Digital Transformation: Observations from CIOs of Billion-dollar Organizations

Digital transformation is no doubt a buzzword in business.  Organizations are allocating resources and budget to determine how best to capitalize on the current buzz.  But what’s behind the buzz?  At its core digital transformation describes how businesses are evolving to take advantage of digital trends.  We at Experis have continued to expand upon our digital transformation offering and thought leadership and were fortunate to recently lead a CIO roundtable discussion for the National Association of Wholesalers and Distributors (NAW) on how large organizations can learn from digital disruptors.  We discussed digital maturity models, digital talent, and techniques to create a digital culture.  Before the session, we surveyed attendees to learn more about their digital challenges and initiatives.

In the session, we discussed a few concepts worth sharing. The first is that digital transformation is an evolution and not a revolution.  Business continues to invest in new processes, trends, and technology – digital is a part of that.  The major difference is that time to market – and the openness to change – is more important in the business climate today.

We also discussed internal vs external digital transformation.  External digital transformation is evolving and improving your digital experience to support your customer journey. It’s adopting a user-centric approach supported with digital technologies.  Internal digital transformation is using rich technologies that optimize and potentially automate internal processes.  Organizations should explore internal and external digital transformation, because each brings its own value.

One of the biggest challenges CIOs are facing is the cultural change to support digital transformation.  About 60 percent of the CIO group we surveyed said they didn’t have the digital talent needed to be successful.

Cultural change is slow; it will happen in years, not months. It’s not easy.  It starts with management adoption and continued education. Hiring and retaining key people – who embrace the attributes of a digital culture – perpetuates it.  To maintain it, align your teams to support the customer journey regardless of role, position, reporting structure, or title.