CIO’s will steer cultural change to drive digital transformation, says Gartner

While it’s easy to think that technology lies at the heart of driving digital transformation, many organisations now understand without the right people; initiatives go nowhere. According to a recent study by Gartner, by 2021, 80% if medium to large enterprises will change their culture to increase their odds for digital transformation success.

Gartner’s study, Predicts 2019: A Dynamic Culture Will Accelerate Digital Transformation, found that 67% of organisations surveyed have already completed culture change initiatives or were in the process of doing so. The reason for many of those initiatives was that the current culture has been identified as a barrier to digital transformation.

“In 50% of cases, transformational initiatives are clear failures and CIOs report that the main barrier is culture,” said Christie Struckman, research vice president at Gartner. “The logical conclusion is that CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later.”

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CIO meets HR

As CIOs move from experimentation to scaling their digital business initiatives, it looks like their role is expanding; Gartner predicts by 2021, CIOs will be as responsible for cultural change as Chief HR Officers.

“A lot of CIOs have realised that culture can be an accelerator of digital transformation and that they have the means to reinforce a desired culture through their technology choices,” said Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner. “A partnership with the CHRO is the perfect way to align technology selections and design processes to shape the desired work behaviours.”

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Diversity and inclusion

According to Gartner, organisations will also look at making their workforce more diverse to drive business goals.

“D&I initiatives will only contribute to business results if they are scaled properly and actually reach frontline employees,” said John Kostoulas, senior research director at Gartner. “Organisations often overlook extending D&I programmes, such as unconscious bias training, to frontline employees. Numerous technologies can enhance the scale and effectiveness of D&I programmes, such as by diagnosing the current state of inclusion, developing leaders who foster inclusion and embedding inclusion into daily business execution.”

According to Gartner’s research, inclusion can improve performance by over 30% in diverse teams; and that through 2022, 75% of organisations with frontline decision-making teams which reflect a diverse and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future