4 Signs Digital is Disrupting the Enterprise

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Signs of digital disruption

Virtually all executives across the enterprise want to apply technology to their problems. This scramble by many business and functional leaders in our organizations is creating the “Other Disruption” – a disruption of the approaches, processes, people, organizations, etc. we use to leverage technology to advance our strategic business goals. The energy and intensity is a positive sign. The challenge is to harness it as an enterprise, and not as a set of disconnected silos, which is what is happening now.

Consider these findings from our newly released Digital IQ survey of nearly 2,000 business and technology executives:

  1. The majority of technology spending is outside of the CIO’s budget
    The first sign of this disruption is that the majority of tech spending is outside of IT – its traditional home and owner. Every year, our annual Digital IQ survey asks how much of the technology and digital spend lies outside of the CIO’s budget:

    • two years ago this was in the mid 30s
    • last year near 50%
    • this year, 68% of the tech and digital budget lies outside of IT.
  2. It’s unclear who’s in the digital driver’s seat
    If you asked me 5 years ago who is ultimately responsible for digital enterprise investments, I would probably have answered the CIO or CFO (if taking the “investment” word literally). Today, 34% of the Digital IQ respondents say the CEO is in charge of digital. This data also speaks not only to the fragmentation of ownership but also the entrance of the Chief Digital Officer. 14% of respondents say the Chief Digital Officer is driving the digital bus, which seems like a healthy share for a role that’s only a few years old.
  3. Weak and spotty collaboration among C-suite executives
    In our survey, we ask about the strength of the relationship of respondents’ CIO and CxO: on a scale from 1 to 5, how strong is the CIO relationship with the CEO, the CFO, etc. The CMO is a critical part of the new digital world, and yet our findings show the CIO-CMO relationship is the weakest, and has been over the last three years. Collaboration is key to bringing all of the distributed investment together – and we haven’t figured it out yet.
  4. CIO is shifting from leading internal and external to internal alone
    In the Digital IQ survey, we asked: what’s the current role of the CIO and where do you see the role in three years? Respondents say they see the CIO role shifting from leading internal and external initiatives to focusing on internal. The CIO needs to 1) recognize the confusion and 2) get proactive about defining the future of strategy/planning/execution of digital and CIO/IT role in it.

When you think of each of the signs and signals to the internal disruptions, you might be telling yourself, “Yep, I’ve seen that. Yep, I’ve seen that. Yep, I’ve seen that.” Together, I think, they start to paint a picture that something larger than a few incremental changes is really going on here. It’s something we need to get in front of.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on our Digital IQ data where we talk about the attributes of the digitally dominant. We’ll look at what the data tells us around what top performers are doing to work in a cohesive rather than disjointed manner to extract the most value from their digital investments.

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