How CIOs Drive Enterprise Digital Transformation?

12 May. 2017 General, Trending

The CIO role was never more strategic to business. As data initiatives and IT become more extensively integrated within companies, CIOs find themselves skippering—a whole new ball game. What then is the CIO’s role in the technology aspect of the DX process, and what does it take to succeed? According to a SAP survey, CIOs are leading 37 percent of digital transformation (DX) initiatives while the IT teams are pushed to sidelines for finding innovative strategies.

CIO Role In Digital Strategy

CIO’s Digital Transformation Strategy

Today, digital transformation has been adopted by almost all industry sectors. This makes it crucial for an enterprise to undergo rapid changes in terms of organizational processes, use of technologies, customer demands, and competitive landscape. That’s when a CIO needs to lead enterprise digital transformation and enable swift dramatic growth.

In embracing digital transformation, the first step involves identifying the opportunities, risks, and challenges. CIOs must take advantage of the opportunities before the competitors seize it. This in turn depends on the ability of an enterprise to quickly experiment and take risks.

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One good example of digital transformation done right is Uber. It was a mere start-up back in 2009 but quickly disrupted the conventional model of urban transport by leveraging innovative technologies and providing ease of access and quality service. The company evolved with the rapid pace of digital technology. It encountered and addressed challenges like adopting agile principles, increasing efficiency using technology wherever possible and delivering value to customers.

The Challenges CIOs Face

Even though CIOs are well placed to detect potential opportunities due to their keen technological understanding, leading enterprise digital transformation is still a complex activity for them. The major challenges they come across in the process can include (but not limited to):

  • Making the enterprise agile, scalable, cross-functional while integrating various existing business lines
  • Disrupting the current technological market
  • Delivering value through innovation as quickly as possible
  • Transforming enterprise’s operating model to IT-as-a-Service model
  • Transforming major business processes and models
  • Developing a foundation flexible enough to support any business model and position the company to quickly capture value when new business models are established in the future

To address these challenges and drive effective change, CIOs need to define a company-wide digital strategy. A strategy that contains a detailed action plan aligned with your business goals such as targeting new markets, increasing productivity, improving customer service, and driving revenue growth.

But achieving these goals can be an additional challenge for CIOs. One way to simplify this is a strategic use of digital technologies like big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud-based applications and services. These digital technologies should be deeply integrated within the layers of your organization. This can trigger an immediate change in the internal mechanisms resulting in an increased user efficiency and elimination of mundane and time-consuming administrative tasks that could take up an entire workday.

Most importantly, a CIO digital strategy is accountable for transforming your company’s internal functioning, hyper-awareness, informed decision making and enhancing customer experience.

Redesigning Business Approach

Once the transformation approach is defined, follows execution. During this period, technologies are integrated into all departments of the company. The teams redefine their current and end-state objectives, processes, systems, and models. The CIO defines how to transform IT foundation into IT-as-a-Service model. A continuous cross-verification also takes place to ensure the teams are able to transact digitally and improve efficiency while aligning the strategy to business objectives.


A CIO’s role in digital transformation is the ability to navigate through an intricate maze of business design, technology and disruption of the old order. Their technical ability and agile transformation approach will not only evolve your business models to drive new opportunities but also change supporting teams into business enablers. Consult Rishabh Software’s digital experts to know more about Digital Transformation or create a digital strategy for your business.

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