Can the CIO breathe a sigh of relief?

ReliefCIOThe digital transformation is up to the CMO (and CEO)! At least that is what some top American executives say, in a survey conducted by well-known analyst and visionary Brian Solis

The ‘mandate’ to guide the digital business transformation is entrusted in 56% of cases to the CMO and in 42% of cases to the CEO. Can the CIO therefore breathe a sigh of relief? Not at all!

First of all, the percentages refer to a survey conducted by Altimeter Group on twenty top American executives (the numbers are therefore too small to be able to represent an actual photograph of the digital transformation in companies). Secondly, CIOs and CTOs are considered crucial by 30% of those interviewed and not just to ‘adapt’ the digital strategy technologically, but also to address it adequately.

What appears interesting in ‘The 2014 state of digital transformation’ report is not so much the numbers but the resulting analysis of well-known researcher and visionary Brian Solis, author of ‘What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences’ and ‘The End of Business as Usual’.

Starting from the meetings and interviews with these twenty top managers of large leading companies, or at least in the top positions in terms of market share in their respective markets (we are talking about companies like Starbucks, Lego, Sephora, Nestlé, etc.), to Solis it is clear that nearly 90% of companies are currently, although at different levels, involved in a digital transformation process, but above all that almost half of them see the improvement of customer experience as the cornerstone of the whole transformation process. This therefore explains why CMOs and CEOs are the ‘characters’ called upon to act as a guide.

“In the era of digital Darwinism, in which technology, society and the business models are evolving rapidly, the customer experience is often elusive,” says Solis. Starting from the theory of evolution developed by Darwin, Solis believes that the digital transformation obstacle will be overcome by the companies that not only will be able to adapt their processes and business models to new market scenarios, but that will also manage not to lose sight and indeed improve the relationship with the customer and the user experience.

Therefore no ‘good news’ for CIOs: in order not to succumb to digital Darwinism, technology is essential. And judging by the evolutionary roadmap of companies that have already pursued a significant digital transformation, the best way would seem to create a real internal ‘digital centre of excellence’, in which social, mobile, e-commerce and analytics projects converge… Good luck dear CIOs!