As we have seen, digital technology has disrupted entire industries, from hospitality to finance in the last two decades. And now, companies of all sizes are jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon to align IT innovations with business objectives and staying ahead. But who is in charge of thee efforts? Business or IT? Or importantly, who should be?
The first question answers itself.If the digital transformation is a deliberate strategic plan, then drivers are those with the authority to set the course. In our traditional business structures, IT was steps away corporate strategy, and it was business leaders heading the initiatives. Driving is not only setting a course, but also move towards it. If the digital transformation is about alignment, what might happen when business and IT are at loggerheads? With a typical scenario of limited IT resources and higher business goals, long delivery schedules or missed opportunities might result. this can be frustrating for business owners as IT is oriented towards trouble shooting and maintenance, than innovation.
Those familiar with digital technologies and having high expectations for it grew up with the speedy internet, cloud computing, and easily accessible software and apps. The millennials, having overtaken baby boomers as the largest workforce generation and the “consumerization” of technology thrilling everyone, a digital outlook is almost pervasive. Today, business leaders of any age have the option of solving problems related to digital transformation, with or without the assistance of IT. Marketing automation tools, migrating to a cloud-based CRM, moving product development into a cloud, opening an online store or trial big-data analytics, anything can be deployed easily. When the initiatives reach critical mass, business leaders across the board should organise them into a structured exercise of digital transformation. It is no surprise that we see a disconnect between the ‘who is’ and the ‘who should’ of this exercise. But the questions are clear.