How CIOs can internally drive the shift to digital transformation
Digital transformation is bringing sweeping changes to how companies work. It not only offers new ways to do business but brings an existential threat to CIOs.
As companies adapt new business models there is pressing need for scalability. New roles like Chief Data Officer, Chief Security Officer are being created to manage this transformation.
There are a few key ways in which CIO’s can sharpen the edge,
1. A seat at the table
The biggest issue for most techies in the workplace is that they work more as behind the scenes staff. In other words, they are not as much involved in the main meetings and only get their marching orders from someone who was.
The problem with this model is that it limits how much the IT department can contribute to the strategies helping to shape the growth of the company. Furthermore, it limits the techie in what they can do since they can now only work with instructions passed down to them as an interpretation of what the team lead understands it to be.
But with a seat at the table, all that will change. On top of quality inputs and real-time debates for the approval of projects that will transform the company digitally, there will also be a better grasp of information to enable the provision of solutions in line with the company’s unique needs.
2. Customer-centric approach
No matter what image a brand is trying to portray of themselves, or what plans they are making, one thing is certain – the end consumer decides if all that effort was worth it. Afterall, they are the focus of every campaign or new strategy that might have been discussed in the board meetings.
Thus, the customer should be the first consideration in making a digital transformation.
CIOs should work with teams that will monitor, collect, analyse and apply feedback obtained from the customers to ensure the betterment of services on the digital front. That will ensure efforts are not just all over the place but tailored to the needs of the target audience.
Likewise, this guarantees a good return on all marketing spends, boosts the business’ goodwill and improves its presence – which in turn translates to a growing revenue scale.
3. Change the narrative
Why it becomes hard for many CIOs to sell executives on the idea of a full-blown digital transformation boils down to how they approach it in the first place.
A business is established to make maximum profits while incurring the least possible costs. Any other thing which doesn’t fit into that model will most likely not hold any water with the powers that be.
Getting out of this bind is as simple as presenting tech as an investment, not expense. With your position, you should be able to shed the light on how much the company’s income will be boosted when funds are pumped into the digitisation sector.
Note that income, in this area, might not be limited to just the money realised, but the prospects the company is able to court too.
With such a logical argument on ground, there is almost nothing stopping the other decision-making executives from throwing all their weight behind such a project.
4. Embrace data collection
It has already been said that the customer should be given the wheel in this digital transformation process. However, that will not happen on its own. To that end, dedicating resources to collecting data and running quality analytics on them is inexcusable.
Beyond knowing your customers, data analytics will also help you analyse trends that will allow you improve your services to meet the maturity of the customer at different levels of their buying process. In fact, you get to create new products and services which the customer would need – but didn’t know was missing for them till you made such available.
This will always put you a step ahead of the market, helping you craft a niche for yourself while keeping a maximum customer retaining percentage.
5. Talent Investment
The company’s digital transformation is only as good as the people in charge of it. Even though you have the dream and plan for the process in your head, it will not go as planned if the right hands are not there to handle it.
This makes it very important to invest in talent across the IT board for effective dispatch of these services.
Talent investment does not just entail hiring the right hands for the job. It spirals into supporting the right employees, mentoring them and furnishing them with adequate training towards the goal at hand.
With digital transformation evolving, there are more opportunities for IT leaders to upgrade their roles within the organisation. The benefit that companies stands to gain here are higher revenue and lower costs, better efficiency & productivity. That being said, it’s high time companies make the digital shifts to enable IT professionals participate in a more strategic and consultative manner.
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