Business and technology were once seen as separate or distinct, but today they are deeply intertwined. In fact, the days of task-driven technology have vanished, replaced by technology as a vehicle for business growth. Organizations must leverage technology to solve for business value or understand that business longevity will suffer.
While enterprise transformation is driven by customer and business needs, technology can be the catalyst for large transformational change.
Look Up, Frequently
Today’s business environment commands that business leaders continually look up from their daily business demands and ask, “How has the world changed — today? What will the next transformation require?” For an organization to remain viable, both opportunities and challenges must be met with an intimate partnership between business and technology.
From Disruption to Leapfrog
Previous IT planning asked, “What is an organization’s five-year IT roadmap?” Today’s IT planning asks “What is an organization’s five-day IT roadmap?” — a clear evolution of the rapid pace of business today. Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic did not necessarily change the trajectory of today’s business climate, it only accelerated it. This disruption offered organizations the opportunity to leapfrog, transforming from an outdated model to an approach that is more effective.
How do organizations respond to hybrid and remote working arrangements? Do they continue to provide customers with the experience they expect? Or are customers left searching for a more valuable experience — with another provider?
While organizations have an opportunity to leapfrog to remote or hybrid workplaces during disruption, they must also look to practical implementation:
- Can employees be provided with efficient and effective tools to interact?
- How will training, mentoring and managing employees be deployed? Can new approaches be effective?
- Can staff be re-tooled? If not, how can new teams (in various time zones) be efficiently sourced and built?
Effective leaders pivot and deploy the right technologies to solve for business needs. They focus on the things that offer collaboration and agility, such as online voting technology and collaboration tools for data visualization, in addition to augmented reality capabilities like Microsoft HoloLens. They not only make up ground that was lost by being remote, but they leapfrog, advancing the business forward.
The Benefits of Enterprise Transformation
The benefits organizations can expect to receive from leveraging technology for enterprise transformation include:
- Increased revenue and enterprise value
- Increased market share and heightened market presence
- Environmental, social and corporate governance goodwill — customers want to do business with organizations that align with their values
- Geographically diverse employees with different perspectives that enrich the customer experience
- Health and safety improvements such as using predictive analytics to prevent accidents or employing Internet of Things (IoT)-based technology to improve workplace sanitation
Transformation Brings Responsibility
Implementing new technology for enterprise transformation brings increased responsibility to ensure the organization and its customers are protected from emerging risks associated with that new technology. For example, while IoT devices offer advantages, many do not have built-in security and privacy features. Therefore, the organization is burdened with ensuring that data collected from such devices is being used, shared and protected properly. Data governance, ownership and validity issues rise to the surface and must be addressed.
Similarly, organizations have a responsibility to their shareholders to allocate and expend capital wisely so as not to overbudget, underutilize or suboptimize technology.
Enterprise transformation frequently requires behavioral change. Organizations are responsible for creating the space for change to generate such behavior. While training is important to transformation, it is only a facet of the transformation journey. Proper communication and messaging are also critical.
To be effective, it is important that companies implement transformation governance and enablement, and perhaps devote resources to forming a transformation function that manages the complexities of enterprise transformation, including:
- Upskilling the workforce or customers for modernized technology
- Securing proper talent
- Ensuring that all change-makers are incentivized in a way that is aligned with a shared goal
- Leveraging the expertise of internal audit to manage transformation risk
The Way Forward
Technology can be a double-edged sword. Organizations must use it to improve business value or risk having it used against them by their competitors. CIOs are instrumental stewards of technology — they are in a prime position to influence growth and mitigate disruption by ensuring that business and technology intersect effectively. As such, they should act as agents of enterprise transformation rather than merely implementers of technology.
Learn more about Protiviti’s Technology Consulting Services.
Connect with the authors:
Managing Director, Emerging Technology Services
Protiviti Managing Director, Digital Transformation
Protiviti Managing Director, Technology Strategy & Operations