Only 37% of organizations' digital transformation is led by their CIO, according to a 2018 Forrester report. A chief digital officer often takes the place as the transformation leader because they are "the best outside thinker." But CIOs have the ability to see where technology can "unify the changes" the enterprise wishes to make.
An ongoing process, 56% of companies say their digital transformation is underway and about 21% of companies say they have completed their digital transformation. But as long as a company continues to collect data, it can expect to continue transforming, according to the report. To remain agile in transformation efforts, companies should look to online and offline leaders, budgets and data.
Still, promoting a "continuous innovation culture" is a priority for more than half of companies. Having the ability to clearly define where a company is and where it wants to be is part of the first step in addressing technological shortcomings either in software services, security, mobile applications or data analytics.
Digital transformation is still met with resistance from those who run a company outside of the IT department. "It's a war between old-school, technophobe leaders and the technology innovation that represents a completely different way of doing business," according to the report.
However, traditional business strategy can't survive when technology is increasingly putting the power in the hands of customers by relying on constant feedback and activity.
For example, older companies like Unilever and Procter & Gamble are finally gaining ground against newer companies like Apple and Google. The household brands are outperforming digital giants simply because they possess 80% of the world's commercialized data.
Unilever and Procter & Gamble can market themselves as innovative industry incumbents and have essentially "reached the pinnacle of personalization" with their accumulated data. Harnessing data and using it in a way that propels a company ahead of its competitors is a root causation of digital transformation.
By cultivating a business model that puts data in the forefront, companies can expect to outpace their lagging competitors. But disrupting a business model that may have existed for decades before the cloud is a daunting task especially when AI, ML and blockchain can all be incorporated into the redesign.
Just like data, software, the cloud and other emerging techs will "become business assets, not just technology enablers," according to the report. Because of this more, lofty investments should be expected.