Dave Ives, Digital Advisory Executive at Altron Karabina, analyses how CIOs can fully realise the potential impact of digitisation.
Irrespective of the industry sector, digitisation can help drive growth. However, it must be done through the lens of the customer and how to make their lives easier. The operating model has continually shifted to one where companies are looking to produce quality items faster and more cost-effectively, source it better, and even operate more environmentally responsibly.
Inevitably, much of this revolves around using technology in smarter ways to bring value for the customer and enhance their experience. The primary goal for most organisations is to deliver value in the best ways possible. Moreover, immediate organisational priorities must still be addressed.
Technology must fit in with the business and be used appropriately. Sure, a company can have a sophisticated solution (think Robotics) but it needs to fulfil a need within the business. Firstly, business leaders must understand the technology and buy into its use. With business and technology leadership, digitisation can become a reality.
Of course, just because sophisticated technologies are available, it does not necessarily mean the adoption cycle must change. As with anything, those disruptive forces will eventually become mainstream. It therefore does not make any sense to be an early adopter just for the sake of it. And this is where the C-suite has an integral role to play. They must understand the innovations happening in the market and how they can be applied to their industry sector.
Sophisticated technology becomes just a precursor to delivering a better customer experience whilst driving a need for new skills in the market. Part of this evolving skills environment will be to address the big data explosion which has still not been solved.
CIOs must use technology optimally in a distributed work environment as well as leverage analytics to understand data better for more informed decision-making. There is a requirement for business leaders to be able to interpret and use data in more advanced ways. They must realise that the value is not in how much data you have, but what you do with it.
More attention will be placed on the cloud, security, data and the management of devices. Digital workers must therefore be able to connect to cloud services seamlessly, understand the impact of security and manage the influx of data from connected devices.
Today every function in the organisation has a technology element associated with it, requiring the CIO to examine new ways of integrating everything to manage the business’s processes better. This does not only revolve around putting hardware, software, or cloud solutions in place and hoping for the best. Instead, it is finding the balance between technology and managing people in the most effective ways possible.