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CEOs' lack of success metrics dampens digital prospects

Clint Boulton | April 25, 2017
CEOs know they must accelerate digital strategies to foster growth.

Some companies are more progressive than others. Twenty-two percent of CEOs, including General Electric’s Jeff Immelt and Ford Motors’ Mark Fields, are taking digital to the center of their enterprise models, reimaging product, service and business models as digital and making it a core competency. GE, for example, uses a software and algorithm-based "digital twin" model to create virtual versions of its jet engines and other heavy machines. Ford is overhauling its IT practices as it explores autonomous driving and ride-hailing services.

Meanwhile, another 20 percent of CEOs are taking a "digital first" approach. Mirroring CIOs’ pledges to adopt "mobile, first, cloud first" technologies, digital first means creating the first version of service via a new business process or in the form of a mobile app.

Ultimately, true digital transformations can be achieved at scale only if they are led top-down, have co-sponsorship with the CIO and spread across the business.

“CIOs should help CEOs set the success criteria for digital business,” Raskino says. “It starts by remembering that you cannot scale what you do not quantify and you cannot quantify what you do not define. You should also ask yourself: What is ‘digital’ for us? What kind of growth do we seek? What’s the No.1 metric and which KPIs must change?”


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