For some, New Year’s resolutions bring to mind promises to exercise more, eat healthier, or learn a new hobby. For a CIO, these resolutions represent an opportunity to become a more proficient digital business leader, and being a digital leader means driving the company’s digital transformation strategy. According to a November 2017 IDC report, worldwide spending on digital transformation will reach $1.7 trillion by 2019. However, the majority of the companies surveyed were still in the early stages of transformation. As organizations adopt digital technologies to improve productivity, efficiency, and revenue, a well-thought-out set of resolutions is necessary to enable CIOs to successfully move ahead with their 2018 digital transformation efforts.
Here are 5 resolutions for CIOs to become more effective leaders in the upcoming year:
Most organizations set out with a digital transformation plan that doesn’t align with their company’s overall vision or make sense for their employees. Many business professionals, including C-suite executives, think that digital transformation just involves adopting digital technologies. They fail to connect digital transformation to larger company processes such as factory automation that uses IoT, or supply chain items that are tracked with smart labels. It is up to the CIO to educate everyone on how technology can be used to define the overall strategy for the company. The definition of a successful strategy includes reshaping the business, guiding the mindsets of employees, and bringing together new insights to capitalize on upcoming market opportunities.
CIOs should take charge of developing a formal company-wide digital transformation plan that outlines how business operations can be streamlined and automated for enhanced performance. This plan should go beyond simply digitizing documents. A complete strategic plan will provide a framework of the digital technologies you aim to implement, set critical timelines, outline detailed investment plans, and define the business values the plan will deliver. The overall layout should be reviewed by other C-level executives and key business influencers for their valued input and buy-in. A finalize strategy should then be broken out into separate projects that 1) support the overall strategic corporate plan, and 2) have assigned and agreed upon priorities. To prevent interference and hinderance from other departments and systems, all digital transformation projects should be kept centralized.
CIOs must keep all lines of communication between IT and other departments open. This will help in breaking down existing silos and improving workplace efficiency. It is the primary responsibility of a CIO to exhibit openness and inclusiveness in order to achieve company-wide goals. To do so, CIOs should maintain regular check-ins with IT staff, department heads, and project leads. This ensures a higher level of productivity and efficiency, which in turn can increase revenues and decrease costs.
In order to make informed decisions, CIO’s must capture and analyze information effectively. By implementing a tracking system across the value chain, the CIO can accurately measure people, places, processes, and products. Matching this information with pre-tested business scenarios will empower CIOs to prioritize and direct resources, decrease wasted effort, streamline processes, upgrade workplace safety, strengthen customer relationships, and improve revenue.
Undoubtedly, CMOs play a critical role in the digital world. However, studies have shown that many times the CIO-CMO relationship is the weakest. In 2018, CIOs should make efforts to collaborate with CMOs and work together in a productive manner to usher in digital transformation. A lack of collaboration between the two often leads to shallow digital deployments which hinders the revenue generation potential.
Every New Year comes with new inspiration. CIOs should see themselves as the “Chief Inspiration Officer” as they get ready to drive digital transformation in their company, and prepare their business for the next level of digital maturity.
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