Organizational roles are changing as companies move into the digital realm. Everyone’s jobs are impacted, to some degree or another, as they adopt new tools and experience new ways of working. Today, updating and modernizing business systems means more than picking out new on-premise software that simply tweaks the status quo. It usually involves moving data and processes into the cloud, transforming traditional computing environments and redefining employees’ processes and workflows—often significantly.
None of these changes can happen, however, with at least one “visionary” leading the charge and promoting innovation. Who is this visionary or group of visionaries at your organization: your customers, employees, or a member of the C-suite? Most likely, it’s a combination of internal and external stakeholders whose call for digital change demands a new approach to data and process management. But who’s at the helm—and is everyone required to follow?
The C-Suite: Starting with Strategy
There’s a reason digital transformation is driven from the top: it’s strategic. Even if employees and customers are calling for change—providing reasons to introduce new technologies—the decision to embrace and seek out innovative or next-generation solutions has to come from the C-suite.
Altimeter’s 2017 State of Digital Transformation reports that digital transformation is an enterprise-wide, cross-functional endeavor—but executives are responsible for its success. Here’s the breakdown from their survey:
Executive Responsible For Digital Transformation:
- CIO/CTO – 28.2%
- CMO – 22.9%
- CEO – 20.1%
- Chief Digital Officer – 13.1%
- Chief Innovation Officer – 8.1%
- Customer Experience Officer – 6.4%
The survey also revealed that when it comes to the department responsible for digital transformation, IT ranked ahead of marketing/digital at 33.7% versus 30.1%, respectively. It’s important to note, however, that technology itself does not drive digital transformation—it supports it and enables it, but people make it happen.
Get more insights in How Strategy Can Ensure a Secure and Efficient Move to the Cloud.
All Employees: Following Through with Culture
Ultimately, everyone at a company is responsible for digital change regardless of who, precisely, is leading the initiative. This is why it’s important for executives to listen to both their employees and customers and “keep their fingers on the pulse” of what they need to meet and exceed their expectations. What’s at stake if they don’t? Market share and the retention of top talent—two elements essential to maintaining competitive prowess in what is quickly becoming a digital world, at least with respect to the customer and employee experience.
One thing is for certain: adopting technology for technology’s sake isn’t enough to drive change in the form of increased efficiencies, employee engagement, or customer success. Tech-fueled change happens at the hands of a company culture that inherently values innovation. Even the most ambitious CIO won’t have much luck driving change in an organization whose employees who don’t trust new forms of technology or are reticent to adopt the digital tools required to propel the company forward.
For digital transformation to “happen,” change agents at every level of the organization need to make sure their employees are primed and ready for the change they want to introduce. Don‘t miss 3 Tips for Driving a Culture of Digital Innovation for inspiration and actionable advice.
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