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Paper Based On Technology Innovation (U7a) As A Topic In It (Term Paper Sample)




Technology Innovation (U7A)
Technology Innovation (U7A)
1. Why has the IT leadership role in organizations become so important?
Information technology and systems leaders have been critical to overall organizational transformations and by extension, have also had to change accordingly. Innovation and leadership are intimately intertwined in the cause and effect cycle of organizational relationships (McLean & Smits, 2012). Changes in global competition, technology, deregulation of markets emphasis on quality, downsizing and many other changes have compelled businesses to embrace effective leadership that results in useful organizational transformations. As such, the role of It leadership has become overly significant to organizations as they seek re-engineering conventional business processes.
What are some of the IT service trade-off decisions that IT leaders face today? Why is it important for IT staff to behave as leaders? 
IT leaders have accepted the fact that roles have to change as business environments become more dynamic especially due to the information technology factor which has affected virtually all organizational roles (McLean & Smits, 2012). As such, this has resulted in IT services effecting trade-off decisions as novel demands for efficiency and innovation motivate greater growth and expansion compelling IT leaders to proactively engage in an intricate mix of management and leadership functions. This is ultimately done to attain and sustain a fitting balance between effectiveness and efficiency as well as stability and innovation in the organizational context. As such, IT staff are required to lead other organizational members towards this end.
Why is it important for IT staff to behave as leaders? 
Integrating IT within all other organizational processes has present a myriad of challenges concerning how new systems are successfully integrated into the already existing protocols. Given that IT staff are best suited to enable all other organizational cogs to operate and positively relate with each other via a single IT backbone, they have to take a leadership role (McLean & Smits, 2012). This is so as to ensure that interpreting the organizational vision to other staff members to achieve comprehensively achieve the set goals.
2. How does the traditional role of a CIO differ from the IT strategic role of a CIO?
The CIO was traditional also referred to as the CTO or chief technology officer. In the past, the role of the CTO or CIO basically involved supervising an entity’s IT department whose primary role was to ensure the efficient operability of IT infrastructure (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013). The IT infrastructure in discussion included managing an entity’s servers, purchasing new computer upgrades as well as other minor roles as resetting any forgotten or lost passwords. Technology was not as widely employed within organizations as is common today. Technology was mainly used by upper management or for documentation of important organizational data to allow for timely publishing of reports.
At present, all organizations are seeking to fully and quickly adopt digital technologies and as such, have compelled the CIO to play a far more strategic role (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013). For instance, the CIO is at present not only a technology developer but also a business developer. As such, they have an immense role to play in executing the change process within organizations especially regarding long-term change initiatives.
What is the focus of the strategic CIO and why is the role of strategic CIO emerging? 
Given the immense impact that technological innovations and advances have had on organizations, the focus of the strategic CIO has become critical towards corporate culture transformations (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013). One point of focus concerns operational effectiveness, efficiency and innovation. A far more strategic responsibility involves collaborating with fellow executives in an effort to integrate technology propelled organizational objectives in the initial stages of strategy formulation. Introducing and subsequently incorporating emerging technologies to business processes, effecting recommendations and proposing new business models are roles expected to be played by a strategic CIO (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013). It is therefore important to point out that the role of the strategic CIO is heavily inclines towards ensuring fundamental transformations are realized as desired by the organizations.
3. How can an organization leverage IT to enable a step change in what the business is able to accomplish for its customers? 
In the past, IT functions were underappreciated as they were considered as having a very little direct impact as to overall business goals (Cognizant, 2014). This notion has been pushed to the back in contemporary operating environments. IT infrastructure services are currently deemed as basic towards ensuring preferred business outcomes are realized. As such, TI organizations today are being considered as having the capacity to enable end to end functions in the delivery of top as well as bottom line results.
As such, a novel business imperative relative to IT landscapes is playing a pivotal role in determining how employees, stakeholders and ultimately, the consumers interact with one another through enterprise IT systems (Cognizant, 2014). Emerging technologies such as virtualization technologies, millennials recruitment into the workforce and new collaborative means of working are pushing organizations towards re-engineering existing operating models.
It is critical to point out that the strategic CIO task include leveraging IT towards improving customer experiences in an effort to gain a competitive edge over other players in an operating environment (Cognizant, 2014). As such, IT has become far more extensive than previously envisaged as it is currently not relegated to technology platforms or systems architecture management. Emerging technologies have evolved to improve on consumer experiences by enhancing service delivery and product development.
The existing technology changes as well as the emerging ones provide organizations with opportunities to not only make workforce more efficient but also get new knowledge on customer views and expectations (Cognizant, 2014). Customer views and preferences are indeed important towards ensuring the business processes are aligned to incorporate new information and by extension appraise cost efficiencies while raising revenue collection. These technologies include enterprise social networks, analysis of big data using advanced analytics as well as virtualization technologies.
4. Is there a positive link between managerial and technical IT capabilities and process agility? Explain your answer. To what extent does environmental dynamism positively moderate the link between each of these IT capabilities and business process agility? 
IT is in essence a critical enabler for an organization’s agility (Tallon, 2007). Some organizations have thus sought to endeavor to invest much in IT in an effort to make them more agile. It is important to note that IT has in some instances only served to hinder and even impede a firm’s agility. As such, the management of technical IT capabilities determines how such can be deployed in tandem with other resources available in a business entity (Tallon, 2007). The optimum combination of these two aspects can result in the development and subsequent acquisition of organizational capabilities which are not only invaluable to the sustenance of a competitive advantage over rivals. Having a positive relationship between the management and technical aspects of the IT function translates to greater business process agility. It can result in a firm being able to manifest rare characteristic distinguishing it from its rivals not only in the short term but the long-term as well.
Business process agility relates to the dynamism with which an organization can refine current business processes and ultimately transform business operations quickly and easily in an effort to conform to internal and external environmental changes (Tallon, 2007). This implies that business process agility involves an organization’s abilities towards detecting prevailing changes, threats and opportunities in its operating environment. Being able to detect and critically analyze such changes is aimed at effecting focused responses with regard to consumer as well as stakeholder preferences and expectations. IT capabilities can define a fi...
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