A digital Organization

A digital Organization
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If I was a CIO, I would ask for a chaotic enterprise

Well, if I were a CIO... seems like a wish and I seriously wish it to come thru. I have a list of things I would like to do from bizarre to innovative. I like business agility and an organisation that embodies spirit of innovation. Like simple things to having funky posters on the wall to drive peoples mind to think. I personally like to see the big picture, a view ahead than holding back to my current limitations and inhibitions.

Traditionally,a business leader's success is mostly measured as being organized and well planned. The PMBOK would certainly rate a project manager who is meticulous as a top rated manager. This is good when the agenda is to build an airport in 3 years time or raise a 30 storey building in 2 years time. But, if I have an enterprise to run where the agenda being product innovation to staying ahead of competition, creating new pathways to evolve and staying alive in the marketplace, will being rated best manager or sort help?

If I was writing this a decade ago, I would have said the leaders primary agenda would be to make more money, create more shareholder returns and be the opening bell ringer at the stock exchange. But in today's dynamics, before I do all of that, I need to watch out for that nimble startup that could bring me down. My enterprise should be as nimble as any startup be, then go on to make money and ring the stock exchange bell.

Is it possible for a CIO to keep his organisation as nimble as any startup be but resemble a behemoth that can deliver sustained stakeholder value? Well, this is the point - it's time for organizations to deliver on both fronts. Innovation comes from business but technology enables it. If its a tech company where the product and enabler is both technology then its a different ball game.

Lets consider both enterprises differently - one enterprise that delivers products and services enabled by technology and the other driven by technology itself. In the first type, a CIO can take a long shot at creating mammoth ERPs that drive the business e.g. ERP for a manufacturing unit. However, the innovation comes from different channels here and the enterprise architecture has to be ready to capture those changing market demands. The business and technology architecture has to be very nimble but the underlying application and infrastructure architecture can be robust as etched in stone. Like, business architecture has to have means to tweak a flavor of a chips to cater to new taste quickly

If its a technology company, then the dynamics are whole lot differently. The stable ERPs don't run the business, but the technology stack the enterprise sells matters. So, having an enterprise architecture ready for every change is crucial than getting bogged down in governed processes.

Like a chaotic organization
This brings me to to what I started off, if I were a CIO, I don't wish to make a fallacy by adopting or claiming to run agile (Agile philosophy) process and strangulate it with multitude of governance. I want an enterprise architecture that is chaotic. The functions that define my business are not to be etched in stone but want them to be like a memory polymer to take any shape the market forces it to take. The least impacting process would be driven by agile or governed processes but not the business outcome defining one, I definitely want them to be chaotic - they see a gap in the market, there should be a hustle and bustle in the enterprise and the business architecture should be able to adopt and we should be able to get the product in the market for a quick feedback in a reasonable time. If the product clicks and we foresee a full fledged product line, then I would draw my card to make it agile philosophy driven, when I move it to global scale where I need to standardize to control costs, I will tightly govern it. But, I don't want to start the reverse way and kill the chance to innovate by tightly governing. I like a chaotic enterprise and it's time for enterprises to try it out.




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