A guide for CIOs: how to drive digital business and mobility

The alignment of digital technologies and corporate business goals is now essential in defining organisations’ growth and success. 49% of organisations globally are heavily investing in digital technologies and the others will be in serious trouble in a few years.

For CIOs this comes with unique challenges. They are required not only to maintain, improve and migrate existing applications but to support and drive the transformation into digital business. With resistance to change and the usually siloed business functions, this is not only a technological challenge but a human problem as well.

>See also: Mobile technology: giving CIOs peace of mind

Results of driving a digital business

For those who embrace digital transformation the benefits are many, with customers and employees alike becoming more invested and involved in an organisation. The main benefits can include:

• Enhanced customer experience.
• New revenue streams.
• Better decision-making through democratisation of data.
• Automation of mundane operational processes.
• Improved ROI.

All of these components create a strong strategic advantage and it’s obvious that digital transformation is not an optional course. As organisations increasingly go down the digital and mobility path, it calls for a reinvention of operating models and organisational culture.

>See also: British CIOs must shift balance to innovation

To ensure an end-to-end digital transformation that drives greater business value, CIOs and technology decision makers need to be able to address and adapt to evolving challenges that span across all aspects of business – internally and externally. In order to meet these needs it’s vital to understand what success looks like.

The following business categories have been identified as the main focus for driving organisational success for human centric business reinvention:

• Products and services.
• Employees.
• Operations.
• Business models.
• Customer insights and needs.

Internal buy-in

A key challenge is the internal organisation buy-in that CIOs require in order to successfully devise and implement the digital transformation process. Without getting the people and culture on board, their chances of success are significantly lower.

>See also: The digital transformation of things

Change is always difficult to accept and resisting this change can prove to be detrimental for future business prospects, as an end-to-end transformation expects seamless coordination between IT and other business functions.

The result of this resistance is observed when organisations discount the shift in market demand and lose out on crucial projects and innovation that could give them an edge of their competitors and drive greater revenue. Worst case it leaves them vulnerable to disruption from competitors and start-ups that are faster and more agile. For CIOs, digital transformation is therefore one of the top priorities of this decade.

To ensure that organisations truly embrace and succeed in the shift from traditional business CIOs must take a human-centric approach. This means always starting with customer, employee and business leadership problems and truly understand the problems before jumping to solutions.

>See also: The importance of creating a cyber security culture

It also relies heavily on having the right skills and experience. Delivering successful digital business solutions requires strategist, UX and app development, marketing, big data analytics and device and app management to work together as a team. There’s a lot to coordinate.

A successful digital business is one that embraces the pace of change and thinks long term. The benefits include increased revenue, happy customers who could become brand advocates and motivated employees. 2017 is going to continue to be a busy year for CIOs.


Sourced by Magnus Jern, chief innovation officer, DMI


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...