The Crucial Role of CIOs in Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has shifted the business and IT landscape over the years. The use of digital technologies has expanded its horizon and transformed business dramatically impacting every sector and industry in the global market. With strong and skilled leadership, the enterprise can easily take the benefits gained by embracing the wave of digital technologies.

According to a Gartner report, 125,000 large scale organizations are launching digital initiatives. Digital transformation is expected to double from 22% to 46% by 2020.

Yes, it’s the leadership understanding that advances in the digital knowledge and plans ahead of the curve for a transformed organization. All it takes is the right leadership, and more specifically an experienced CIO that will prove to an entity’s development. In any organization, CIOs are the ones that carry the head responsibility of driving technological change.

According to the 2018 State of the CIO research, many of the strategic initiatives that kept CIOs busy last year have shifted to activities with an increased focus on implementing digital transformation.

Nonetheless, it may look easy, but the digital transformation is a long-term premeditated dedicated journey. It surely brings multiple complex challenges for CIOs and the Board of Directors in any enterprise. With upcoming risks and threats in the market, a CIO must take advantage of the lying opportunities before competitors and seize it. This eventually depends on the ability of an enterprise and the CIO to be ready for the experiment and take risks.

According to Gartner, CIOs surveyed in 2017 reported that their responsibilities are shifting, with nearly 40% being tasked with digital transformation and 34% of CIOs driving innovation in their enterprises.

Role of CIO in Digital Transformation

1) Change Catalyst

Change Catalyst

The latest trend in the market seeks the support and knowledge of skilled CIO for its implementation in the organization. It’s the responsibility of the company’s CIO and the IT department to plan, execute and implement the thought that is required to push forward the idea. Digital business models are changing the role of CIOs hence expanding the horizon for the need for CIOs and their leadership skills. When a CIO brings such technological change in the company, they are often referred to as a change agent of the company.
Source: Apogaeis Digital Transformation Blog

2) Identify Business Objectives & Models

It’s important to recognize the current challenges of the business before rushing to digital transformation. Not every time transformation is the solution. Hence, any CIO needs to be extremely clear on the business understanding and the outcomes that the company is expecting to achieve with the adoption of digital transformation. Having a drill down understanding of company particulars, objectives and models supports CIOs to approach transformation programs in a more effective way.

3) Internal Stakeholders Support

IT department plays an important role in transforming the organization and bring business growth, profitability, and innovation. CIO needs to ensure having a good understanding of internal stakeholders of the IT department. Before implementing, one has to be sure of the capacity, approach, bandwidth; this information is guided by the IT team to CIO. Such prerequisite information helps in allowing any digital changes right from the start as the CIO progress towards a shared goal.

4) Test before Implement

A skilled and well versed CIO would opt to follow the approach of “launch and learn”. It’s not smart to simply implement what has been designed. The balance between the flexibility of the project and the determination to innovate without taking too much risk is necessary. An experienced CIO would opt to go for regular trial efforts and then track progress towards achieving transformation. This helps and allows the organization to make the most of innovation and address cutting edge digital services that benefit both employees and customers.

5) Risk-taker

A CIO enhances himself/herself with continuous learning by taking risks. These learning eventually come to rescue if a digital transformation is planned. To be able to stand high in the market it’s important to have an in-depth knowledge of what’s trending and how it is going to benefit the organization. If any new technology is introduced to the market that boosts the digital future, CIO takes the risk of implementing it after getting through the pros and cons.


CIOs are the leading front of any enterprise looking for digital transformation. It’s the CIOs who realize internal needs or collaborate to plan for digitized business processes of digital transformation that provides an opportunity, a golden opportunity to lead & inspire. The objective of transformation is to keep pace with changing trends in the market, meet end-users digitized demands and maintain top-line growth altogether, and CIOs play a crucial role in achieving them altogether.

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Author Info

Siya Carla is Business Development Manager at Finoit Technologies, a leading custom software development company which turns ideas into reality by providing unique web design and mobile app development services. By creating intuitive, user-friendly, and interactive apps for more than 450 customers throughout the globe, we enjoy a great reputation as a customer-friendly mobile app development company in the market.