For the past several years, digital transformation has been the top priority of businesses across a wide range of industries. The term refers to the strategic optimization of business processes and models in a way that takes full advantage of technology to better serve customers, spur innovation and create competitive advantages. While digital transformation necessarily cuts across organizational functions, the chief information officer (CIO) plays a critical role in driving these initiatives.
According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda, 49 percent of the 3,000 CIOs surveyed said that their organizations have already changed their business models or are in the process of changing them. Among the top performers, representing 40 percent of survey respondents, 99 percent said that IT is “very or extremely important to business model change.”
What’s more, digital transformation is evolving from concept to application with a rapid increase in scale. The major driver for scale is the intent to increase consumer engagement via digital channels. As a result, Gartner recommends that CIOs focus on capabilities that enable more consumers to perform more activities using digital channels, and to create an IT environment that can respond quickly to changes in consumer demand.
As the pace of transformation picks up, it can accelerate the failure of businesses that are either unable or unwilling to transform. Startups using disruptive technologies and business models pose a serious threat to organizations using legacy infrastructure that can’t support modern business applications or analyze large data volumes. Right out of the gate, these startups are in a better technological position than well-established competitors.
How do organizations plan to keep up? The CIOs surveyed by Gartner said that disruptive technologies will play a major role in reshaping business models. Asked which technologies they expect to be most disruptive, most CIOs mentioned artificial intelligence (AI), with data analytics moving to second place. More than a third (37 percent) said they have already deployed AI technology or that deployment was planned in the short term.
It’s important to remember, however, that digital transformation is not a particular technology but a new approach to IT. To be successful, CIOs must retool existing infrastructure to reduce operational overhead while incorporating disruptive technologies such as AI. The decisions CIOs make today will have a dramatic impact on their organizations’ competitive posture in the years to come.
Ronaldo Möntmann, CIO Advisor for Converge Technology Solutions, understands this all too well. He says CIOs are facing pressure to align technology investments with their organizations’ strategic goals while ensuring a positive return on investment. To do so, CIOs must develop a sound IT strategy and be able to understand and articulate the role of disruptive technologies in revolutionizing the business. At the same time, CIOs must ensure the reliability of existing infrastructure and streamline IT operations.
With years of experience as an IT executive in the healthcare industry, Möntmann has joined Converge to lead the firm’s new CIO Advisory Service and provide guidance and support to CIOs in the digital transformation journey. He will serve as coach, content-provider and business advisor, offering clients a unique blend of strategic and operational acumen and technical competency. As the pace of digital transformation accelerates, organizations face increasing pressure to become more agile, customer-centric and efficient. This cannot be accomplished by simply implementing new technology. Digital transformation happens by changing how you do business in order to fully leverage technology to achieve business goals. Through its new CIO Advisory Service, Converge is offering CIOs an experienced guide to help drive their digital transformation initiatives.