How Digital Transformation Is Changing the Role of IT Leadership

Digital transformation is about using data to drive business decisions, with IT now in leadership roles.

Digital transformation — the mobilization of data to inform and shape business policy, customer service, and new revenue streams — is changing how IT interacts with the broader enterprise. In the recent past, IT was focused on maintenance, troubleshooting, and work orders, but they’re increasingly appearing in the board room, helping to direct business initiatives.

Digital transformation puts technology at the center of strategy, with IT leaders directing conversations about how to improve productivity, customer interactions, and employee experiences through innovation. The core of this movement is data. IT leaders have the best view of how to access data, analyze it, and apply it toward desired objectives.

It’s Not Just for Customers: While many of the efforts surrounding digital transformation focus on customers, it’s important to consider and implement measures that create an attractive work environment for employees. For instance, if artificial intelligence (think automated communication tools that handle routine tasks) allows employees to dedicate more time to more complex cases, their work experience will be more rewarding. Digital transformation also helps attract the best talent, who will be looking for integrated applications, shared workspaces, and mobile technology.

It’s Not Just About Tech: One of the key roles for those championing digital transformation is the casting of the strategy as a broader business initiative. If it’s perceived as an IT program, it will likely fail to achieve the buy-in necessary to make it a successful plan. An IT professional may not even be the right person to head the project; with its largely customer-focused positioning, it may be more effective for a marketing executive to lead the charge, or for marketing and IT to lead together.

Securing Data: One of the key challenges facing enterprises pursuing a data-driven business environment is the protection of data. IT leaders need to consider where the data will be stored, what data will be retained and how it will be accessed, and who will have access to it. Digital transformation and its corresponding cloud solutions tend to significantly broaden the security plane, and creating a sound security policy is one of the major hurdles that must be cleared.

It’s important to note that while digital transformation is a major shift from paper-centered and on-site technology environments, it is no longer an option. Businesses that want to remain competitive will need to keep pace in meeting customer expectations. Agile solutions that allow for quick decision-making and implementation will be necessary for securing customer loyalty in an age where there’s always a competitor ready to meet their needs.

For most IT leaders, this will mean a significant pivot from their traditional roles in the enterprise. To learn more about the initial steps you need to take in leading a digital transformation strategy, contact us at One Connect. We can assist in helping you create a business environment in which the transition is pursued with a team of leaders from across your organization.