Navigating the Perfect Storm: IT Leadership through the Next Phase of Digital Transformation
By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Thought Leadership – Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP
The challenges of digital transformation are testing executive leadership across the C-suite. And in the middle sits the chief information officer (CIO) and their IT teams. As digital technology becomes embedded in nearly every aspect of business, IT is increasingly responsible for advising the C-suite on the adoption of new business models, work behaviors, and applications and services. All the while managing the day-to-day tasks that keep systems up and running flawlessly. A classic “perfect storm” of opportunity and challenges indeed!
According to The Economist Intelligence Unit study “Digitising IT: Catalysts for Growth,” commissioned by SAP, both IT and non-IT executives from major international organizations believe that IT should take on a more active role in digital initiatives. In fact, 65% of IT executives and 69% of non-IT executives agree that collaboration between IT management and all other line-of-business leaders opens the door for success in digital initiatives.
However, executive leadership in boardrooms around the world are debating the capacity in which IT should offer key guidance on digital strategy. While the CIO is 37% more likely to own and lead digital transformation, CEOs (20%), COOs (15%), and even more that one member of the leadership team (16%) are also taking the reins. Several key questions and vexing challenges have emerged:
- How will businesses anticipate the risks and rewards related to the next phase of digital transformation?
- Do we even know the full extent of critical challenges and opportunities facing IT in our era of digital disruption?
- Better yet, are we ready to identify best practices and considerations for the transformation journey, from offering new solutions using cloud and service-based approaches to keeping existing applications running?
While these questions are a tall order for any organization to answer, they deliver a clear message: IT leadership can no longer just focus on providing a new application that “gets the job done”. CIOs must consider the employees, processes, assets and customers that the technology touches. Classic “people, business and technology” indeed. By viewing technology through this lens, IT is better equipped to help advance corporate strategy with technology as the enabler. With that in mind we added this critical topic to our repertoire of SAP Digital Business Services thought leadership webcast series, featuring a world-class panel of subject matter experts.
The IT connection to the next phase of digital transformation
I encourage you to join me for our latest Webcast, “IT Leadership for the Next Phase of Digital Transformation” on November 17 to hear this great panel of experts discuss these timely and relevant topics:
- Pete Swabey, Senior Editor, EMEA and Global Lead Technology Sector, Economist Intelligence Unit: Pete will share the results of recent research as IT is being asked to lead this transformation while keeping existing solutions up and running.
- Peter Russo, Global Vice President of SAP S/4HANA Product Marketing, SAP: Peter, a former analyst with PAC and a veteran of Digital Business Services marketing team, will offer insights on the successful creation of the digital core as the foundation for digital transformation.
- Geoff Scott, CEO, Americas SAP User Group (ASUG): Geoff will share his experiences as a former CIO and now as a CEO of an organization that is central and strategic in enabling and driving digital transformation across 3,700+ member companies across multiple industries.
After the event, I’ll report ah-ha moments and chief learnings, which will include great insights from this “perfect storm” of our subject-matter experts.
Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services Marketing at SAP.