CIO considerations for digital transformation in 2014  

17 January 2014:

One of the most significant aspects of the disruptive trends is their ability to enable digital transformation across the business. As we enter the next evolution of IT, we’re at a point where industrial age business processes, and even Internet-era business processes, can be completely re-thought and re-designed in the new context of the consumerization of IT, ubiquitous low-cost computing, and a globally connected society.

While CIOs have aspired to spend an ever increasing percentage of their annual IT budget on innovation compared to “keeping the lights on” for many years now, equipped with the disruptive trends, such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud, they now have a far more powerful arsenal of tools to not only innovate within IT, but also across the business. Recent CIO surveys show a planned 4.5 percent increase in spending on IT products and services in 2014 with a “spending mindset shifting towards growth investment and away from cost-cutting”.

As I mentioned in a prior article looking at the evolving role of the CIO, now is a golden age for pioneering CIOs to work in close collaboration with their C-suite counterparts to innovate corporate business models and processes using disruptive technologies to transform how work gets done.

As we move swiftly into 2014, what are the top considerations for CIOs in terms of embarking upon their digital transformation agendas? Does the mission just require the powerful elements of the disruptive trends, and a strategy for leveraging their combination, or will it require more? How does one begin the digital transformation process and where’s the best place to start? Here’s a list of what I believe are some of the top considerations:

Strategy

Know how to recognize digital transformation opportunities - The first step is to determine the key characteristics that make a business process a strong candidate for digital transformation. Some obvious examples include processes that are still highly manual in nature or which leverage outdated technologies, but there’s also many less-obvious opportunities in processes that are already digitized. Approaches such as transformation scorecards can be used to uncover these opportunities by assessing how well the candidate business processes and applications score in terms of their suitability for transformation.
Prioritize your high-value targets for transformation – Innovation workshops may be valuable ways to brainstorm and collaborate with business leaders to identify and prioritize opportunities for digital transformation. The workshops can be utilized to surface completely new ideas in addition to refining existing ideas. Voting can be based on “business impact” versus “ease of implementation” for a simple cost-benefit analysis, but can also be utilized to measure how well the candidate business process aligns with your transformation scorecard.
Focus on the end-to-end user experience – Digital transformation only makes sense if it addresses an entire end-to-end process from the end user perspective. It’s important to think about how the combination of disruptive trends can best empower and support your end-users, either making existing interactions faster, better and cheaper or by offering up completely new experiences that leverage their preferred style of work.

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Source; Computerworld

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