A recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) suggests CIOs should be driving digital transformation strategies across organizations. But are they?

Last month, over the three days of CMSWire's DX Summit in Chicago, one theme became clear.

The numerous vendors, analysts, practitioners and vendors attending the summit underscored the reality that digital transformation has different faces, many motivations and is the responsibility of a wide range of people, from the top executives to lower-level workers.

    To understand enterprise realities, we canvassed multiple digital transformation experts to find out what they think and what is required to initiate digital transformation initiatives.

    In this second installment of a two-part Discussion Point, we share insights from four people directly involved in digital transformation.

    The Question

    How should companies implement organization-wide digital transformation strategies?

    The Answers

    Lisa Welchman, Author and Entrepreneur

    Lisa Welchman
    Lisa Welchman
    Welchman helps enterprises analyze and solve their digital governance challenges. She also speaks globally on issues related to digital governance, the rise of the Information Age and diversity in the digital technology sector. She is the author of Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design. Tweet to Lisa Welchman.

    First, enterprises should have a real and ready strategy. Most organizations that I run into don’t. They are still struggling with trying to develop an operational plan that supports the care and feeding of websites and social channels.

    A true digital strategy should be driven not from a platform and operational perspective but strategically — with every aspect of the organization considering how the organization might be impacted on the whole by the emerging capabilities of digital or how the organization can use those new capabilities to enhance its broader business strategy.

    Almost every industry or business that has been disrupted by digital has been disrupted because they weren’t paying 360 degree attention to how digital might impact their business models. It was never because a particular executive type (e.g. CEO, CIO, DDO, CMO) was not leading the transformation.

    Eric Barroca, CEO, Nuxeo

    Eric Barroca
    Eric Barroca
    The fifth employee to join Nuxeo, Eric Barroca has worn many hats at the company. As CEO, he balances the roles of entrepreneur, strategist, leader and motivator, and remains a techie at heart. Barroca is based in the New York headquarters where he leads a team providing an enterprise-ready platform for building content-oriented applications. Tweet to
    Eric Barroca

    As CIOs embark on their digital transformation strategies, much of the market is looking at the situation upside down, especially when it comes to their digital assets.

    For digital transformation to drive truly disruptive opportunities, the full value of all digital assets must be realized across the organization. 

    By using a flexible data model that richly enables generating new revenue streams, CIOs can move beyond a file-centric approach and implement solutions that enable continuous iteration, agility and innovation. When implemented to accommodate the hyperscale pace of today’s business, these solutions not only uncover the value of existing applications but improve the use of data as they are created, supporting transformation by enabling efficient storage, query and distribution of all assets. 

    As a result, CIOs can enable their key digital transformations goals such as protecting IP, acquiring new customers, driving new revenue models or even business transformations not even yet imagined.

    Learning Opportunities

    Andy Coghlan, Global Head of Digital Strategy, Wipro Digital

    Andy Coghlan
    Andy Coghlan

    A digital marketing and customer experience consultant with 25 years experience in agencies, consultancies, business start-ups and Financial Times Stock Exchange 100, Coghlan leads the strategy function at Wipro Digital. In this role, he leads teams of strategists in exploiting digital to drive customer journey innovation for global enterprise clients across all verticals. Tweet to Andy Coghlan.

    Customer-centricity will drive success in the digital era and CIO’s, CMO’s and CEO’s alike must re-architect the customer experience, accelerate digital execution, and build an agile enterprise to reflect this transformation.

    Successful digital transformation lies in the ability to put the consumer at the center — understanding that the connected, multi-channel customer has come to expect customized digital offerings, all delivered at hyper-speed. 

    To execute this strategy, the C-suite must rethink traditional roles and responsibilities, ensuring that the correct talent, infrastructure, and critical, new ways of working, are in place to actually implement these strategies. Additionally, companies must remember that business success lies in the ability to continuously refine a company’s strategy, design and execution. 

    The intersection of imaginative thinking, paired with the ability to properly execute, is the place where change can be enacted and goals reached.

    David Hillis, VP, Ingeniux 

    David Hillis
    David Hillis

    Hillis is VP of Business Development at Ingeniux, where he manages marketing and business development for the web content management software company. He believes we are entering the third wave of digital content, from mobile to apps, social and cloud. Tweet to David Hillis.

    Successful digital transformation starts with the customer. The goal should be to create a cohesive and successful customer experience. 

    The trap is thinking of modernization as an internal mandate. While managing content, information, and data in multiples systems, or as consultants love to say, “Silos,” is inconvenient (and often expensive) for a business and its employees, what counts is aligning systems to deliver a better customer experience.

    You should start your transformation project by looking your customer experience and how it’s impeded by your technology. Once you define the needs of the customer, look internally at how information is stored, managed and accessed, where the key integration points are, and what key applications need to be updated or replaced.

    Lastly, you need to understand there is no finish line in digital transformation. Transformation is an evolutionary way of thinking about business and customer success. As the poet Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Get started.