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Turning CIOs into digital heroes

Nurdianah Md Nur | Aug. 16, 2016
What do CIOs need to do to be an effective partner of business transformation?

"For instance, IT teams historically didn't need to be concerned with social media. However, companies like Xiaomi are increasingly using social media to interact with customers to gain feedback that may influence the research and development (R&D) of its products. As such, IT teams need to be able to create and support a social media platform that can take in consumer feedback and feed the comments to the relevant departments," she explained.

The next dimension is incorporate, which is about modernising legacy systems and environments so that the infrastructure is able to deliver agility to the business.

The innovate and incorporate dimensions may sound familiar to organisations that have adopted the two-speed or bimodal IT approach to respond to the needs of the digital enterprise. That approach posits that IT should be run in two different entities - while one entity takes on the experimental approach to deliver innovation, the other focuses on maintaining stability and efficiency.

However, that approach is inadequate to meet the demands of true DX as having innovation initiatives which are not connected to the existing infrastructure, systems process and people "creates complexities and challenges for CIOs today," said Ng.

She explained: "DX has been talked about for a few years. Bimodal worked at the beginning as back then organisations needed fast IT to support and drive innovation forward. But we have now come to a point whereby organisations that have started DX early have reaped the benefits of their digital initiatives, but these projects are limited to certain departments."

 "CIOs need to ensure that digital innovations can be scaled to the rest of the company and eventually to the broader ecosystem for the impact to be greater. Today, scaling [innovation] is crucial for companies - even those born in the internet age such as Uber and Airbnb - to continue their success."

Integrate is thus the final component of the Leading in 3D framework. Here, CIOs are required to transit/scale innovation or new technologies to a stable, secure and reliable business service for the entire organisation. "CIOs need to think of how they can bring emerging technology, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence or drones, into the company to use it to transform the company while connecting it with legacy," said Ng. 

To lead in 3D may seem like a daunting task as it requires CIOs to get out of their comfort zone and quickly adapt to the speed and new demands of the digital enterprise. When asked which dimensions of the Leading in 3D framework CIOs should focus on if they find it too challenging to juggle all three, Ng said that it depends on the gap between the organisation's DX maturity today and where the CEO wants to be after a certain period of time.

 

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