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Six ways CIOs can help organisations in a digital age

Six ways CIOs can help organisations in a digital age

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Matthew Kibby, Vice-President, Enterprise, Africa & Middle East at Sage, on what companies should do when looking to adopt Digital Transformation.

CIOs need to take a more strategic role in driving innovation within their organisations if they are to keep up with the rapid pace of digital change. No longer should IT be a cost-centre, tasked only with keeping the technology infrastructure humming; it should also help business leadership create a more agile and competitive organisation. Here are some ways to make this happen:

Get the whole C-suite involved

The impact of Digital Transformation on every aspect of the business, from back-office processes to the employee and customer experience, means it’s more important than ever for technology and business strategy to be in lockstep. The Chief Executive, CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), CHRO and the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) should all work closely with the CIO and Chief Digital Officer to drive the benefits of digital transformation across the organisation.

Enterprise management software is the backbone of a digital business

You can’t run before you learn to walk. Prior to deploying advanced solutions like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, enterprises need to put in place robust, next-generation enterprise management applications. Cloud-enabled solutions like Sage Enterprise Management v12 offer the ability to get up-and-running quickly with an enterprise platform.

Embrace a culture of experimentation

With competition coming from everywhere – including digital start-ups – innovation can give a company the edge over its rivals. Constant experimentation is usually associated with start-ups and small companies, but it’s a philosophy all businesses now need to embrace. New cloud technologies that don’t require huge investments allow organisations to quickly test new use cases, solutions and ideas without betting the farm on them.

Champion the customer

The IT department’s end-users are no longer just the people who work for the company, but also consumers who use digital channels such as the website or mobile apps. Thus, CIOs need to work with customer experience teams to understand how consumers interact with back-end systems through the mobile apps and web front-end their companies offer. With the consumerisation of IT, the traditional lines between the customer and employee experience are also blurring. Learning about consumers will help CIOs serve internal customers better, too.

Democratise data

CIOs need to focus on rolling out technology that enables the business to aggregate, manage, analyse and extract value from large data volumes in real time. The technology also needs to make data-driven insights available to every decision maker. CIOs that help the organisation use data to fuel growth will better demonstrate their value to the enterprise. They can also help implement the Machine Learning and AI systems that will help organisations make sense of volumes of data too big for humans to analyse in real-time.

Automate to save money

Many CIOs are struggling to simply keep the lights on as IT budgets come under pressure. Automation is a quick way in which to save time and money that can, in turn, be reinvested in value-adding areas such as innovation. Automating processes through enterprise applications helps take the pain out of compliance and other operational requirements.

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