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According to a survey by CIO, 39% of CEOs have placed digital transformation as the top priority for their CIOs. This is accompanied by the expectations for CIOs to spearhead the innovation initiative as well as address security, privacy, and business alignment. 

Digital transformation has the potential to fortify operations and generate new revenue streams but before a “bet-the-house overhaul” can be initiated, CIOs must foster IT culture change, says CIO senior writer Clint Boulton. IT culture change helps address IT departments that are facing stagnant momentum from bearing the brunt of order-taking, “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome, or an organizational unwillingness to take risks.

Boulton’s article “CIO change agents: The art of the IT turnaround,” shares three lessons learned about changing IT culture to make way for digital transformations. images

Here are three outcomes of an IT culture change, according to CIO’s interviews:

  1. Reclaim agency. The shift from being an order-taker to partnering with the business, which means that the technology team plays a leadership role in setting the tech agenda. Like in the case of FTD’s digital transformation with Matt Powell, CTO. The business is not an entity to be afraid of, shift the perspective to empower IT’s confidence and agency.
  2. An agile turnaround. Move from an order-taking cost center to a value center, which requires elevating the importance of IT among business stakeholders. Drive adoption of agile software development principles to mitigate disruption and reduce friction and costs. Build > test > run. A more aligned relationship between technology and business leaders enables IT to accelerate the adoption of software as well as emerging technologies (e.g., robotic process automation).
  3. Rev up the digital experience. Digitize nearly every aspect of the customer process like in the case of AutoNation Express, which enables customers to estimate trade-ins, calculate finance/lease, cash payments, select vehicle protection products, apply for financing, schedule in-store pick up or home delivery, and upload key documents from their smartphones. Another way to amplify the digital experience is by adopting the latest computing tools and anticipate when they’re going to cause problems before they cause problems.

The goal of digital acceleration is to be fast-paced; however, if the relay team members miss the hand-off, drop the baton, or run out of their lanes, the race is over. Therefore, companies must prioritize a fundamental transition to unify the effort, so that the tech leaders and teams that are in charge of digital transformation can be successful.