A new skillset: How CIOs become a leader in digital transformation

BrandPost By Ima Buxton
Jun 01, 2017
IT Leadership

As digitization in companies advances, CIOs are expected to lead the digital transformation process. For CIOs to be successful, they need to prioritize a new set of KPIs that help them realize their digital initiatives.

Digital transformation has reached maturity by now, going from showcases to concrete business models and the introduction of new revenue streams.  In the wake of this process, the full scale of the effects of disruption is hitting businesses. And it is changing the role of those in charge of managing the digital environments: the CIOs themselves. No longer merely the providers of operational excellence, they now also need to become the champions and enablers of digital transformation.

According to a recent IDC survey only 17 percent of IT organizations are effective partners in this process, making many CIOs seek orientation on how they can meet these challenges. As a result, IDC has developed a framework to execute on existing, emerging, or potentially new objectives relevant to the digital transformation of the organization. A set of new KPIs provides guidelines along this process.

As a starting point executives have to assess what kind of CIO they are and how they see their role: “Functional” CIOs focus primarily on maintaining operations and reducing cost and risk. The “Strategic” CIO seeks to provide an agile portfolio of business and technology services. The “Transformative” CIO has a double challenge: while doing all of the above and ensuring service excellence, he must deliver new revenue streams and has an external customer focus.

With a scorecard sponsored by the software company SAP, IDC delivers a framework that presents five dimensions of digital transformation: Vision, Customer Centricity, Data Driven Business, Simplification & Integration, and Talent Management. The five dimensions represent all aspects of the new role of the CIO: Business oriented, intelligently managing customer relations, using the power of data to optimize business decisions, building a visionary organization and flexible, scalable enterprise applications, and systems to support digital organization.

The framework is a valuable guide for CIOs to evaluate what KPIs should be prioritized and assessed to help realize digital goals. And, at the same time, the scorecard shows how these KPIs map to the respective CIO type and prescribes actions to be put in place: For example, new useful KPIs to drive digitization are the “percentage of revenue derived from digitally enhanced products” or the “number of customer touchpoints driven by CIO in a certain period”. The degree in which the information architecture reflects the new approach is measured in percentage of cloud services. And not least of all, how does the internal organization reflect the approach, is there a committed team in place to meet the challenges?

Download your free copy of the CIO scorecard and put a new set of digital KPIs in place.

For more information visit SAP.com.

Further reading

Learn from the digital thrivers: 5 recipes that give CIOs guidance on how to flourish in digital transformation initiatives  

Leading in digital: Successful Digital transformation depends on how data and information are being used  

How to become agile: What a digital platform needs to achieve for the business