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  • Blog March 6, 2020

    The Ultimate Digital Transformation Checklist for CIOs

    4 Minutes Read

Being the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the company, you are in the best position to lead digital transformation. You have in-depth understanding of key business processes, current technology state, emerging digital disruption, and cross-enterprise perspective of disruptive technologies.

But you are facing two kinds of challenges at the same time. Down one road, you take on a leadership role harnessing digital disruption and transforming IT into a source of innovation. This happens as you work with business leaders for product development. Down the other road, you must control an increasingly marginalized IT, while managing a shrinking legacy system portfolio with declining value.

While understanding the challenges that CIOs need to overcome on their path to achieving digital leadership, we talk about the ultimate digital transformation checklist.

Adopt a top-down enterprise-wide strategic approach

Being the CIO of your company, you need to understand that digital strategies formulated at enterprise level can bring maximum, sustainable benefits. Work with the C-Suite and business leaders to make them understand and gain from synergies across the enterprise. Spread leading practices, eliminate any duplication of efforts, align priorities and resources, and leverage digital technologies.

Besides, business transformation may reduce the emphasis on the importance and need for specific roles and skills. The focus may shift to new and different skills and roles. This magnitude of cultural and organizational change succeeds only when the C-Suite takes on a highly visible role to promote it.

In the words of McKinsey & Company, “Pace and power go hand-in-hand for digital leaders, which typically run four times faster and pull critical strategic levers two times harder than other companies do.”

Develop a Governance Framework That Supports Innovation

CIOs need to work with business leaders to define a governance framework. This framework should not act as a barrier to innovation, but effectively manage and minimize risk to encourage it. Businesses can only stay competitive in these times of digital disruption, if they innovate.

Governance that boosts innovation features:

  • A filtering function to align ideas on innovation with the digital business strategy and culture.
  • Organization’s risk-taking capability for innovation; setting boundaries accordingly.
  • Allocating resources for innovative ideas separately.

According to a research1 conducted by Capgemini Consulting and The MIT Center for Digital Business, businesses today form committees at firm-level to govern digital transformation. Though steering committees are a common structure, innovation committees enable organizations to stay ahead of dynamic business practices and digital technologies.

Innovation committees are structured around emerging technology. They help to identify business opportunities enabled by technology and adapt to varying customer or employee behavior.

Build Operating Model Conforming to Speed and Agility

Being the CIO, ensure that the operating model of your organization is capable of sustaining through the age of digital disruption. The new operating model should allow sourcing alternatives and leverage emerging technologies to fulfil business needs and stakeholder expectations. Addressing customer preferences and needs in every activity; right across the demand-supply chain, is key here.

IT is a vital component of a world that is driven by digital. Businesses expect the IT organization to understand their complex requirements and be more far more responsive and agile. Not only should the IT organization constantly support the current portfolio of systems, but also turn more innovative and agile to support ongoing digital initiatives.

IT should accelerate the pace at which it delivers new capabilities to the business.

Prioritize Talent Management

Digital transformation companies understand that business transformation demands for new IT skills and roles. They go beyond the conventional approach of hiring talent from the best of schools and poaching employees. Instead, digital leaders look for potential candidates, value soft skills, hire team players, and offer them incentives to grow.

CIOs assess the short and long-term needs based on the digital strategy. They even perform a gap analysis to ascertain skills required to create a comprehensive talent sourcing as well as development plan.

A CIO can strategize on pursuing acquisitions of small companies to leverage on the technical skills of their resources. Alternatively, they can use the center of excellence or digital acceleration team to optimally use the scarce resources available across the enterprise.

Unify Technology Data Points into KPIs

Different LOBs have their own incentives that encourage digital transformation. Revenue growth can be one of the incentives here. CIOs should unify their lines of business (LOBs) with key performance indicators (KPIs) and desired business outcomes. As they do so to deliver a seamless digital customer experience, business transformation boosts productivity, efficiency, and growth.

Besides, you can seek advice of a trusted advisor, service provider, or partner to create a data-driven system, while analyzing incremental alterations that produce higher-quality results.

As you pipeline your data, opt for a managed services provider to set up monitoring and alert systems. Your data is valuable and if any issues occur to your data, they should be visible to you.
As the CIO of your company, track down solutions you should channel your data in to. At the end of the day, your business should accomplish its KPIs faster and more efficiently.

Invest in New Digital Capabilities

Digital transformation initiatives call for building a set of new IT capabilities and advancing existing capabilities to a higher level of importance. In the digital world, you need to focus on systems of engagement, employee and customer-facing systems.

Here, overall customer experience matters the most and new releases are measured in weeks. These releases are an offshoot of the close collaboration between users and IT. Besides, they are the product of rapid and iterative product development cycles.

CIOs upgrade or establish a research and development (R&D) function or innovation lab. The objective is to provide an environment where business users, IT, and external customers can discover and refine new digital solutions. Organizations today have an R&D function within IT and the business, or within IT.

The Bottom Line

CIO are in the best position to create the difference between being a victim of digital disruption and a digital leader. You can use this checklist as a guide. Focus on the factors critical to driving digital transformation, innovate and innovate, achieve operational excellence, and emerge a leader in this new digital world.


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