Blog / Leadership & Transformation

C-suite in Digital Transformation: The Role of CEOs and CIOs

That will hopefully lay the ground for more efficient organizations, new markets and customer experiences, and improved business outcomes. But in order for organizations to make major strategic commitments, experiment with new business models and work on their single digital approach, the core leadership of the company must truly understand digital.In recent years, it has become obvious that digital shouldn’t be something that one business unit does or that various business units do separately, but instead something that an organization does as a whole. In order to achieve such implication and be able to cast aside the traditional hybrid digital strategies, the leadership of the organization must be really involved in the process and work the transformation from top to bottom. A recent study carried out by Celonis on the C-suite executives’ insights to digital transformation revealed that almost half of C-Suite executives admit to launching transformation initiatives without a clear strategy and that more than 82 % do not review their internal business processes to understand what needs to be prioritized when setting initial goals. The lack of strategy and constancy in the process are the main reason that most organizations don’t see the desired results after “going digital”. In this post, we are going to examine what some C-level executives could do in order to enhance the digital transformation of their organizations. If you have trouble remembering the tasks each C-level executive carries out, you can check out his post where we explain some of the roles.Digital transformation cannot work its ‘magic’ without CEOs getting on board. Make no false assumptions, digital transformation is not just a big company issue! Companies of all sizes have work to do and new challenges to face, whether it is underinvestment or under-prioritization, poor communications or project management, employee pushback or lack of visionary leadership. Our advice for CEOs is:1- Digital transformation journey is a long one, so it's still early in the game. Prepare yourself for a marathon, not a sprint! It’s important to have a strategy before jumping in and have a good overview of the internal business processes in order to concentrate on the primary shortcomings of the organization.2- With such an endless sea of new technologies on display, finding the one for your company is not an easy task. Therefore, in order to not lose your focus and drop the ball, don’t aim your attention at any individual technology. These are just the tools of the trade and your focus needs to be on how they impact business basics and economic drivers. 3- The way the value is created is constantly evolving and moving. Customers’ expectations are really different from before. Customers now expect real-time, reliable and simple interactions and experiences, wherever and whenever they want to interact with your business.4- Digital success starts at the top, and so does digital failure. Make sure your corporate board is a source of competitive advantage when it comes to digital transformation. If your current board doesn’t understand the opportunities and risks at play for the company, you should add qualified technology experts to the board who do.It is anticipated that the role of CIO becomes more and more important in the winds of digital transformation. By 2021, CIOs will need to morph into chief HR officers, as the union of HR and IT can help create business processes that align the desired company culture. To read more about digitizing HR, check out our post on Digital HR. Most transformational initiatives that result in failures do so because of the company culture. That’s why it is so important that CIOs either work hand in hand with HR or transform into CHROs. Our main advice to CIOs is:1- Start small and grow big! The cultural change will be neither quick nor easy to achieve, so work on it little-by-little from the beginning of your digital transformation journey and don’t wait to address it later. 2- Diversity and inclusion are necessary for the success of digital transformation efforts, as the wide array of backgrounds and mindsets can bring new ideas and thoughts to the table. To have a diverse set of minds means having quick and effective frontline decision-making teams that will help the company to surpass its financial targets. The modern CIO should be constantly developing and communicating business strategies, and the outcomes they will achieve, to the CFO, CEO and Board of Directors in order to prove how invaluable they are. In conclusion, we believe that in order to champion digital transformation within a company, C-suite must set an example to the rest of the personnel and lead the way. Business is the ultimate team sport and digital success starts at the top. In this case, being the team’s captain falls on the shoulders of the CEOs and CIOs.Get involved in the Digital world and lead the Digital Transformation!

Zigurat Global Institute of Technology