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IT Leadership

Transformation Needs the Top, Even if it Doesn’t Start There

No matter where the vision for innovation comes from, the board and CEO must support and evangelize transformation for it to succeed. If the board and CEO don't fully grasp why the transformation is needed, or how it should be achieved, it can bring about more harm than good. They would be better of pausing or canceling the project until everyone can get on the same wavelength. The worst whiplash an organization can receive is a "transformation" project being pushed by IT which doesn't have the support of top leadership. Why? Because the rest of the company will take their lead on how to respond—how seriously to take the change—from their top leadership. If they see shoulder shrugs, they may shrug too and won’t be fully committed to getting on board. Just as importantly, the support from top leadership will deeply impact the behavior of those pushing the change—in IT [...]

By |2020-10-02T14:58:27-06:00October 11th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|

Step 1 to Swimming in the Digital Pool – Get in the Water

Do you have a vision for the potential of technology to impact your company's future, but lack the details to make specific proposals? Part of leadership is seeing the need for change and taking steps to share and implement this vision with your team. The first step doesn’t have to be perfect or huge—you need not jump into the deep end of the pool right away, but it's critical at least to acknowledge that you need to learn how to swim. No matter how your organization uses data—processing, analyzing, or simply entering it and viewing it on a daily basis—there is a high likelihood that some kind of digital technology can take your efforts to the next level.  Initially, you may not have clarity on how automation, AI, or analytics will play a part, but neither is it a requirement for someone to know all the strokes before deciding they [...]

By |2020-10-02T14:57:39-06:00October 5th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|

Not Every Company Needs Our Services – Only Those Which Have Data

A recent McKinsey study found that companies which invested in data quality and analytics increased their profit margin an average of 6%.  For context, the average profit margin across Fortune 500 companies was just 10.7%...!  Who isn't interested in pursuing an increase in their profits of 2/3?  And unlike traditional IT automation, Digital Transformation can not only reduce costs but also potentially increase revenue. Unless your company does not track or utilize data at all, you are missing an opportunity at these kinds of returns if you're not "weaponizing" your data.  GAAP Accounting does not currently allow companies to book their data as an asset on the balance sheet, per se, but it’s safe to say that between two companies with similar financials, the one with the highest quantity & quality of data is truly “worth more” (and will have tangibly better results!) than one with limited, low quality data.  [...]

Best IT Strategy for a Non-IT Startup? It Depends

Tech company startups are the darlings of the press and of venture capitalists.  It certainly seems that tech companies dominate the list of "Unicorns" and top IPOs from the last few decades.  Their pace of revenue acceleration (though not necessarily usually earnings) are breathtaking - at least for the few who make it "over the hump" to reach critical mass.  But these are far from the only startup businesses where key IT decisions are needed. In non-IT startup companies, the landscape of tech choices is different, although potentially just as impactful on the company's chances of success.  Tech isn't their product, but in many cases it may make up a significant part of their engine (there is a spectrum of IT impact, of course - that's one reason why "It Depends..")  Interestingly, from the myriad books on the topic of startups pumped out of publishing houses these days, very few [...]

By |2020-10-02T14:56:00-06:00September 12th, 2019|IT Leadership, Optimizing IT, Stabilizing IT|

JUST Keeping the IT Lights On = Awaiting Disruption

Is your IT just “keeping the lights on”? i.e. Are you just waiting to be disrupted?  Don’t get me wrong – keeping the lights on, avoiding security breaches, even creating organizational/margin efficiency with IT – these are worthy goals. But they are TABLE STAKES in today’s economy; we go far beyond this in our proprietary Innovation framework: → STABILIZE your IT – yes “the lights need to stay on” reliably, securely, auditably → OPTIMIZE strategic trade-offs – get what you pay for, pay to your point of maximum ROIC → MONETIZE your IT – invest in tech capabilities to drive REVENUE & MARKET-SHARE Innovation Vista’s mission is to INNOVATE BEYOND EFFICIENCY for TOP-LINE IMPACT in midsize companies: → Taking market-share with tech capabilities your competitors can’t match → Enabling Digital connection not just in remote teams, but with your customers → Accelerating your existing revenue cycle with deep customer insights [...]

Turning IT into a Profit Center · Client Success Story

Innovation Vista keeps our past clients and partnerships confidential.  Unless you choose to publicize our joint work, the public - and specifically your competitors - will not know you are working with us, or planning anything new or different.   Sun Tzu said it well: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.  -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War It is often useful for new and potential clients, though, who are envisioning possible innovation and digital projects, to consider how our approach has benefitted other companies, even just in broad anonymized strokes... One recent example was a financial intermediary involved in connecting counterparties with specific investment needs [...]

How is IT Doing? Ask Business Leadership FIRST

"We do a great job.  90% of our KPIs and projects are in the green, and we had 99.9% uptime last month..." ...Comments like this can be indicative of successful IT shops, hitting on all/most cylinders and empowering their companies to great results. ...Comments like this can also come out of IT leaders' mouths in departments which are completely failing their businesses - possibly without them even knowing it.   Wait, you say.  How could Key Performance Indicators be put in place, or projects approved, without the business being on board?  And if 90% of them are in the green isn't that a good sign?  Not necessarily.  They could very well be meaningful, but KPIs may not really measure how well IT is supporting and empowering the business.   Consider these common situations: KPIs surrounding reaction times to requests, but none addressing proactivity KPIs about bug fixes, but none measuring the [...]

By |2020-10-02T14:51:17-06:00December 2nd, 2018|Enterprise Systems, IT Leadership, Optimizing IT, Stabilizing IT|

Guidelines for Hiring a New CIO

A quick list of suggestions for interviewing and hiring a new CIO… CIOs are a bit like NFL coaches, who begin as either Offense or Defense specialists.  Generally we come up either the applications/data or the operations/infrastructure/security side of the career ladder.  Some may have experience in a smaller company on both sides, but they may have blind spots or not have a mature framework to think about the role.  This difference is greatly reduced once someone has been a CIO, because if they’re smart, they likely climbed the learning curve quickly on the other side once they got that responsibility. Most of the issues first-time CIOs often experience occur in leadership/culture, or from the "other side of the ball" where they’re weakest.  So if you're targeting a first timer, it's often wise to choose someone from the side where your company feels weakest.  e.g. if your systems are stable [...]

By |2020-10-02T14:50:07-06:00May 24th, 2018|IT Leadership|

Why We Build Trust First for Innovation Success

"Build Trust First" is Innovation Vista's mantra on all engagements relating to change, transformation and transition.  We believe it is absolutely necessary for success! Gartner reports that 75% of Digital Transformation initiatives will fail, highlighting particularly higher risks when these are seen as "IT Projects".  That is a daunting estimate, but one based on real facts and track records.   ..and one we believe is based on human nature...   Trust is a universal Human Need Turbo-charger   Although we apply this approach to IT-driven transformation, it is truly in effect in every aspect of our lives.  Myriad leadership studies have proven the connection between success/efficiency/effectiveness and trust.  And each of us can confirm in our own lives the "difference" between situations where trust was absent vs. present; it is not difficult to recall in which situations we were at our best... As with many things, the impact of trust may be [...]

By |2020-10-31T22:34:23-06:00June 5th, 2016|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|

Forbes Highlights Demand for Digital Consultancies

A Forbes article yesterday about Digital Consultancies highlights a major change underway not only among Big 4 and Big 3 consulting firms, but across the economy.  Increasingly, firms are building out their "Digitalization" consulting practices to respond to the increase in demand in these services among their clients. Some are hiring experts to handle the current and projected future project increase; other firms are acquiring smaller firms at a frenetic pace.  It is this same trend in demand that created the reason for the formation of Innovation Vista in the fall of 2015... What is so different about this trend in consulting and in technology at large? New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Smart Process Automation, Augmented/Virtual Reality are reaching maturity to be ready for mainstream adoption worldwide.  Most companies will find one or more use cases for these capabilities. Because these tools are new, there are not enough experts [...]

By |2020-10-04T14:34:18-06:00March 24th, 2016|Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership, News|
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