CIOs Have To Re-Imagine How They Work And Create Workplaces
Top 5 best practices for CIOs to unbundle the digital complexities and create a roadmap and lead the digital transformation journey
Digital disruption is rapidly changing the role of CIOs. The disruption caused by digital is both an opportunity and challenge for a CIO. It is important to understand the world we live in today. There are several macro level shifts that are changing the way we work, live, learn and play. Here’s looking at the top five best practices for CIOs, enabling them to lead this transformative digital journey. DIGITAL READINESS We are living in a very dynamic business environment shaped by a fast-changing digital technology landscape.
Going virtual, mobile, and social are three mega trends that are creating a world of opportunities for organizations to effectively and efficiently connect with their customers, employees and ecosystem partners. Today, it is becoming imperative for organizations to adopt digital strategies across their operations not just for cutting costs but also to increase employee productivity, bring in process efficiencies and most importantly, to engage better with their audience.
As the pace of digitalization increases, so does the companies’ need to adopt or upgrade their digital involvement. Under any given situation, one of the top-most priorities for a CIO should be to prepare an organization to participate and sustain itself during its transformation. In an eco-system built around contemporary, connected technologies, it is mandatory to shake the foundation of legacy business models to usher in new-age digital business models.
Many enterprises still hold back from completely embracing digital due to a lack of awareness and security. There is an ambiguity across several levels including technology competency, costs of digital deployment, digital architecture stack, etc.
CIOs need to work more closely with the organizations to create awareness and educate enterprises about digital benefits and their potential to bring about a transformation across industries.
UPSKILLING THE WORKFORCE
Moving to digital business eco-systems requires a specific set of IT capabilities. CIOs have repeatedly identified the lack of technology skills to be one of the biggest barriers in the way of digitalization. Upskilling has long evolved from being just a choice. Today, it is a necessity for the incoming generation of employees as well as the existing ones. As the pace of digitization will not pause, it is imperative that a continued, uninterrupted and rapid upskilling done for the employees so that the company can em- brace the change as well. New talent with the latest digital technology expertise needs to be added to their payrolls while existing ones are scaled. The company structure also needs to evolve to help their employees learn new skills and grow in the organization.
The IT industry is also transforming processes and is now rapidly scaling up existing technologies to work in tandem with the ongoing digital revolution to transition into a digital entity smoothly. This evolution is creating new jobs with expertise in software and hardware innovations by redesigning, rethinking and rehashing their manufacturing processes. The sector is embedding digitalization and perfecting the skills in the sector to bring a global spotlight to the Indian IT sector through differentiating innovations. This derives the need for the workforce to change their thought processes too and imbibe disruptive as well as incremental innovation at the core of their work. Meanwhile, companies need to step in to empower their mass workforce to experiment more and create innovations that would be in line with the aim of becoming a leader in their field with a differentiated product.
It is therefore imperative for CIOs to build full-stack competencies and specialist IT skills to ensure that the workforce can effectively move along with the organization as it charts new digital territories.
PLACING IOT AT THE CENTRE OF THE COMPANY
Internet of Things (IoT) goes beyond fanciful connected devices. It is the whole process of collecting data embedded in a range of machines, wearables, vehicles and our overall work environment. Considering we are functioning amidst an all-engulfing digital explosion, it should be a CIO’s priority to identify, ascertain and then accelerate roll out of IoT-led opportunities.
Globally, IoT has seen deployments across Transportation, Utilities, Retail, Logistics and Security. Over the next decade, a huge adoption of IoT is expected across sectors. It is anticipated to bring billions of data-generating devices online and connect the vast stream of data with people, processes and other devices. Applications for smart city, smart vehicles, asset tracking, home automation, smart factory, etc. are going to witness massive adoption and implementation. More than 50% of world’s population and things will be online and connected to each other by 2020.
IoT and robots have a huge potential in India and soon will become a basic requirement for enterprises. However, for the massive adoption of IoT, a host of things need to be in place such as the sensor ecosystem, security and privacy standards, domain applications, content as well
Moving to digital business ecosystems requires a specific set of IT capabilities. CIOs have repeatedly identified the lack of technology skills to be one of the biggest barriers in the way of digitalization
as uniform standards. The government and industry players need to work together to ensure that the ecosystem performs to its true potential. Initiatives like Digital India and Smart Cities will certainly drive adoption of this technology across industries in the coming years.
India’s ever-expanding digital landscape allowed Indian companies to get ahead of the global curve in embedding technology into their business functions. Whether it’s big data analytics, knowledge management or even efficient digital-enabled processes and services, many are reaping the benefits of smart technology adoption. This focus on technology has also brought about a fundamental change in the companies’ DNA. Technology specialists, in the form of a Chief Information Officer are playing an increasingly important role in strategic decision making, and are increasingly considered among the top three decision makers in a company. Information Technology has moved on from being a support function to a strategic one.
Top performing CIOs always echo their CEO’s primacies, with a dedicated emphasis on business growth and digitalization. Working with different business units, meeting their needs, catering to their priorities and an overall business alignment continues to be one of the top most best practices for a CIO.
The increasing importance of technology has altered hiring trends even in traditional sectors, who are increasingly creating more technology positions across verticals to integrate the digital big picture into existing structures. This trend will only increase over the foreseeable future, as companies embed digital in their DNA.
CIOs need to go beyond ‘customer centricity’ and start talking ‘customer experience’ instead. There should be an obsessive focus on experience because – 75% of the consumers entering the market by 2025 will be digital natives. They will demand the same experience which were exposed to while growing up. Their loyalty will be driven by the experience they get while interacting through different channels.
Today’s markets are highly competitive and are shrinking due to dynamic digital technologies. It is imperative for CIOs to be able to spot the tiniest of customer gripes and drill down their challenges. New media has enabled consumers to instantly connect with one another, compare, analyze and finally decide on their purchasing decisions. The ability to receive real-time feedback from anywhere in the world has drastically altered consumer behavior. This has also narrowed down the window businesses have in hand to address customer grievances. Under such active situations, it is crucial for CIOs to be in constant touch with consumers and understand the factors that drive their buying behavior. In-time technology upgrades enhancing customer experience can go a long way in building and sustaining a loyal consumer base.
In the context of these transitions, CIOs will have to reimagine how they work and create workplaces and marketplaces for the digital natives. They must undertake a much more immersive role in the overall play of operations in an enterprise. The new trends are persuading the CIOs across different verticals to think seriously about the next generation capabilities necessary for personal, corporate and marketplace consumption.
The IT industry is also transforming processes and is now rapidly scaling up existing technologies to work in tandem with the ongoing digital revolution to transition into a digital entity smoothly