Bobby Cameron, Vice President, Principal Analyst
Here’s an adage for you: There’s no such thing as a digital strategy; it is simply a business strategy in a digital world. Like most adages, that is truer than not.
That business strategy has three related components:
- Build digital experiences that catch up to customers’ expectations.
- Take on the operational capabilities of a software company.
- Exploit emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, that promise to advance the business while disrupting internal operations.
Any of these on their own are hard. Combine them and, well, they become really hard. The reality is that most companies are far behind the power curve; in fact, 60% of executives believe that they are behind in their digital transformation efforts. This lagging is impacting financials, increasing distance from leaders, and decreasing attractiveness to digital talent that’s more excited to work with leaders with big ambitions.
CIOs find themselves at the center of this storm — for both good reasons and for not-so-great reasons. As technology leaders of their firms, CIOs are best situated to translate and exploit technologies to deliver strategic value. However, CIOs often do not have the political clout or, in some cases, the confidence or passion to take on that role.
That is leaving a dangerous gap in terms of who leads: Some companies have put weight behind the CIO; some have circumnavigated the CIO to bring on a chief digital officer or have business units build their own digital strategy. But in all cases, the CEO needs to take a direct stake in leading the digital charge, which, following the adage, is the business strategy of their firms.
In this episode, Bobby Cameron discusses the pressure on and response of CIOs to this emerging digital crisis.