Are Indian CIOs Struggling To Transition To Digital?

Last year, a global survey revealed that there is a significant gap between CEO expectations for Digital Transformation (DX) and IT organization’s readiness.   This was revealed in the study titled,  “Measuring IT Readiness for Digital Business”. The survey in its ambit covered   1,200 IT executives and IT personnel in six global business markets was done by Commvault GO 2017, also stated  that while many executives recognize the need to be able to lead their companies through digital transformation, IT personnel actually feel they lack the skillset, technology and bandwidth to create the data-centric foundation required for that digital change and future innovation.

This in a way sets in the tone and context  of the digital transformation adoption dynamics and how CIOs are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea in making digital work for their organizations.

But, digital is clearly the way forward and both supply and demand side of IT need to embrace it or continue to be a laggard.  Now  let’s look at some more numbers. For instance, IDC says, worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation  of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to be more than $1.1 trillion in 2018, an increase of 16.8% over the $958 billion spent in 2017. DX spending will be led by the discrete and process manufacturing industries, which will not only spend the most on DX solutions but also set the agenda for many DX priorities, programs, and use cases.

In sync with the dynamics at ground zero, many organizations are still in the early stages of their DX journey, internally focused on improving existing processes and efficiency. As they move into the later stages of development, we expect to see these priorities, and spending, shift toward the use of digital information to further improve operations and to create new products and services.

But unlike other tech deployments of the past, digital is not a big bank approach. Its a journey, not a destination and  it is all about strategy, and the technology is the enabling piece. For that strategy to happen, multiple jigsaw pieces need to fall in place.   The key elements that will enable Digital Transformation are:

Strategy 1: Do a technology due diligence of your existing IT Organization: This many say is the starting point and helps in the consolidation of legacy assets and paves the way for legacy modernization.

Strategy 2: Engage with top management and all stakeholders: Digital Transformation is unlike other IT initiatives, like CIO only droving it. Its all about creating a customer-centric digital ecosystem, leading to the higher customer experience. The CIO has to forge closer ties ups with the CEO/CFO/CMO. Experts say that deeper transformation can only be achieved at scale if it is systematically driven. CIOs hence should help CEOs set the success criteria for digital business. It starts by remembering that you cannot scale what you do not quantify, and you cannot quantify what you do not define.

Strategy 3: Create the office of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) : This is something like managing security, a CISO will be better placed than a CIO. In that same logic, Digital can be best driven by a CDO. But that does mean the elimination of the CIO roles, they are two tech pillars who will navigate and collaborate on Digital and core IT goals.

Strategy 4: Balancing On-Premise and On Demand: Going to the cloud is one big part of digital. But its no brainer, all things IT cannot be moved to a Cloud model. Here a blended IT sourcing model is the one that will work. Some parts can be on demand and on –premise, in a private cloud model.

Strategy 5: Recalibrate your IT organization: This is vital, we say this at the risk of sound cliché. Digital means, a massive overhaul of your existing process and takes your IT organization to a digital maturity model. With the multi-pronged ramifications, it is vital for IT organizations to fast track their digital transformation initiatives by involving all the stakeholders in the organization and create a digital ecosystem. This will help them to stay relevant in the marketplace. So enterprises need a combination of best practices and indulge in enterprise re-calibration initiatives.

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