Why CEOs Need to Take the Front Seat Driving Digital Transformation
Traditionally, CIOs have been the visionaries behind all things technology. From building internal IT infrastructure to developing proprietary tools, CIOs have been a driving force in technological development.
While CIOs retain their critical roles in the technological advancement of the business, the onset of the digital era has thrust organizations into a new paradigm. Technology now permeates every aspect of modern business. Today almost every department relies on a patchwork of digital platforms and apps to operate effectively.
From ensuring a customer experience that delivers a seamless user journey to deploying software-learning platforms, managing technology has moved beyond the realm of IT and right to the heart of business strategy, demanding visionary CEO leadership.
CEOs today must take a lead role in developing and executing digital transformation initiatives to adapt.
Driving digital transformation is a team effort, with the CEO at the helm
The CEO has moved into the position of setting the strategic vision which is then executed by CIOs and other decision-makers like CTOs.
Nothing less than complete synergy between the CEO and other senior employees will suffice to deploy new technology successfully. However, despite the need for more active leadership in modern organizations, only 27% of digital transformation initiatives are lead by CEOs.
Nonetheless, the vision of the CEO can only go so far. To be successful there needs to be a clear digital adoption roadmap to sidestep obstacles like inadequate training and complex user interfaces that choke the life out of many digital transformation initiatives.
Developing a digital adoption strategy
Digital adoption means achieving a state where a company’s employees use digital tools to their full intent. Digital adoption is thus used to refer to technology that has become successfully deployed and embedded into a company’s day-to-day procedures.
For many companies, successful digital adoption feels like a pipe dream with many CEOs lacking the confidence to implement digital transformation strategies. Around 20% of companies polled in the Futurum Digital Transformation Index said that their company’s leadership isn’t sure what to do when it comes to digital transformation
Rather than shying from the challenges of digital transformation, CEOs need to go the extra mile to build a complete digital adoption strategy from the ground up. Successful digital adoption rests on a CEO’s ability to commit to onboarding new technology and getting employees on the same page.
In this article, we’re going to look at three things CEOs can do to take the reigns and deliver a successful digital adoption strategy.
1. Define a goal
When looking to achieve digital adoption, it is necessary to set a goal. After all, if you’re using new software you need to know what processes and tasks you’re looking to improve. The CEO is in a unique position to promote a unified vision to share with other executives.
Your goal should be a unified vision that is understood across your entire organization. Without a goal, it is difficult to measure the success of digital transformation. When 70% of executives say they are not in a position to properly assess the success of their business transformation program, picking a specific goal is vital.
2. Build a strategy and make it clear to employees
Having a goal is all well and good, but if you don’t implement a strategy, you won’t see it come to fruition. Harvard Business Review finds that even companies with “clearly articulated public strategies” only have 29% of employees that can identify their company strategy out of six other choices.
Creating a strategy that is understood not just by decision makers, but by junior employees is key to bringing your digital adoption strategy to life. Employees should not only be aware of what technology you plan to use but also the end goal behind your digital transformation initiative.
3. Empower employees to adapt to new technology
Your employees will be the people on the frontline working once new technology gets deployed. If your employees don’t understand how to use new software, then the chance of them adapting is slim.
It is critical to provide employees with tools to help build their confidence and competency with the software. A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) can be instrumental in fast-tracking the learning process. A DAP includes real-time tutorials and on-screen guidance that helps employees easily perform any tasks on new software.
CEOs: Translate your digital transformation strategy into a unified vision
Clarifying the goals of your digital transformation is critical for gaining the buy-in and support from employees, and for avoiding misdirection from management. There is no one more equipped to do this than the CEO. It is with your vision and momentum that the organization will race ahead in digital transformation.