At the heart of digital transformation is the drive to continually improve products, services and customer experiences through evolving business models.
As a result, the modern CIO’s key performance indicators have expanded to include innovation across the value chain and strategic leadership in the boardroom.
Today, CIOs must think beyond technology and consider how change management and process improvements can act as vehicles towards more efficient businesses.
Questions like “How do I design my technology stack to support the company’s broader objectives?” or “How do I position IT in a way that gives the business a competitive edge?” should take equal priority to concerns about keeping the lights on and machines from crashing. But to succeed in digital transformation, CIOs need to take a step back and assess the landscape that lies before them. Embarking on any digital transformation project, however big or small, requires IT to have a solid grasp of the limitations and capabilities resident in its processes, people and technologies.
It’s too often the case that ambitious technological undertakings turn out to be expensive white elephants due to over-complexity, or new processes being stillborn thanks to user apathy. Further, gaining the trust of your C-suite is another age-old hurdle as decision makers fret over quarterly profits instead of focusing on the bigger picture.
Moreover, many CIOs that have come up through the ranks typically shine when it comes to the operational aspect of their jobs, but simply don’t have the broader business perspective to understand how and where digital strategies can have the best impact. This has led to the creation of new roles like the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) which is ostensibly designed to help “old school” IT guys get up to speed with new digital realities.
But even the most forward-facing companies can get stuck in their own way of thinking and lose sight of realities on the ground. Key decisions are often made in a vacuum as companies assume to have a monopoly on innovation. This culture is equally dangerous to the longevity of any business as market shifts become less predictable and customers more demanding.
So What’s the Way Forward?
Managing these pressures alongside familiar operational headaches cause many CIOs to dig their heads in the sand in the hope that disruption won’t come knocking. This strategy, or lack thereof, results in the Kodak Syndrome that sees companies, and CIOs, fade into obscurity as they are surpassed by those who are prepared to take the initiative and lead from the front.
Fortunately, CIOs don’t have to go it alone or get stuck in the headlights and see their positions diminished by “tech-savvy” CDOs. Partnering with a digital transformation advisory can help IT to proactively identify opportunities, and implement solutions, across the entire business value chain. Whether it’s to fill a gap in internal capabilities, source the right technology or help your C-suite to see the light, DX specialists earn their keep by helping CIOs navigate the people, process and technological landscape that characterises our new digital planet.
At WWC, we believe that a clearly defined vision and purpose can help you turn your digital potential into long term profit and sustainable growth. Our team of digital transformation advisors and technology experts can help you to map your journey towards more value-based processes and people-centric technologies that deliver real and lasting value.