, such as today’s BYOD & consumerization of IT
  • How to leverage the flexibily, effectiveness and efficiency via continuous communicating with business partners? And keep in mind with clear business goals such as how to improve employees’ satisfaction & productivity, how to delight end customer, and understand what customer need even before they know themselves.
  • “Do More with Less” is the mantra for business & IT at today’s uncertain economy, through taking advantage of new IT trend, not as a new technology toys, but as a timely enablers to deliver business solution with elasticity and agility.
If CIO and IT can really practice these principles, CIOs may not get dismissed as techies without business savvy by their CEOs, and IT will turn to be value center, an innovation incubator, a business transformation center,  a business strategy verification brain yard, a GRC headquarter, a business rule influencer and even a game changer.

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