In my last post I outlined the research we just finished on digital transformation. Today I'd like to highlight the key takeaways for CIOs.

CIOs are destined to play a pivotal leadership role in the transformation of business to a digital business. The nature of business is changing and, in turn, the technology investment priorities of the past must change. The report – Unleash Your Digital Business – describes the dynamic ecosystems of value that drive customer behaviors and transform the linear value chain into a dynamic network supported by open APIs. CIOs must partner with CMOs to drive the business transformation needed to become a digital business. To survive, your business will need to embrace digital customer experiences within ecosystems of value, and digital operational excellence to drive the agility and innovation required to survive and thrive in the age of the customer.

Digital Is More Than A Bolt-on Strategy

Bolt-on digital is like painting go-fast stripes on a car; it doesn’t change the underlying business. To become a digital business requires fundamental enterprise transformation; something CIOs are accustomed to leading and shaping. The partnership with the CMO must be extended to create operational excellence through digital technology, augmenting customer value with digital products and services and driving rapid innovation across the business.

Dynamic Ecosystems Of Value Drive The Ability To Win Serve and Retain Customers

Access to digital technology in moments of needs provide customers and employees to create dynamic ecosystems of value. Ecosystems of value will change the business landscape. Companies must learn to support customer ecosystems and to build their own ecosystems through APIs. Technology management must align technology investment to these ecosystems of value in order to win, serve and retain customers – what Forrester calls Business Technology.

Digital Customer Experience Requires Data Integration

Without integration of data across the business, and in particular data analytics, digital customer experience will fail to meet rising customer expectations. And digital experiences expose underlying data holes quickly – resulting in sub-par experiences for customers. Building digital as a marketing add-on to the business will act as an anchor, slowing the business down in the long run and opening up opportunities for more nimble and integrated digital disruptors.

Trusted Machines Will Scale Digital Experiences

Companies will use trusted machines to scale digital customer experiences. Technology management must learn to create and harness trusted machines in order to drive future customer value at scale.

Digital Operational Excellence Requires A Shift In Technology Investment

The majority of change requests coming to IT involve improving operational efficiency. These requests soak up scarce technology management resources and funds while producing very little in the way of improvement in customer experience. CIOs must help CEOs and other executives apply technology investments to optimize customer experience and at the same time simplify the underlying technology portfolio in support of generic business capabilities.

If you'd like to learn more, you can download a free abstract of the report here.

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