Navigating Digital Transformation: Best Practices for CIOs

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Digital Transformation

Is your organization ready to address the challenges presented by the digital transformation?

As a C-Suite executive, your job as the CIO is to help your organization define a strategy for digital transformation, as well as implement new technologies and assess your organization’s readiness. Digital transformations have unfolded several times in your career, and like the current one, they rarely involve taking a straight line from point A to point B. Instead, it is up to you as the CIO to define the path taken to complete the current digital transformation that is full of challenging opportunities that help your organization improve its performance in a highly competitive world.

How your organization achieves its goals for transforming digital technology is not as important as the fact that you have started the journey toward navigating the current digital transformation. Most business leaders, including CIOs, agree that completing the journey towards digital transformation represents one of the key components to growing a business, with nearly two-thirds of all business executives stating in 2022 that achieving the current digital transformation is the most essential driver of increasing sales.

Now that you know the importance of successfully navigating the digital transformation process in 2023, how do you as a CIO implement the steps to make your goal come true?

What Are the 5 Best Practices for CIOs to Achieve Digital Transformation?

The vice president of research for IDC’s IT Executive Programs, Serge Findling, emphasized the importance of CIOs steering the ship that drives the current digital transformation. “In the next five years, CIOs will be instrumental in helping their enterprise navigate the winds of change by enabling ecosystems, co-creating new business models and outcomes, empowering employees, and building resiliency.”

Let’s see how as a CIO how you can navigate the often turbulent waters that define the current digital transformation.

It Starts with Your Team

Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Yes, it takes a little bit of shedding ego, but surrounding yourself with team members that are as or even more technically talented as you are is a critical component to establishing the policies that foster the transition into a new digital era.

What type of professionals do you need to achieve digital transformation, as well as what skills should they possess to make it happen? For example, do you need to recruit highly capable data scientists, full-stack developers, user experience specialists, or all of the above?

Learn more in How CIOs Can Foster Innovation in Their Organizations.

Practice Makes Perfect

If your organization is expected to adopt measures to transform its operation digitally, you need to be willing to experiment with different new digital services that add value. One compelling example of the willingness to innovate with new digital technologies is found within the restaurant industry. TGI Friday’s, which created the model for restaurant chains to increase sales through enhanced bar service, experimented with different mobile device platforms to improve the speed of ordering from its menu for to-go orders.

The result of the experimentation eventually led to the company adopting a mobile device platform that enhances the experience of its customers.

Focus on Cybersecurity

Every measure that you implement as a CIO to navigate the current digital transformation means nothing if you do not maintain a highly secure digital infrastructure. Your organization cannot afford to experience breaches in its technology systems in the form of viruses and malware.

Make sure your team members follow the most effective password standards, as well as incorporate two-factor authentication for all company email accounts. Every one of your organization’s computer connections should establish a Virtual Private Network to bolster security. To protect sensitive proprietary information, install Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker to protect every team member when they access the Internet.

Follow the Continuous Training Model

Perhaps the most significant challenge facing CIOs while navigating the current digital transformation involves keeping employees ahead of the technology curve. The one-and-done approach to training team members does not work in a rapidly changing technology environment. As the CIO of your organization, you must adopt the continuous learning approach to training, which includes establishing an ongoing program that ensures every team member acquires the skills to tackle the latest digital technology changes.

Make Automation Your Friend

Automation represents an indispensable element of achieving digital transformation goals, but few CIOs understand how to use it effectively to increase sales and decrease operating costs. Implement automation into specific areas of your organization to benefit both team members and the customers that they serve. For instance, you can develop a remote recruitment strategy that takes care of the screening process by integrating automated software. Your organization benefits by reducing manual labor hours, while improving the application process for job candidates.

Learn more in 6 Benefits of IT Automation.

The Bottom Line: Delegate Responsibilities for Digital Transformation

As the CIO, you cannot expect to assume the entire burden of achieving success during the current digital transformation. The key to success starts by delegating technical tasks to the appropriate team members to maximize the performance of the entire team. Delegation can set up you and the entire C-Suite of executives to transform your organization digitally now and well into the future.

Additional Digital Transformation Resources

What is Edge Computing?

CIOs and Digital Transformation: Top 3 Strategic Priorities


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