Digital transformation has become a necessity in today’s technological era – but for major companies, finding the right person to lead a digital transformation can be a massive hurdle.

When it comes to who should be responsible for a company’s digital transformation, there are many factors to consider. While you don’t want to create an overcrowded digital leadership team, having experts on your side that know how to apply the latest technologies for your specific needs is key.

The role of technology is expanding rapidly across all industries. In this article, I will discuss who should be leading the digital march within a company – and how businesses can go about finding reliable and resilient digital leadership.

Finding Digital Leadership: The Changing Role of the CIO

In traditional business models, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) would be in charge of all things IT.

However, as technological implementations have expanded to all departments of a business, a CIO alone may not have the spare time to focus on a successful digital transformation. Additionally, while CIOs may have a wide range of IT experience, the advancements in technology have likely grown far beyond their realm of expertise.

So – what is the solution to this problem? Do businesses commit the time and resources to provide CIOs with additional specialized training? Or should the responsibility of digital transformation be placed elsewhere?

To answer these questions, let’s examine the concept of broadening an IT leadership team.

Broadening an IT Leadership Team

Traditional business tends to have a strict hierarchy, with a C-level executive at the top of the pyramid. While C-level professionals are essential to the success of a company, the structure of these hierarchies is shifting to be more collaborative with more shared responsibilities.

For digital transformations, this can translate to onboarding a C-level executive with the sole purpose and focus of expanding a company’s digital capabilities and assets.

This is what is known as a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) – a professional who works alongside a CIO and other high-level executives to keep a company’s digital infrastructure up to date and literate in advanced technologies, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The Distinction Between CIOs and CDOs

On a surface level, CIOs and CDOs may seem like twin positions with responsibilities that are hard to distinguish from one another.

This, however, is not the case.

A CDO should be given the responsibility of creating greater value through the acquisition and implementation of new technologies. By comparison, a CIO should remain the leader in ensuring these technologies are operationally efficient and profitable.

Together, the CIO and CDO should form a cohesive team working towards the same goal: to provide their company with a sustainable and trustworthy digital transformation.

FinTechs: The Solution to a Successful Financial Digital Transformation?

For the financial industry specifically, achieving a digital transformation is no small feat. Not only do financial institutions need to implement new technologies, but they must also adapt to an evolving business model that is moving away from the traditionally closed-off and siloed nature of finance.

Adding a CDO to a financial leadership team can certainly be beneficial, but is not the only way to gain the necessary digital expertise to carry out a digital transformation.

As technological innovation has continued to grow, the arrival of FinTechs within the industry has provided many companies with the resources and talent they need.

With the right FinTech partner, a company can carry out a digital transformation under the direction of their own leadership, but supported by the expertise of third-party talent. This can often eliminate the need to onboard and train new high-level executives and instead rely upon an expanded network of global digital experts that can be employed on-demand and as needed.

Final Thoughts

With technologies quickly reshaping each and every industry, companies can no longer afford to put their digital transformations on the back burner.

To answer the question of who should be made responsible for a digital transformation, the answer lies in both expanding a leadership team as well as seeking out third-party, on-demand talent.

For financial institutions, our team at CPQi can help you gain the technological and digital expertise you need without compromising your existing leadership structure. We work with you to provide custom solutions and full digital transformations that take your legacy systems and specific needs into account.

To learn more about how CPQi can help your institution carry out a digital transformation, contact our team today.

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