- Nearly three-quarters of businesses are too "fixated" on digital transformation and risk winding up with no "tangible results," according to a Couchbase survey of 450 international CIOs, CDOs and CTOs in organizations with at least 1,000 employees. "Intangible" results occur when only incremental changes are made to existing capabilities, Thomas Dong, VP product and solutions marketing at Couchbase, told CIO Dive in an email.
- More than half of organizations put the onus of digital transformation strategy on IT rather than the C-suite. Only 36% of respondents said the C-suite has a hand in crafting a digital transformation strategy.
- In the U.S., pressure from customers to provide new services heavily influences digital transformation. Other driving factors include response to advancements in computers and changes in regulation.
IT is caught between maintaining the Wi-Fi and driving innovation. That is a vast territory to own.
Finding a balance is a challenge for CIOs, who are confined by budgets, a skills shortage and legacy systems. Nearly three-quarters of CIOs worry they cannot meet the modern demands of customers, according to a Dynatrace survey.
When digital transformation focuses too much on smaller projects, with less impactful results, they are likely unaligned with business goals, said Dong. Insufficient resources halt major changes and "the best of intentions at the outset, turn into back-burnered or deprioritized initiatives."
Because a company's board is unlikely to ask its CIO about APIs or blockchain, IT is expected to take ownership of digital transformation. CIOs have to drive change by overhauling infrastructure stacks and leaning on "as a service" solutions to produce new products, services and business models.
Alignment is more likely when companies can ensure their technology is mature enough to support "complementary technologies," said Dong. It also requires, at the very least, an understanding from non-technical leadership of "what is at stake."
This isn't to say CIOs delve into digital transformation unsupported. CEOs and CIOs are the most aligned C-suite members on a company's technology strategy, encouraging IT to take on a more influential role.