The Digital Juggernaut

Digital disruption is testing the glory days of the IT Organization. More than ever, the CIOs need to double as a business leader as well as the driver of tech. So, are CIOs ready to embrace Digital and take their enterprises to next orbit of growth?

Aligning IT with business is an age-old debate. This became more pronounced when in the 1990s, IT was initially seen as a cost center and this changed as the years went by and when the ERP wave swept the enterprises in the 1990s, the nondescript MIS department tucked somewhere in the basement, suddenly became a celebrity and thus CIOs were born. Their stature grew because they purchased IT. And today with the advent of Digital, enterprise IT organizations are at the threshold of a major technolgy transformation.

CIOs by and large also agree that technology is becoming increasingly complex. Too much focus on understanding the technology will distract the CIOs from focusing on areas like business, IT alignment and collaboration which are critical and a key competency expected from a CIO by the CEO and the businesses today. More than understanding the nuts and bolts of each technology, the CIO has to focus on assessing the relevance of these technologies to the organization and explore ways and means to introduce new technologies in the organization.

Clearly the current day CIOs has to unlearn the ‘one mile depth, one inch wide’ strategy and learn the ‘one inch depth, one mile wide’ strategy which will help the CIO to constantly look for scouting new technologies and cost-effective solutions in a world where new is replacing the old, be it technology or process.


If one looks at the ground zero, FY 18 was all about making the most of Digital. Most of the companies  focused on the Digital opportunity and recalibrated their business and delivery models tuned to an emerging tech play. In sync with Digital opportunities, companies trained their HR. The country’s #1 IT company TCS articulated well, it said, “We firmly believe that there are no legacy people, only legacy technologies.”

Industry experts told Dataquest that in every industry around the world, companies are keen to pursue an ideal mix of best practices, technologies and thinking, to be truly digital. Digital transformation is not all plug-and-play. Going digital is definitely not a hasty leadership push to outdo the competition by purchasing bespoke technology stacks, laying out the piece parts and assembling them together to get a digital enterprise. It is a complex and introspective journey that demands bold decisions to simplify, modernize and secure the company’s digital assets to achieve the nirvana.

Sometime back, Korn Ferry (a global organisational consulting firm that help companies design their organisation—the structure, the roles, and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people) announced its findings from an in-depth research, which finds that leaders across India need to embrace a radical mindset shift to enable real and sustainable digital change within their organisations. The study also highlighted that leaders across APAC are not yet digital-ready and risk derailing digital sustainability initiatives by perpetuating legacy ways of working.

The report, titled “Digital Leadership in the Asia Pacific”, analyzed the leadership profiles of more than 9,000 leaders from eight APAC countries and territories including the 2600 Indian leaders, and compared these profiles against the traits, competencies, and drivers of great digital leaders. The countries and territories involved in the study include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea.

Across the region, a few bright stars are Australia and India, fare relatively well against the profile of a great digital leader. However, much of APAC is struggling with the scale of change required and looking for a way through the complexity.


AJAY YADAVArshiya Rail Infrastructure Limited
Amit JaokarChoice International Limited
Arindam Singha RoyEast India Udyog (EIU)
Ashish BajajDSP Investment Managers
Debashis SinghMphasis
Dinesh KaushikSharda Motor Industries
Dr. Chander Shekhar DevraSRF Ltd
Dr. Sunil Kr PandeyInstitute of Technology & Science
Harnath BabuKPMG
Kamal MattaSonic Biochem Extractions
Kapil MahajanSafexpress
Manish GuptaVaruna Integrated Logistics
Meheriar PatelJeena
Mukesh MehtaBatlivala & Karani Securities Ltd
Neha KiniVedanta Limited – Sterlite Copper
Nimesh MehtaCLP India
Ninad RajeHealh Assure
Parveen Kumar SharmaThe Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
Partha MondalAtul Ltd
Priyabarta SarangiEastman Auto & Power
Rajeev SeoniErnst & Young
Rajesh Panditathyssenkrupp India Pvt Ltd
Rakesh BharadwajCognizant
Ritu MadbhaviFCB Ulka
Sachin JainEvalueserve
Santosh ParabIIM-A
Sarbani BhatiaJagran Prakashan Ltd.
Satish PapnoiSarla Holdings
Shailesh PachoriEuclid InfoTech Limited
 Srinivasarao MuppaneniThe Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State Cooperative Banks
Sumit SinghWokhardt
Suresh ShanMahindra Finance
Tejus KumarSPML Infra
Vasudevan NairWriter Corporation
Vishal GuptaIndraprastha Apollo Hospitals
 Sharad Agarwal                                          JK Tyre &Industries
Aditya Khullar                                          Paytm


Experts say that while Indian leaders are strongly motivated by the challenges and have proven capacity to engage and inspire their people and deliver results, their preference for structure currently hinders their ability to engage and inspire their people in uncertain conditions and cultivate innovative thinking. It also promotes the “safe” approach, rather than giving free rein to more entrepreneurial thinking and iterative decision-making and stifles curiosity, confidence, and risk-taking.

Going Digital hence is a judicious blend of policy and technology execution. And digital readiness is indeed a painstaking exercise. With the multi-pronged ramifications, it is vital for IT organizations to fast track their digital transformation initiatives 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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