In the current economic climate change is pervading business as traditional fundamental principles are challenged by many executives. Business functionals are being fundamentally impacted by developments such as cloud computing, e-commerce and complex customer purchasing behaviour. Now more than ever is the time for efficiency and cost reduction -- the time for business to get effective help to review their IT construct and get their IT model right.
How should you as a CIO support these business transformations? What are the transformational CIO building blocks that can enable CIOs to drive the business as well as support the business?
IT as both driver and supporter
IT is now at the core of businesses such as defence, banking, finance and medicine, and business models are being redefined in other industries through client-vendor collaborations. As a CIO, you can inject useful insights into boardroom decision-making by using effectively captured transactional and customer data to resolve the complexity and help customers to embrace the changes. This requires balancing people, process and technology to achieve operational efficiency that is customer centric. One role of new technologies is to fuel growth, and this daunting management challenge falls to CIOs.
People, process and technology
People always come first, but innovatively melding people with process and technology makes for a healthy organisation -- strong HR is important for high performance. This forms the basis for the transformational roadmap that will enable IT to drive and support the business in today’s economy. Your building should be built on the five people-focused business drivers of: leadership, workforce plan, career plan, organisational training plan and performance management.
If this model of five business drivers does not exist at the organisational level, their planning and implementation should form a key part of your transformational roadmap -- but this must be fundamentally aligned with the corporate culture. Leadership gives the purpose and direction, sound workforce planning ensures a central resource base; individual and succession planning leads to performance and success; continual training drives performance; and performance management achieves clarity of roles and responsibilities of teams and individuals.
If IT does not currently support the core business process, re-engineering business process may be necessary for organisational success. Building on any existing basic maturity, Cobit can deliver the reference framework for process architecture, Six Sigma can enable process improvement by working out your burning platform, reducing costs, just-in-time, eliminating waste, etc., and CMMI will give an overall understanding of the business maturity level and provide a framework to move from one level to another.
The technology of information, applications and infrastructure must be aligned with people and process, which drive technology choices including strategy, architecture, information management, security, and numerous other facets.
The CIO must work on all three levels -- people, process, technology -- with deep understanding if he/she is to achieve a transformational business model that aligns with, supports and drives the business.
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