Today’s IT leaders are responsible for delivering an enterprise platform that keeps the company competitive and supports the business. They are a critical part of, if not leading, digital transformation and defining the strategy. However, with budget being largely spent on maintenance instead of innovative initiatives, it’s difficult for IT to drive transformation forward.
A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, entitled Digitizing IT; Catalysts for Growth surveyed multinational executives, including 201 from SMBs and concluded that the following digital transformation strategies should be a priority for IT leaders:
- “Improve organizational agility”
Nearly four out of ten SMB executives surveyed (39%) believe that the IT department should play a leadership role in improving organizational agility. However, only 9% of SMB respondents report that their IT function actually takes the lead in this matter. (p.6).
- “Select, implement and integrate digital technology”
40% believe their IT department should take the lead in selecting, implementing and integrating digital technology – but only 14% report that it does. (p.6).
- “Hunt for innovation”
29% feel their IT should be leading the hunt for opportunities to innovate, while only 3% say that it does. (p.6).
So how can IT drive these strategies forward? The report suggests that a digital transformation strategy must be devised and implemented from the leadership at the top. The next most important measure would be to improve collaboration between IT and other departments.
A company’s IT department cannot assume the entire digital transformation evolution. The whole organization must work together to evolve in order for IT to be most effective.
The report states: “The most valuable contribution IT executives at SMBs could make to their company’s digital fortunes is to initiate a conversation with peers about devising a digital transformation strategy that offers a model of cross-functional collaboration that the rest of the organization can follow.” (p.7).