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Many businesses are just beginning their digital transformation journeys

Isaac Sacolick | April 26, 2017
Results from three surveys suggest many organizations have delivered benefits from digitally driven initiatives, but transformation is a journey in progress and CIO have to invest more in executing digital and analytics programs.


CIO digital execution is lagging intent

Deloitte’s survey of 1200+ global CIOs suggests that most CIO have responded to new digital priorities but business alignment and IT execution is lagging behind. Respondents listed customers and growth as higher business priorities over performance, cost, and regulatory priorities, but listed improving business processes, reducing costs, and maintaining IT systems as the core expectations from the business of IT and the CIO. CIOs need to recognize whether this alignment gap exists in their organization and must better demonstrate capabilities that drive customer and growth outcome to their business leaders.

Fifty-eight percent of CIOs listed execution as an essential capability but twenty percent acknowledged that either this capability is being developed or does not exist. CIOs also acknowledged that the IT organization’s view on the end customer is more aligned today to building technology platforms rather than designing products or delivering customer experiences. The good news here is that many CIO recognize the importance of execution and changing the the IT mindset, so these numbers should improve over the next few years.

Going deeper into this survey, CIO listed digital and analytics as the technology areas that will have the most business impact over the next couple of years, but listed them fourth and fifth in their current investments behind legacy modernization, cloud, and cybersecurity. CIOs expect to prioritize more budget to digital and analytics over the next two years, but their focus is on operational analytics over customer data and customer engagement over innovation, marketing, and new product development. This is another gap as it will be difficult to realize growth through digital transformation if IT’s digital and analytics priorities are more operationally focussed.


Early stages of digital transformation

My conclusion is that overall, the industry is still in early stages of the digital transformation journey. CEOs have to recognize the level of digital disruption in their industry and take a more active leadership role by driving priorities and empowering people. CIOs are leading digital transformation in diverse areas, but execution is lagging and IT leaders may want to consider adding these goals to their digital transformation programs. For CIO that are just starting their digital programs, they should consider what to do in the first hundred days of leading digital transformation.


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