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How to Drive IT Culture Change: Viewpoint of a Manufacturing CIO

There is no denying that nowadays IT industry is growing and evolving rapidly. With this comes the need to transform your organizational culture and befit the industry standards. Else, as an organization, you might fail to exist soon. In today’s rapidly evolving world, business transformation essentially means digital and cultural innovation. In this article at The Enterprises Project, the CIO of a packaging manufacturer company – Graphic Packaging International, Vish Narendra shares his transformational journey, the obstacles faced and the keys to success.

Narendra believes that the first step towards transformation is to change the cultural mindset from ‘order-taking’ to ‘decision-making’. He strongly advocates empowering teams and enabling them to act as value drivers. For his contribution and vision towards this change, Narendra was recently awarded as ‘The Global CIO of the Year’ by Georgia CIO Leadership Association. When asked about his experience, here are some of the major insights that Narendra shared:

The Major Insights

The Success Attributes

Narendra emphasized that though his company had undergone numerous acquisitions, still it lacked the focus to integrate the infrastructure and set-up an allied enterprise. They needed to strategize the growth plans better and establish a more scalable organization. The management provided complete support to Narendra on this front. Thus, he was able to drive a dual change – first by changing the awareness about IT and then by instilling confidence in the team.

The Barriers

Leading the change was a difficult exercise for Narendra since he had to face tremendous pressure and reservations from all the segments of the company. Driving this transformation throughout the organization required him to prioritize the segments first, primarily based on need and importance. He had to lay down his ideas and approach to tackle the resistance from stakeholders and arrange regular meetings. Eventually, he was able to convince them.

The Prioritization

Since the technology liability was huge, Narendra gave instant priority to cybersecurity as it was highly crucial from a security standpoint. Next, he moved on to the enhancement of central platforms. Third, he focused on customer experience by empowering sales, commercial, and customer service teams with analytics and intelligence.

Team Empowerment

Narendra states that primarily owing to the technology obligation, the IT department never got a chance to invest time towards innovation. But, once the technology issue got resolved, they easily adapted a rapid prototyping-deployment method. He provided complete technical liberty to the teams to innovate and experiment as long as they delivered critical and high-value projects on time with quality. This approach enhanced motivation and enthusiasm within the team. Once this solution became successful, it was rolled out across the organization.

The New IT Approach

Here, Narendra talks about the major business impacts achieved through this new approach such as:

  • Business has started focusing better on enhancing sales, commercial functions, and customer experience.
  • IT has been working more closely with marketing teams and providing real-time analytics to understand the market trends, historical data, and future moves.

To understand these insights better, read the full article here – https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2018/3/it-culture-change-manufacturing-cio-shares-lessons

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