In my previous blog we left this question to be answered. In the last few years we have seen many new roles created to face a Digital Transformation. Some companies decided to create a Chief Digital Officer to disrupt the status quo and lead the transformation. Some others created additional roles of Chief Data Officer or Chief Transformation Officer to support a Digital Transformation. In general, IT is seen as an organization focused on the run and difficult to change in scope and innovation.
To answer the question we would first need to define what is required for a Digital Transformation. You need to have vision, understanding what the business and customers need. You need to define architecture. How you build a responsive tool, how you sustain a competitive infrastructure, how you accelerate time to market, and what is most important, how you take full advantage of data.
However, what is essential is to have the drive and ownership required for such transformation. New ideas or implementations will die soon if the business owners don’t push for full adoption. I have seen many innovative solutions that lose traction very soon when “the line,” whether commercial or industrial or staff, is focused on other matters. They sometimes also avoid implementations that would imply a commitment to rationalize the structure.
The CEO is also a key player. No transformation can be done without commitment from the CEO with a clear understanding of what is the final goal of the transformation. Sometimes the top-down drive is only to do something just to show to your employees or clients that you are transforming.
In my case, coming from the Corporate Strategic Planning role, I realized that, in order to ignite a Digital Transformation in the organization, I had to take a relevant role in linking Strategy with Digital Solutions and that could only happen if I managed the main components of “How to do it” and “Resources dedicated.” That is why I decided to combine the “CIO” and “CDO” into one. In this way we can drive innovation within instead of having a parallel strategy.
The challenge of my role is to educate the CEO on the opportunities and the differences between running and transforming, and to design the best solution architecture supporting the business leaders in driving their solutions.
No matter how much I push, I know that the secret to success is to guide, support, and follow the business leaders in their transformation journey. They are the ones that should buy into the transformation and adopt the required changes to make it happen. I define myself as an enabler. If the Digital Transformation becomes a reality, led by the organization leaders, and my role is unnoticed, I will have reached my goals.
I leave you a question open for my upcoming blog, how you make sure that you have an integrated IT-OT Digital Strategy? How you align execution?