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Straight Talk IT

Ovum view

For the last three years, organizations, irrespective of industry, have been advised that they must undergo a period of digital transformation to address changing engagement demands from clients, consumers, and/or citizens. As with any new mega-trend, it has taken several years for a broad consensus to start to emerge regarding what digital transformation means in both business and technology contexts, as well as its specific impact on an industry.

The eagerness to remain competitive and realize the business value of digital led to many C-suite teams implementing a change program faster than the CIO could adjust IT delivery. When Ovum engages organizations, we strongly advise that they first go through a period of digital adjustment, led by the CIO, to ensure that the IT function can deliver digital services and that business functions are capable of leveraging them fully, which often requires business operating models to evolve. Prior technology trends over the past decade have commonly enhanced existing business processes. However, the true nature of digital is that it is as disruptive to business processes as it is to how IT services are implemented and consumed. This places the CIO in a position of renewed purpose and value to their C-suite peers.

While certain aspects of digital transformation have industry-specific applications and use case scenarios, broadly speaking, the major themes of digital that impact business behavior are common across all industries. The following are a selection of common digital themes, irrespective of industry, that C-suite executives have told Ovum are essential to address in 2017:

  • Determining the internal and external business value of data.

  • Identifying which customer journeys matter.

  • Talent acquisition and retention in support of digital business models.

  • Managing the reality of omnichannel front- and back-office operations.

  • Adapting business models for a digital workforce.

Ovum believes that these themes clearly demonstrate a maturing in terms of how organizations are looking to address their digital agenda in 2017. Given the ongoing transformative nature of digital on business functions, CIOs should align their messaging in support of the above themes. This places the CIO in a core position to influence, shape, and lead the adoption of digital business practices supported by the IT function. It is Ovum's opinion that by doing so, CIOs have an opportunity to frame the IT function's value in clear alignment to business outcomes for their C-suite peers.

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