Is There A Case For Appointing A Digital Transformation Officer?

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When looking at the C-suite, one can tell what direction the business is going with the appearance of new positions like the chief transformation officer, chief change officer, and digital transformation officer. These jobs respond to fast-moving market and customer trends and the flood of technology advances, forcing businesses to overhaul their operational procedures.

Here, we will look closely at a digital transformation officer (DTO). The DTO is the expert on the organisation’s digital strategy and transformation. A business does not necessarily have to hire someone to fill the role. Instead, all the top executives are better off getting involved and leading a business’s digital transformation together.

A robust digital infrastructure, coupled with a data-driven culture, is critical for the success and sustainability of companies. Smart, automated IT systems enable organisations to customise, adapt, and innovate. These systems capture and analyse data to aid decision-making, leading to and feeding a data-driven culture. However, building a culture of data-driven action requires time, study, and thoughtfulness.

A DTO is a member of the senior leadership team in a company who is responsible for leading a company’s digital transformation response to emerging critical technologies, significant market changes, or the development of new business products or services. The CEO and the entire C-suite are highly involved, but a DTO must also work collaboratively with employees at all levels within a company.

You should choose the DTO with the skills and experience to lead your organisation through a successful digital transformation.

Choose one with multiple key attributes, technology, and industry expertise. Someone who can see your company’s bigger picture and evaluate the most crucial areas is critical.

They can leverage digital initiatives to change essential business processes for better productivity. Customer experiences and needs are used as agents and drivers for change. However, a good DTO also considers a company’s unique requirements and culture, balancing employees’ needs for consistency, stability, and clarity with company-wide demands for change and adaptability. It requires understanding how individuals and departments work together and how outside vendors and service providers are integrated.

A broad set of soft skills is required, but communication and collaboration are near the top. A DTO needs to be able to talk to everyone at a company, from the customer support reps to the CEO.

Gathering insight and feedback is critical for this role, but encouraging employee engagement is also essential. The role involves gathering contributions from employees at every level in the business, particularly those who deal directly with customers, like salespeople and customer support representatives. To be successful, a good DTO should be open to learning from others, considering alternative ideas and thoughts, and ready to correct the course if the initiative goes off the rails.

A challenge to be aware of is that once a digital transformation has been fully integrated into the company’s operations, the need for a DTO is gone. Therefore, while an outsider may give a new perspective to a business, a person working in a transitional role by nature may be unwilling or unable to achieve the level of insight needed to make the best choices for the business or the markets served. While companies reliant on analogue processes might benefit from having a specialised Digital Transformation Officer (DTO), having one is not usually in a company’s best interests. A corporate-wide effort, with a team of digital transformers at senior levels, can be more effective than entrusting a single individual to do this work.

Please read the full article on Association of MBAs or on Finance Derivative

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