Can You Become a Digital Evangelist?  

12 October 2017:

 It’s one thing to set your sights on digital transformation and achieving scale. It’s another to bring a large organization along on the journey. Yet enterprises from Monsanto to Heineken have devised innovative methods to educate their business colleagues about digital possibilities. Calling on CIOs to drive “digital acumen” across the company, Jaime Capella, principal executive advisor with CEB, now Gartner, shared a plan for CIOs to engage with business leaders in his session at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

In a study of hundreds of organizations, CEB developed three main findings:

-Digital transformation requires enterprise change not just technology change

-CIOs must promote digital readiness by acting as the digital evangelist and modernizer

-It’s time to redefine CIO relationships for digitally-enabled growth

Firstly, business leaders are missing key questions about how to enable digitalization in the enterprise. “When we combined all the questions we get across executives on digitalization, they have to do with technology: big data, IoT strategies, etc.,” Capella said. “Those are important questions but it’s just part of what it takes to transform. Only a third of the questions are about the profound ways to make enterprise change.”

In other words, only 33% of the questions relate to the actual enterprise change necessary for digitalization in areas such as operating models, mindsets and risk management posture. However, these questions, what Capella termed as “below the waterline,” have a 15x greater impact on value than getting the technology right.

In order to help the organization prepare for change in the business as well as with technology, CIOs can help develop digital acumen around the organization. Digital acumen, defined as a combination of digital ambition and digital ability, can help business leaders both understand the transformative power of digital plus have the vision and ability to execute.

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