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Who should really be driving digital transformation?

The C-suite is getting crowded with a growing number of digital leaders. Does this mark a shift to team-based leadership? Or can CIOs still lead transformations alone?

Who should really be driving digital transformation?
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A meeting of the digital leadership team at Schneider Electric gets crowded quickly when you add up all the people in charge of technology at the energy management and industry automation company.

The Schneider Digital unit, formed in July 2017, includes a chief digital officer who oversees all of IT, the CIO, a chief data officer and a chief experience officer, as well as the IoT and digital services product development lead, digital engineering lead, and sales and service lead who supplies the front line with the critical data they need. Plus, the CSO and CTO take an active role in all IT projects.

It may seem like a crowd, but it’s a necessary part of the company’s massive digital transformation that brought together 100 separate IT departments from around the globe to improve resource allocation and processes, and centralized all the innovation that was once carried out in every country.

“The role of IT now extends beyond what was primarily applications and internally central systems, and into platforms that enable digital services and offerings to our customers,” says Herve Coureil, chief digital officer. Many of those projects extend beyond the purview of the CIO.

When it comes to digital transformations, the CIO isn't always the leader in charge. Often the responsibility is shared with the organization's data, digital, innovation and technology chiefs to bring digital transformation plans to fruition. 

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