What’s Next in Digital

Our Whats’ Next Briefing Series explores upcoming sectoral trends and its likely impact on leadership. In this briefing, we look at the rise of the digitally savvy C-Suite leaders.

Digital transformation is affecting every industry globally, be it product or service intensive. Boundaries between industries are dissolving as sectors like finance and telecom complement each other. With the advent of the Internet of Things, new ways of solving old problems are being introduced. Manufacturing will be driven by cloud computing. Digital technologies including data analytics, mobile as well as social media have emerged as disruptive forces for businesses across industries. Today big data is helping companies innovate, while cyber security is a priority with cloud driving business agility. We live in a data driven world where consumers are digitally empowered and companies are going beyond and are providing products and services moulded specifically for individuals.

Need for Digital Savvy Leaders

This transformation is creating a need for digital savvy leaders who know how to exploit or defend digital disruptions. This requires more than just IT savvy leaders – it requires CXOs who understand how to leverage technology for value creation. Technology can be leveraged for data mining and analysis, enhancing innovation capacity as well as decision-making. Tackling any digital transformation requires a shift in skills, approach, and mind-set of traditional CXOs.

Digital Leadership and Management Techniques in Demand

Most business leaders may not fully understand the massive magnitude of impact that digital can create on fundamental business issues and strategic objectives apart from just selling online or using it for social marketing. Business leaders need to focus on digital leadership and management – leading people, processes, and technology to execute the digital vision and strategy.

“A CIO in every CXO”

Today, digital acumen is key and creating new leadership imperatives. CXOs need to question their ability to leverage digital capabilities and ensure it is infused through operations within the company. The CIOs skills within a CXO will be the most sought after and soon enough there would be “a CIO in every CXO”. Businesses can create far superior value when CEOs value technology, CFOs fund it, CMOs exploit it, and CIOs build it!

Beyond the Chief Digital Officer

While today companies might believe that creating and hiring a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is the key to success; however, digital has effects across the value chain from sales, marketing, supply chain operations to customer management and in the longer run one may need more than a CDO to permeate digital into the organization – hence a new operating system and a broader bench of Digital CXOs is the need of the hour.

Read the full briefing here.