Forward-looking CIOs are redefining how IT works, and not focusing only on modernizing legacy systems.
Innovation is best described as the spontaneous lighting up of the mind. But, innovation happens in organizations that structure their processes, people, and technology the right way.
As businesses advance, more operation and execution mindset creeps in the people. So it is important to be very deliberate around how to get the new ideas flowing.
Although there’s no single formula guaranteeing innovation, there are strategies that innovative CIOs along their IT departments employ, to drive the level of ingenuity that can transform a business.
Some of the top actions that innovative CIOs undertake to transform their businesses and be out-innovated could be:
Ditching legacy systems
Digital businesses born into the agile and cloud world have an advantage – they’re not burdened ever by legacy systems. They’re able to be faster, more flexible, and agile, to focus more on their expenditure on creating value vs. keeping the lights on.
CIOs who have modernized their current infrastructure can deliver much faster, flexible, value-creating, and distinguishing projects equally well as their digital company colleagues.
Innovation-focused CIOs are committed to modernizing their environments; they’re not merely delivering innovative stand-alone projects on the edges –since such projects aren’t enough to truly transform any organization.
Developing innovation-focused processes
To drive innovation, CIOs need to adopt the latest technology and work processes across teams.
That includes shifting from a shared services model to a completely product-first agile culture. It also includes adopting a DevOps and an increased automation environment to support technologists as they function to deliver game-changing applications quickly.
Management experts say that they see progressive CIOs making moves as they adopt agile, automation, DevOps, and innovation labs to speed the delivery of innovative ideas.
Companies need to have processes for people to explore the latest technologies to drive innovations and test how these technologies could transform business processes and workflows.
Technology drives innovation, no doubt about that. And, successful CIOs remember – the technology itself is merely part of the equation. It’s primarily about changing how people work, and to truly innovate, CIOs have to change how people actually work. It is crucial to consider the people component and to partner with their HR counterparts – most progressive CIOs understand that.
CIOs have to also understand the process of envisioning the future. And if they’re not considering this last mile, they run the risk of technology innovation without technology enabling.
Building the right culture and talent
Processes and technology must be part of any innovation initiative today. But CIOs ultimately need people to understand those pieces with the vision to leverage them in new ways. Furthermore, the company’s culture must support as well as reward innovation through training programs to develop the business and technical knowledge needed for now, such as DevOps and collaboration skills.
Talent is now recognized globally as the biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives. The largest talent gaps are around analytics, big data, and information management, followed by business knowledge, experts say. Talent management practices are currently not keeping up with the changing and ever-increasing needs of the digital world.
They have a very deliberate and focused workforce and talent strategy, and they generate a disciplined spirit of continuous improvement. They are good at negotiating and collaborating with the business to determine priorities and deny the business peers when they’re requesting work to deviate from the strategic vision.