UnDigital CIO Transformation


We are facing a period of a big change. The big change is driven by the extreme need to digitize most of the operations, customer touch-points and many enterprise processes. Some years ago, the CIO was a person who was not able to speak a proper business language; not able to promote himself in a world where IT was considered only a cost. Some ERPs companies contribute to develop such kind of dependency and over spending on IT; proposing a holistic solutions based on all-inclusive ERP which are subject to huge implementation projects. Some companies end up crashing because of that. Those vendors were able to convince people that a bank could implement the same ERP that manages an airport. They said, "It’s only a matter of parameters".
Progressively the image of the CIO and in particular, IT managers, were transformed into a cost, passive, complexity creator and bottleneck.
Today we have a proliferation of Digital initiatives, starting from CEOs, who realized that "this train cannot be lost!"
The result? CEOs rarely assign digital transformation projects to CIO. That journey can only be driven by a person without deep technical skill and IT contamination but with a performing soft skill: the CDO.
I was a CIO for more than 15 years and I know very well, what is the pressure and the risks I went through. I still remember overnight activities, ERP roll outs (10 countries in one year), when the centralized ERP database collapsed (only temporary)… I know very well, what I lived.
It’s a “social drama” IT people spent a life on the wave and now have become quite an obstacle!
In my opinion, to avoid and overcome this situation a CIO should try to "un-digitize" his approach following these steps :
-       Focus on communication, interactions and invest on Soft skills development
-       Base all the projects on Agile approaches - Low Tech _ High touch
-       Detach IT organization from help desk and day by day Services through Cloud solutions or outsourced services
-       Promote forum with other departments in order to share new solutions and Ideas
-       Focus on defining a Digital Sourcing System able to provide directions to company managers
-       Change from ERP Centric approach to multiple solutions approach (multiple solutions instead single source solution)
-      Define a dedicated team supporting a digital transformation.
Try to stay together with people, prepare your team to be inside the organization. Consider also to locate part of the IT team physically inside other departments…and massively approach for an AGILE way of doing things and supporting business.
Today, after years, all departments can speak and understand "IT language"This is a unique and unpayable change to leverage years of experience and risk management into a digital revolution opportunity.
Good luck and get outside of the building!

(This blog first appeared on LinkedIn. It has been reposted here with permission from the author.)

(Pic Courtesy: Pixabay.com)

Categories: Digital

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Enrico Pana

Enrico Pana is Group Logistic Manager at DAB Pumps SPA....

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