Executive Insider

What’s Missing in Your Digital Transformation Journey

Digital Transformation (DX) remains on the top of the strategic plan for most CEOs worldwide. According to Forbes the majority of significant digital transformation will be implemented over the next two years.

Nordstrom committed more than $1.4 billion in technology capital investments to enable rich cross-channel experiences and grow digital penetration to 45% over time. The Irish bank AIB after smart investment in digital achieved 25% lift in accounts opened, along with a 20% drop in costs, according to a recent McKinsey survey of global executives.

The DX starts with the right digital culture. Shortcomings in organizational culture are one of the main impediments to company success in the digital age.

Creating a better work culture helps with every aspect of the company from employee retention to productivity. Corporate culture is the result of how a company works and operates.

As a CEO you must be prepared for and work through all components of DX:

1. Develop a clear vision and a cohesive strategy

Based on recent Deloitte’s Case Studies a lack of vision and strategy is the major challenge of DX.

As a CEO you need a clear vision and rational strategy of the company’s digital opportunities. A strong vision and sense of purpose will energize and align your organization.

  • Share your vision for DX with your management team to make sure that all are on the same page.
  • Develop a cohesive strategy with feasible transformation goals addressing technology, people, and organizational abilities.
  • Ensure logical methods across functional areas and work groups.

You do not need to be the expert on the leading technology edge, but you must be savvy in leading your company to address technology, people, and organizational activities.

2. Design the technology and data platforms around business priorities

Another big challenge of DX is investing in Legacy technologies that are outdated or obsolete. Old technologies that are being used in multiple processes in an organization sounds hard to change because they are working.

As a CEO your biggest challenge is to find the right and more efficient innovative technology that will work and save your business money.

  • Invest in innovative Business-Led technology that is designed around your business priorities NOT a modern fit-for-all technology.
  • Deploy new IT architecture to address your product and process.

Any DX effort will require investment, time and patience. These processes often take years to fully realize.

Bring your organization up to speed and be competitive while planning for the future profits from your investment.

3. Put the best people in the right places 

“DX is an organizational and human capital commitment.”, says Renee McKaskle, CIO at Hitachi Data. It is essential to create a culture in which everyone is tech savvy.

Start with employment of top-level executives. Find leaders of the technology that are great communicators and strategists. Despite how hard it could be you may need to let go of current executives and managers if they are not prepared for what is to come.

Evaluate your entire labor force to determine the roles you need and prepare an action plan.

Be ready to face the challenge. DX will affect non-IT roles more than IT roles.

  • Employ top-level IT executives.
  • Hire mid managers with technical depth.
  • Shift current roles to new ones where it is feasible followed by internal training.

Ensure that your workforce has the skills and the trust to leverage the changes for the DX to succeed. Put the best people in the right places and get your technology to work hand-in-hand with the business. 

4. Commit to leadership from the top down 

Strong Digital culture means strong connection between CEO and employees. The CEO must be engaged with the entire organization to actively steer decisions, transactions, and priorities in the process of DX.

Ensure support from your leadership team and connect with your middle managers.

Your middle managers play a crucial role in forming the culture. They have to evidently understand how the change will affect the current practice. Once they have a high-level vision, they will break it down to meaningful outcomes for their employees.

  • Change organizational structure to fully execute DX.
  • Identify middle managers in the organization that have vital expertise, create a seat for them around the table, and ensure that their voices are heard.
  • Make a Chief Digital Officer in charge of the full digital agenda.

Build support for a digital reinvention course through the management ladder right down to every front-line employee. Tune your whole organization towards digital.

5. Monitor and measure your progress

Monitoring progress is an extremely important process. It validates the strong and the weak part of the transformation and more importantly it requires the whole organization to contribute.

  • Track outcomes on a regular basis.
  • Compel your middle managers to track performance and report to your leadership team. This structure will allow you to deliver compliance and meet your team’s expectations. It will generate improvement, innovation and change.
  • Maintain a single source of truth in data. It will elevate positive changes, draw attention to obstacles and help to improve the DX process.

Keep a sharp focus on ongoing progress and evaluate innovation-related measures. Make sure that the entire organization participates in transformation contributing their part to success.

Conclusion

Culture change is the key to DX. The right digital culture will empower your organization to nurture a workplace that motivates employees to utilize new technology.

Get your organization ready for a kick start change that will resonate throughout the organization. Create the spark that will ignite the culture change you need.


Written by Olga Artemenko.

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Olga Artemenko
Olga Artemenko is president and CEO of CCI Pharm. She is a dynamic leader and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in international business dealing with Eastern Europe and Russia with astute negotiation skills in multiple languages. Artemenko holds a BA (Honor of Excellence) and Master in Communication (Cum Laude) from Kyiv National Linguistic University in the Ukraine. In the USA she completed postgraduate studies in economics at Princeton University. Olga Artemenko is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow her on LinkedIn.