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Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs

Originally Published:
May 2018

IT and business leaders are increasingly under pressure to find ways to apply digital practices to business processes and operations. However, many analysts point to a large divide between the goal of digital transformation and companies’ ability to achieve it. This ebook considers some of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of that transformation, as well as strategies to overcome them.

From the ebook:

Digital transformation efforts are underway to varying degrees at virtually every company, with projects typically spearheaded by the CIO or CTO. However, these efforts are often driven in pockets of the enterprise by individual employees with expertise and passion for digital, and a vision for how it can help their company become more competitive, according to a recent report from Altimeter.

Dubbed “digital change agents,” these individuals come from different backgrounds and skill sets, but all advocate for the same thing: using digital tools and processes to improve the business.

“These are the individuals in the organization who are most likely not in a leadership role, and maybe not even in a management role,” said Altimeter’s principal analyst Brian Solis. “But they are exceptionally passionate, informed, and experienced in digital and its impact on business and markets. They’re going out of their roles to try to send that message up the corporate ladder.”

CIOs and CMO often battle to spearhead digital transformation efforts, past Altimeter research has shown, with the CIOs taking a technology-first approach and CMOs taking a customer experience path. Digital change agents tend to see how customers and employees are changing and that efforts need to be cross-functional.

However, these individuals are not experienced in change management—one of the largest barriers to digital transformation success, Solis said. “Digital transformation has less to do about digital, and more about good old-fashioned change management. The common challenges for digital transformation to go enterprise-wide were all things related to the fear of executives and their colleagues—things like self-preservation, egos, politics. Things that digital change agents aren’t well-versed in how to navigate.”

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