Why CIOs must lead the digital transformation journey


Capgemini and MIT recently recorded in a survey of more than 1,300 executives in over 750 global organizations, that 78% of nearly 4,000 CIOs worldwide say their digital strategy is moderately effective or worse, suggesting such efforts remain in their infancy. Moreover, only 32 percent of those IT leaders say their digital strategy spans the enterprise, with most of the investment focused on the front-end, rather than on deeper operational capabilities.

“While we see progress on customer experience, organizations have not kept pace on building the necessary capabilities in operations, IT-business relationships, vision, engagement, and governance,” added the July 3 report. Today, many organizations face the realities of the complexities of their digital journeys and realize just how challenging successfully transforming can be.

Culture Change

Digital transformation involves much more than just technology. Success with it is as much about a culture shift as anything else. With this in mind, and with CIOs frequently being measured on their success with the digital transformation agenda, building a new culture is quickly becoming an important part of the CIO role.

This means CIOs need to go beyond setting the technical agenda, and set the tone for the shift – by educating professionals, modeling a new approach to leadership, as well as embracing disruptive and innovative ways of thinking. By promoting a culture where change is the only constant, and experimentation is encouraged, businesses are able to harness the latest technology and deliver additional value and experiences to the customer.

 Unravel Technical Debt

Accenture recently documented from a survey that 70% of 1,000 C-level executives say technical debt is significantly inhibiting their ability to innovate from a technology standpoint, while 72% blame technical debt for difficulties in assimilating new technologies.

Similarly, a survey by IDG and Insight Enterprises finds 64% of executives cite legacy infrastructure and processes as a barrier to IT and digital transformation, along with data security, technology silos, budget and competing priorities. As a result, 51% at enterprises undertaking IT transformation initiatives have “stalled or abandoned select projects” while grappling with IT modernization and process issues. Unfortunately, it takes time to unravel technical debt.

The Accenture survey further elaborates on the steps; Decouple data from legacy systems, Decouple data from legacy systems, Decouple the business process systems from one another, Decouple IT talent and budgets from traditional silos.

There may be nothing new or revolutionary about the above approaches but they still resonate, and are needed more than ever, at a time in which organizations base their success on their ability to capitalize on information technology.

New working environment

Studies show that today’s high-performing operating environments are purpose-driven and team-based, with shallower hierarchies. They enable workforce mobility and deliver a consumer-grade technology experience to internal workers, aligning modern performance and rewards practices to the right behaviors.

Developing the right environment drives engagement, productivity, and learning. Digital-ready leaders are more likely to respond that they are “definitely engaged” at work. They’re also more likely to see their organization as embracing or even rewarding failure in pursuit of innovation. Twice as many digital-ready leaders feel a sense of accountability for effectively leading their people.

Reset Employee Talents

Building digital organizations requires a reset of talent and leadership infrastructures. Employees’ functions must transform to become nimbler, data-driven, tech-savvy, and tied to the evolving business needs. Digitally challenged employees cannot take point on modernizing an enterprise’s operations.

During the CIO100 symposium and Awards at Enashipai Resort, slated on 29th and 30th November 2018, experts will unravel the wraps behind digital transformation and what is in it for enterprises. Join this discussion.

Click here to register and attend the upcoming CIO 100 Annual Symposium and Award



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