spark digital change

Priority, by definition, implies something — a process, a goal, a strategy — that is more important than all others. So by definition, having top five or even ten “priorities” defeats the very purpose of what a priority is.

In a global survey of senior business leaders, 43% said the fact they had “too many competing priorities” was the top barrier to digital transformation. The folks over at Raconteur created these awesome graphics to illustrate the results.

digital trends barriers

These competing priorities and just general lack of digital strategy is part of the reason why Dan Barnes at Raconteur makes the case for the Chief Digital Officer as an agent of inspiration, transformation and action within organizations looking to catalyze change.

“If digital is a revolution, the CDO is a revolutionary,” he writes.

This digital chief is responsible for shifting process, technology and culture across the organization, including tasks such as making digital transformation a priority, and automating processes to better serve customers.

With our constantly connected world, a dedicated CDO sure makes sense, which might help explain why the role has started to gain an exponential popularity.

The 2015 Harvey Nash CIO Survey, published with KPMG, found that the number of CIOs working with CDOs was up 10% between 2015 and 2014, from 7 to 17%.  

Rather than coming from a technology background, most of these CDOs are coming from business roles. But as Barnes found, a balance is key for success.

digital vision

Claire-Louise McSherry, an executive search firm director, says increased demand for CDOs has even replaced positions such as CIOs and CTOs (Chief Technology Officers).

Interestingly, as seen below, more than 80% of global business leaders agree their organization views digital transformation as an opportunity, yet only 48% of these leaders agree their organization is ready to change.

digital transformation

Failure to recognize and act on these trends, Barnes points out, can be disastrous:

“Some industries, including music and media, have seen profits decimated by the effect of digital on distribution. As the head of digital at a large wealth manager noted: ‘In the early-2000s, Sony owned a huge portfolio of music licences and portable music technology, yet Apple is the firm we talk about dominating music downloads.”’

Although examples in the B2C world are more prominent, it would be foolish to think the B2B world is immune to such disruption.

The real question is: is creating capacity for digital transformation a priority within your organization? If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy.

You can zoom into more drivers of digital transformation here.


Julia Manoukian

Author: Julia Manoukian

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.

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