In the Amazon Age, investing in technology is no longer a competitive advantage for your company — it's a necessary business strategy to survive. Because of this, the business world is seeing its silos crumble. CIOs are now asked to figure out how implementing new software will actually lead a customer to buy just one more can of tuna or pair of Nikes, while traditional business roles like CFOs and CMOs are now responsible for mapping out their departments' 5-year digital strategies.
To face these challenges all members of the C-Suite need to be tech-savvy. Without this? There are disagreements, pushback and confusion, which leads to slow progression while you watch the competition whiz by. To learn more, Digital Journal spoke with Matt Mead, CTO at digital tech consultancy SPR, finding out why every business needs a "tech-fluent C-suite," regardless of the industry.
Digital Journal: How important is digital transformation for businesses?
Matt Mead: Digital transformation is critically important because every industry has a tremendous opportunity for harnessing new technologies to provide increased business value. The value of these new technologies is dependent, but obvious contributions include things like increased customer retention, new or increased revenue streams, greater efficiency/profit and happier employees.
DJ: Is this the same for all types of businesses?
Mead: Almost every industry has digital transformation opportunities, but some like retail and financial services especially have players that push the boundaries on what is possible, which is causing disruption in their industry. As a result, competitors are forced to step up and leverage new and emerging technologies just to stay competitive.
DJ: What are the main obstacles getting in the way of digital transformation?
Mead: Digital transformation is about doing things differently and can disrupt an industry when taken to the extreme. The main obstacle to digital transformation is the resistance to change, which often is rooted in an organization's focus on short-term financial results. That's not to say that an organization cannot be profitable while undergoing a digital transformation, but they are forces that generally work against one another. The foundation for a successful digital transformation initiative starts with a CEO who is truly focused on generating change and support from the board.
DJ: Who should be leading the adoption of digital technology at the board level?
Mead: The CEO should lead a digital transformation by setting broad business goals that include the relentless exploration of new and emerging technologies.