The CIO’s Role is to Lead Digital Transformation

Darren Jacobs
December 21, 2017

The CIOs role must be to lead digital transformation. However, leading digital transformation in your company is more than upgrading old software or adding web conferencing abilities to your meetings.
True digital transformation is not just about optimization or upgrades. It is about creatively using technology to power innovative disruption – not just in your business, but in the marketplace.
However, your company will never lead in technology if you aren’t embodying technological change in your own workplace. From big data to smart offices, technology is not only changing the way business happens but why businesses even exist in the first place.
It may sound like hyperbole to say, “adapt or die,” but when it comes to digital transformation, you need to be more than just proactive.
You must lead.

Taking a Step-by-Step Approach to Leading Digital Transformation

Perhaps it’s a bit cliché, but the saying “you have to walk before you can run” is very applicable to digital transformation. If your company is struggling to manage shipments due to an outdated supply chain process, you need to create a strong foundation before grabbing the big tech apple.

1. Assess Your Current Systems

Doing a full technology audit can take time and resources, but you need an accurate picture in order to make the best decisions.

Make sure you involve your technical staff in the process, as well as end-users.

Ask them questions such as: What gaps do you see in our systems? What could be improved? What would help you be the most productive?

2. Prioritize Upgrades and Eliminate Redundancies

If most of the desktop computers at the office are still running Windows XP, you aren’t just running old technology. You are leaving a big, massive, security hole in your business.

Yet, at the beginning of 2017, three years after Windows stopped supporting XP, 52% of businesses still ran at least one instance of Windows XP.

Leading digital transformation has to start at home.

Figure out what systems are out-of-date, which are priorities to upgrade, and eliminate redundant systems. (For example, don’t use two CRMs when one will do.) Make sure your business is compliant with the latest government regulations.

3. Overhaul Your Analytics

If you do nothing else, transform your company’s use of information. With big data and artificial intelligence, you can leverage business intelligence to truly understand your core customers more than ever before.

Better analytics will enable you to find those areas of opportunity that other companies might be missing.

4. Seize Opportunity and Map Out Your Vision

Once you have your own systems and processes updated and running smoothly, you will be in the best position to capitalize on opportunities. Can your company now lead in fulfilment due to your new, streamlined supply chain process? Can you wow your customers with amazing, unheard of immersive technologies? How can you employ tech tools to change the way your business is done?

 The CIOs Role in Digital Transformation is Critical Today

No matter where your company is on the technological spectrum, it can catch up and surpass the competition. With true digital transformation, your business cannot just innovate, but make life better for your customers as well as employees.

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