4 things successful CIOs know about digital transformation

IDC estimates spending on digital transformation will exceed $2 trillion in 2019; 40 percent of all technology spending will be for digital transformation technologies.

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2017 was a tumultuous year: From Amazon acquiring Whole Foods to Tesla accepting orders for its new fully electric Class 8 truck, it is evident our world is changing quickly. Within IT, a domain where change is something we live with every day, even we are struggling with what is coming at us! 

The pace of change is such that 75 percent of the companies that are currently in the S&P 500 will probably not be independent entities listed within the S&P 500 in seven years. Not that long ago, companies on the S&P 500 stayed there 50 to 60 years; by 2025, the average duration on this list will be under 25 years. 

Companies worldwide are aggressively consolidating their data centers, implementing new data models, and shifting development to agile, mobile-first, cloud-based models. They’re exploring new leadership strategies and business processes, and adopting new customer engagement models, information and data models, and operating, staffing and sourcing models. They require new ways to measure their outcomes and understand the progress — or lack of it — that their organizations are making.  

Here are four ways IT executives are leading this global transformation — and what will happen to those who don’t.

1. Changing priorities

Recent research by IDC demonstrates that in 2017, the top two priorities for IT executives were “focusing on improving customer experience and creating new engagement models” (64%) and “creating new business models and developing new digital revenue streams” (62%). IT leaders now understand that IT will remain relevant only if IT is innovating, and they are exploiting the wealth of data and capabilities within their organizations to become customer- and product-focused. 

Organizations that don’t move in this direction will find themselves left behind by nimble business organizations that will circumvent IT to get their needs fulfilled.

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