NTT DATA Business Solutions
Steve Niesman | January 12, 2021

Why Digital Transformation Itself Must Evolve

digital transformation

(2 minute read)

In an analyst brief sponsored by NTT DATA Business Solutions, International Data Corporation (IDC) discussed the need for digital transformation itself to evolve to meet business needs for speed and flexibility. Noting that 2020 became an inflection point when organizations that had not accelerated their digital transformation began to realize they must do so or risk irrelevance, the question now is how to do it with speed and flexibility.

Some points made by IDC in the analyst brief include:

  • Most CEOs are at a defining decision point: whether to follow the same course of cost cutting as all previous downturns have dictated or to flatten their own organization’s recessionary curve by leveraging digital transformation to drive a new business model.
  • CEOs need to take on sponsorship of digital transformation efforts even though they involve technology, traditionally the domain of IT. That shift is well underway: IDC research found that CEOs finally tipped the balance in 2020 to become the majority sponsors of digital transformation projects, a trend that has been developing over the past five years. This increased business focus should bode well for most digital transformation projects, and wise CEOs will make sure to still lean heavily on their CIOs/CTOs to ensure these projects can be delivered using all the lessons learned about shortened, more flexible implementations.
  • CEOs should demand a commitment from everyone in the company to ensure both speed and flexibility in implementing digital transformation and not place that burden solely on the CIO/CTO. Organizations have learned during the pandemic that if they don’t have digital product or service revenue, and digital experiences for customers that complement physical products or services, then they will become increasingly irrelevant.
  • CEO sponsorship of a digital transformation initiative in no way ensures its success. All the risks and potential pitfalls that accompany significant business change are still present and thus require highly skilled implementation professionals. Likewise, all the relationships each organization has with its external implementation partners in the ecosystem remain critical to project success.