The digital transformation of the workplace is one of those concepts that can both excite and frustrate senior management in equal measures.
Its attraction, in my view, lies chiefly in its inherent promise of new and faster ways of doing things that should in turn create a more agile, productive and consequently profitable organisation. Which CEO or CFO would not want that outcome for their business?
The frustrating part for some is likely to be around the challenges of identifying, developing and implementing a best-fit strategy for their organisation.
And I suspect some CEOs are also likely to feel a degree of frustration when they look at their organisation’s leadership team in order to decide who should shape and deliver such a digital transformation programme.
The question of identifying the senior member of the management team with the most relevant sets of skills, experiences and responsibilities can sometimes become a difficult choice, particularly when there are many different selection criteria that could be used to define the digital transformation of the workplace.
For me, the most suitable candidate for this role is the CIO. The CIO combines the right balance of organisational leadership, technical know-how needed to integrate new digital tools and platforms into existing infrastructure, and the deep insight into the practical requirements of a successful technology-led transformation – albeit the CIO will have to work in close collaboration with senior colleagues including those from HR, finance, operations, sales and marketing.
Undoubtedly some forward-thinking CIOs have already begun leading and managing their organisation’s strategy but there will be others who are still waiting on the sidelines.
I believe it’s the right time for the latter to step up and take a lead. How we work is evolving at a rapid pace. The emergence of Generation Z in the workplace, as well as the convergence of areas including cloud computing, social platforms, big data analytics, and the widespread use of tablets and smart phones in the workplace are all contributing to this change.
The CIO’s goal should be to empower the different ways in which an organisation’s people want to work by creating and aligning workplace processes with technology – from end-user devices and services to the organisation’s IT infrastructure – to enhance collaboration and information sharing.
Above all, the CIO’s goal should be to help create a digitally-optimised and flexible approach to workstyle management that enhances the productivity and engagement of the workforce.
I have listed below three of our recent blogs which explore key themes and issues about the changing world of work that I believe the CIO and other senior management should consider in the context of the digital transformation of the workplace:
What are your views on the CIO’s role in leading the digital transformation of the workplace?