CEO Insights: How to Drive Digital Transformation

Robby Gupta

CEOs are exploring digital transformation now more than ever. The reason is simple – digital innovation has widely affected the dynamics of leadership in the organization. The role of CEOs is evolving rapidly as they lead their organization to digital transformation. 

Digital transformation strategy is a strategic priority for organizational growth. However, the magnitude varies for small to large scale organizations. Big corporations are more prone to the challenges of this transformation as compared to their smaller counterparts. CEOs of both areas need to align their goals in such a way that mitigates these challenges.

While in the past, the tech-adoption cycle started with the IT department that introduced innovation. After performance improvements, it was released for the Chief Information Officer. The CEO was only informed about the cost-effectiveness and the outcomes of the project.

However, CEOs are now at the top of the tech adoption cycle. They are the ones exploring global business transformation opportunities. Their vision and innovative attitude have promoted the development of several new ideas in the organization. When it comes to digital, CEOs are now the first ones to get an overview of its impact on their organization. 

Digital transformation and the CEO

CEOs are increasingly becoming the digital change initiators in their organization. They focus on aligning the business goals of growth and profitability with the entire digital journey. Digital transformation is the agenda for most of the CEOs meetings these days. It is considered as a supporting platform for their strategic priorities and achieving efficiency.

The leaders of the organizations are heavily impacted by the competitive forces of the market. As a CEO, the main motive is to keep the organization ahead of the competition. Digital organizations are evidently more productive than those that still don’t have a digital strategy in place.

Read: Is Your Enterprise Ready to Embark on a Digital Transformation Journey?

Competition gets tougher and innovation needs to be introduced by the CEO. GM has been the leading automobile manufacturer for decades. But with the entrance of Tesla, the entire dynamics of the automobile industry saw a disruption. Integrated with machine learning, Tesla collects data as the vehicle is driven for more miles. It improves the experience based on this data. What’s interesting is that a customer can buy a customized Tesla from the company website in a matter of minutes. This is a challenge for GM and other automobile manufacturers who weren’t so quick on digitizing their operations. They now have to deal with the competitive force that could not have been imagined earlier.  

Let’s take a look at how CEOs are approaching the area of digital transformation today;

◙ CEOs are expanding and improving their approach to digital transformation. They are setting up dedicated teams that will guide them through the entire digital journey. One example is Isabelle Kocher, CEO of an energy company in Paris called Engie, who has recruited a dedicated c-suite team to transform the company into a digital enterprise. They are aligning the goals of the business strategy with the digital strategy. By setting new targets, Isabelle wants to understand how much digital value creation is taking place.

◙ Company leaders are also focusing on industry disruption when it comes to implementing a digital transformation strategy. They are studying thorough market research conducted on their customer’s digital behavior. This allowed them to allocate a budget for their digital journey. CEOs are creating plans to improve products that could help them integrate these products effectively with the digital strategy. They are hiring teams and chief digital officer to properly analyze the scenario and understand how they can move forward with his transformation.

A major step CEOs are taking is visiting places where digital disruption is ahead of its time. Companies are now visiting giants like Tesla, Apple, Uber, etc. to understand how they have leveraged digitization for organizational effectiveness. These MNCs are organizing boot camps for introducing other CEOs to digital innovation. German CEOs have taken this a step further. They have formed a consortium called Industrie 4.0 and took it forward to the government. They want to initiate an industrial policy needed for the “fourth industrial revolution” based upon artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

What challenges do CEOs face in digital transformation?

No positive change comes without challenges. Digital transformation poses several challenges for CEOs. It is not easy because it involves – 

  • ◙ Reframing the organization’s operational architecture
  • ◙ Bringing the entire team together on the same page
  • ◙ Determining the value-addition by digital transformation
  • ◙ Identifying the intensity and time frame of its impact
  • ◙ Justifying the ROI on digital restructuring

A digital strategy is a challenge because it is about changing the entire horizon of your organizational objective. CEOs need to understand that the way products are developed, designed, marketed, etc. will change. Industry-wise challenges are wide and effect intensely.

◙ Digital innovation in the financial industry includes challenges related to cost, customer expectations, organizational adaptability, and integrating IoT with risky financial instruments.

◙ The automobile industry is ever-competing for innovation. CEOs understand that digital transformation includes innovating in a way that keeps them ahead of the competition.

◙ Transport and logistics companies face challenges in implementing the digital transformation strategy. They struggle with employee adoption and ways to figure out how to smoothen the processes.

CEOs today are participating deeply in ensuring that the strategic goals are achieved through digital innovation and transformation. It has encouraged them to analyze their working style, business processes, policies and practices, and the entire IT infrastructure. They are figuring out that the more digitized their organization becomes, the more they are connected with their consumers. And many CEOs have started to understand this. They are launching a lot of digital initiatives at once. They understand the threats of staying behind in the digital era. They are recruiting dedicated teams for exploring how far they can go with digital innovation.

Read: Infographic: 5 Critical Components of a Robust Digital Transformation Strategy

Yet many of them are still skeptical about digital adoption. They must understand that digital enterprises are going to transform how industries work. CEOs must plan regularly and develop strategies to mobilize the entire organization. They must start seeing digital transformation as an opportunity that will maximize their growth in the long-run. TechJini is a leading software development company that enables digital transformation through top-notch IT products. Contact us and start your digital journey today! 

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about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.