Week-in-Review: CIOs are not leading digital transformation, but they should

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CIO News Week In Review

In this week's news roundup for IT pros, new research on digital transformation uncovers an opportunity for CIOs to step up to the plate.

The state of digital transformation

New research was debuted this week from Brian Solis, futurist at Altimeter, on the latest trends, challenges, and data uncovered on the road to digital transformation. Solis researched and interviewed 500 digital transformation strategists, executives, and change agents, and Vala Afshar, a thought leader on the topic of digital transformation, delivers a concise break-down of the key findings in Huffington Post. Among the insights, “The No. 1 challenge facing executives (71 percent) is understanding behavior or impact of the new customer,” yet, “55 percent of those responsible for digital transformation cite 'evolving customer behaviors and preferences' as the primary catalyst for change.” There is clearly a disconnect when it comes to understanding the customer journey and its impact on innovation. On the upside, the report showed there is a pay off to getting digital transformation right: “41 percent of leaders surveyed said they’ve witnessed an increase in market share due to digital transformation efforts.”

CIOs third in line to lead digital transformation

One finding in particular from the Altimeter report may have CIOs and IT leaders sitting up and taking notice. The research found that the CIO/CTO role, at 19 percent, trailed both the CMO (34 percent) and the CEO (27 percent) as the executive most likely to lead digital transformation efforts. CIO Magazine's Matt Kapko interviewed Solis to find out why. “CIOs are more likely sit on the sidelines, because their agendas are already full, he says. When CIOs join an organization there's usually a backlog of demanding projects they need to take over, according to Solis.” Given that the top three transformative initiatives uncovered by the report — accelerating innovation, modernizing IT infrastructure and improving operational agility — are in the area of IT, CIOs have room to step up to the plate. “CIOs may be behind others in the C-suite when it comes to transformation, but plenty of opportunity exists for IT leaders to take ownership, Solis says.”

Masters of reinvention

Stepping up to the plate might just be what CIOs do best – an idea Mark Samuels explores in ZDNet this week. He writes about the ways the CIO role has been challenged over the years, and how CIOs have come out on the other side happier in their roles than ever. Tonino Ciuffini, a long-time CIO interviewed by Samuels, “enjoys the challenge of remaining relevant — in fact, he believes the pace of transformation makes the role interesting. 'The nice thing about IT is that the industry is always reinventing itself,' he says. 'The job has changed to a huge extent in the last two years, never mind the past three decades.'”

More news for CIOs

Why digital transformation needs a heart [MIT Sloan Management Review]

15 must-have technology capabilities for digital transformation [Forbes]

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.  


Excellent insights! May I suggest that CIOs desiring to lead digital transformation might read my article for practical tips to help ==> http://blog.hellersearch.com/blog/how-cios-can-seize-digital-transformation-leadership

Well written I loved reading this article. It all needs strong and supportive leadership with a vision for organization. CIO is the critical link for empowerment from a digital perspective. You can also read more on digital transformation here: http://bit.ly/2bruTeI