In my quest to stay on top of the latest trends in technology innovation, I covered an interesting report in a February 2016 blog post
from IDC Canada on how Digital Transformation would shape 2016. The report touched on the CIO role and how it dealt with the current wave of digital transformation. Since that post was published, we have seen this evolution continue well into 2017 and the momentum will only get stronger as we head into 2018 and beyond. This post serves as an updated perspective on these trends.
Digital Transformation - A Direct Result of Innovation
Digital transformation isn’t just a new concept or trend, it’s actually a new way of doing business that is innovative and agile. The concept comes as a direct result of IT innovation consistent with and driven by a well-planned business strategy. This new way of doing business will change the way businesses deal with customers, employees and partners. Innovation and agility will support continuous improvements to business operations while disrupting existing business and market models as new ones emerge.
The Continuous Acceleration of the Innovation Factor
Everything is moving faster than expected in the ecosystem and disruption is being felt by businesses by the growing adoption of social media, mobile technology, cloud computing, data analytics. AI and cognitive systems along with next generation security, AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) the Internet of things, robotics, 3D printing and more are other examples of accelerators disrupting businesses today.
It’s an exciting time to see digital transformation touch so many parts of a business, but is this an opportunity or a threat for CIOs?
The Changing Role of the CIO
What role can the CIO play in digital innovation? This is an important topic since a growing number of companies are actually hiring chief digital officers from outside IT to take leadership on digital strategies. CIO's are often seen as chief technologist rather than business leaders and this can become a challenge.
The CIO leadership model is heading in new directions to address the major changes brought on by new digital technologies. Some CIOs are leading their business as startups and chief financial officers of infrastructure. Other CIOs are adding the role of chief energy officer since their department is the biggest user of energy. Traditional technologists are still needed to keep control over the infrastructure, its security and compliance. Recent failures at banks, and security breaches are reminders that the CIO is utmost important to maintain the integrity of the infrastructure. Even if your business does not embark on the digital transformation journey, it can still be innovative and reduce costs.
Digital Transformation – A Collaborative Effort
Even if ad hoc projects are part of the digital transformation process, they involve people from many departments and therefore require an integrated and collaborative effort from the top down including the CEO.
Is your business adapting to the digital transformation?
Here is a great read and video to further highlight the impact of digital and how to prepare your organization for the inevitable transition ahead.
From McKinsey & Company: Nine questions to help you get your digital transformation right
Becoming a digital organization requires fundamental changes to how you do business. Answering these nine questions can help break through the inevitable barriers.
Video: IDC Directions 2017 - Frank Gens keynote
The future is all about innovation and adaptation, so the more prepared and ready we are for it, the better off we'll be.