“Regardless of country or industry, the digital transformation agenda is now a top priority for CEOs across the Asia-Pacific region,” writes Manish Bahl. “According to a recent Cognizant study, “Asia Rising: Digital Driving”, 62% of CEOs surveyed for the study are directly involved in making and executing digital transformation strategies for their organizations. The study highlights that 98% of CEOs surveyed for the study are well on their way to digitally transforming their businesses.” Excerpts:
“Nevertheless, the transformation agenda introduces challenges, in the form of new investments, organizational structures, internal skills, change management, and roles and responsibilities for companies. CEOs need to handle these challenges well.
The center of gravity is shifting from big, legacy companies to smaller, more agile businesses that can innovate faster and embrace the power of digital platforms. The cost of inaction can be huge for companies.
While 67% of CEOs believe that the pace of digital transformation in their firms is relatively slower than the market changes, they are increasingly taking the transformation agenda in their own hands to shape the future. They are re-calibrating their business models to create new products and services, boost revenue growth, and drive new operational efficiencies across their organizations. In particular, they aim at providing seamless multi-channel, multi-device interactions and embedding the data (from social networks, mobile devices, sensors, and devices) into products and services to offer personalization to customers.
CEOs must understand that their businesses have already entered the permanent cycle of change as market dynamics and business rules are constantly changing and knee-jerk reactions to those changes may produce more challenges in the long run. Digital transformation will fundamentally change the business models (products, services, value-proposition, etc.) of many firms and CEOs need to embrace a holistic approach in making their company digital-first.
While it is encouraging to see that CEOs are driving digital transformation strategies for their organizations, they can’t achieve the end objective all by themselves. A charter to transform the business typically resides with the CIO/CTO or CMO as an added responsibility. Moreover, 43% of CEOs reported no plans to appoint dedicated senior executives to lead their digital transformation strategies. This approach is flawed as business transformation can’t be achieved as a part-time responsibility.
The business cannot think “outside the box” in the absence of a strong digital leadership role. CEOs need to bring a digital leadership mandate to break down organization silos, change the company’s culture, realign employee incentives, rewards and growth plans, and address the myriad challenges that companies face as digital transformation agenda accelerates.
CEOs have an opportunity to re-write the strategies of their traditional companies with the digital ink to avoid a Kodak-like moment for their businesses. They must stop trying to “fix the problem” with digital and instead “fix the path” that leads to a successful business transformation.”
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