Your digital transformation strategy has a lot of moving parts and requires full-time attention. If you try to spread things out between executives and managers who already have a lot on their plates, you run the high risk of falling short in accomplishing your goals. Digital transformation requires a significant investment of time and resources, so it’s important to position your organization to maximize your chances of success.
Who Should You Put in Charge of Your Digital Transformation?
The first question is who should step into the role as leader of your digital transformation. You need someone that has a deep understanding of technology and the ways it can completely change your business. They also need to have a strong strategic mindset capable of staying on top of the various digital transformation projects involved in this process.
At its heart, this role requires cross-functionality. A digital transformation touches every single part of your organization, so you need someone that has a cohesive vision and is capable of coordinating with a wide range of teams and departments.
Some organizations acknowledge that a digital transformation leader is an important aspect of their strategy, but they don’t give the position the importance it deserves. You need to make another executive-level role, such as a Chief Digital Officer, so they have the resources necessary and the ability to focus on seeing this strategy through.
The Benefits of a Permanent Digital Transformation Officer
If you go into a digital transformation assuming that it’s a one and done process, you’re setting your business up for long-term failure. New technology and disruptors come out all the time. Today it’s about the cloud, but in the future VR and AI are moving into the forefront. A decade or more in the future, there’s no telling what technology will be out there. Every innovation has the potential to change your industry’s potential business models.
With a Chief Digital Officer available, they’re dedicated to optimizing the current digital transformation strategy and looking towards the future. They have the vision to put together new ways for the organization to leverage the transformation of Power i AS/400 systems and other infrastructure. While CIOs and CMOs both have a strong motivation to control the digital transformation strategy, they often lack a broad enough approach and perspective to achieve goals that benefit the entire organization.
Why Should They Have an Executive Role?
The primary reason to put the digital transformation leader in an executive role comes down to the influence required to get the top-down buy-in of the strategy. They need to have the authority needed to bring ideas to the CEO, work with other executives in the C-suite and drive the organization forward.
In too many cases, lower-level leaders may lack the standing they need to get everyone onboard with the transformation. Executives may approve the parts that benefit their particular area, but overlook organization-wide changes. All in all, you have a much easier time accomplishing your digital changes if you put the leader in a position where they can do the most good.
Written by Grant Sojnocki
Grant Sojnocki, President of Able-One Systems, has extensive experience in executive and leadership roles at innovative technology companies such as IBM, Arrow Electronics, Neopost and Avnet. His positive outlook, passion and creative thinking skills serve him well when it comes to digital transformation, allowing him to deliver high-value solutions to Able-One Systems' clients.