|By David H Deans||
|September 2, 2015 10:00 AM EDT||
Most informed CEOs seem to know intuitively that the most qualified person to lead their forward-looking business technology advancement isn’t likely to have the profile of a typical legacy CIO. In contrast, the role of a Digital Business Transformation innovator has very different requirements to the traditional IT utility infrastructure custodian of the past.
That said, some progressive CIOs are already making the transition to lead the digital competitiveness quest, and others will surely follow. Moreover, a few multinational companies currently have a CIO in a highly strategic, visible and collaborative position within the company. Their challenge is to guide the rest of the organization’s leadership to attain the required skills that will enable them to actively participate in the planning and execution of a new strategy – empowered by digital technologies.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) market research team recently completed a global study of the path that several organizations have taken to develop and deliver the digital learning support resources that their key internal stakeholders both need and want. The results of this research portrays an environment that may be familiar to many CEOs that have, or are about to, embark upon a similar journey.
The HBR survey found that companies that rate highly in both digital leadership and management have better business results than their peers, with stronger revenue growth and greater profit margins.
Just under a fifth of survey respondents fell into this early-adopter or “Digital Leader” category, while over a third were deemed to be “Laggards” – i.e. an organization that’s weak in both digital leadership and management. Moreover, nearly half of the survey respondents had mixed scores and were rated as “Followers.”
What set the leaders apart from their peer group, in laggard or follower organizations? These proactive CIOs help their business colleagues to understand which digital knowledge and skills need to reside in their function, and which they can defer to the IT support team. The CIOs and their staff typically communicate in language that makes sense to a Line of Business (LoB) leader that’s focused on achieving outcomes.
Why Superior Digital Acumen Matters Most
According to the HBR study findings, digital acumen has become a critical component of all forward-thinking senior leadership teams. But there’s often a significant gap between what’s needed to succeed, and the current state inside many mainstream companies today.
About 23 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they’re confident their organizations have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the digital aspects of their business transformation.
However, the recognized Digital Leaders in the respondent group were significantly more confident that their organizations have the both the required knowledge and skills they need -- in fact, 67 percent were extremely confident, compared with only 19 percent of the Followers and 5 percent of Laggards.
Clearly, there’s no substitute for the credibility and confidence that comes from having qualified digital-savvy executive talent at your disposal. Put simply, HBR discovered that the lack of leadership is the number-one issue holding most companies back, when it came to determining their digital business readiness; particularly among the Laggard companies.
Business Imperative for Digital Competency
Perhaps you’re wondering, is the skills development effort really worth the trouble? Does the payback justify the investment in time and energy? Let’s now explore the primary motivation for attaining digital supremacy, and you can decide what’s best for your company, within your industry.
The Digital Leaders in the survey were significantly more likely to have seen revenue growth of 10 percent, or more, over the past two years (58 percent of the Leaders vs. 43 percent of the Followers and 38 percent of the Laggards).
There’s no reward for taking a wait-and-see approach, even if the conservative late-adopter posture was taken with the best of intentions. The Laggards reported that they were twice as likely to have seen revenues decline (18 percent vs. 9 percent).
Fostering Collaboration and Shared Objectives
The CIOs at Digital Leaders are much more likely to be characterized as digital coaches or masters (45 percent of respondents, compared with 26 percent at Follower companies, and only 14 percent at Laggard companies).
By comparison, 45 percent of the Laggard companies had a CIO that’s been characterized as a “turf protector” that inhibits or resists collaboration -- or they merely had no designated CIO role at all.
A full 74 percent of the Digital Leaders have CIOs who support business-led IT projects. That is, when Line of Business leaders directly fund, contract, and/or develop technology capabilities themselves. This response compares with 64 percent of the Followers and only 40 percent of the Laggards.
Furthermore, the respondents who characterized their CIO as a digital coach or master had significantly higher scores -- over 80 percent of those respondents said their CIO supports business-led IT projects. This doesn’t mean, however, that those CIOs are ceding procurement control -- rather, they’re willingly sharing it in order to achieve the desired business outcome objectives of the whole leadership team.
Digital Skills Education and Mentoring
According to the HBR assessment, there’s little doubt that organizations need to do more to increase their business leader’s digital acumen. In the past, learning new skills might be a task that was assigned to the internal Training group or the Human Resources department. In this scenario, the education and mentoring responsibility should go to those who have mastered the digital transformation craft.
That said, finding a role model(s) for digital acumen knowledge transfer can be problematic. While 46 percent of respondents said they would like to learn more about digital trends from their CIO, close to two-fifths said their CIO doesn’t seek to educate and empower LoB leaders when it comes to digital skills.
Besides, over a third of the respondents said their IT team doesn’t provide useful knowledge about technology applications or understand which digital knowledge is most important to specific functions or lines of business.
In a follow-on editorial I’ll share more details about the illuminating findings from this study, and the associated recommendations for a plan of action. HBR Analytic Services interviewed a total of 436 business leaders from across the globe. The survey was sponsored by Red Hat, Inc., as part of The Enterprisers Project.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,511
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,491
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Apr. 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,806
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 29, 2017 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,353
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,289
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,580
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 926
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 29, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,062
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Apr. 28, 2017 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,385
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Apr. 28, 2017 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,766
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 28, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,504
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 28, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,530
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 28, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,190
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 28, 2017 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,658
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Apr. 28, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,448
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 28, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,965
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 28, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,346
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Apr. 28, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,211
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Apr. 28, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,083
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
Apr. 28, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 904