How digital transformation disrupts C-suite dynamics

Digital transformation initiatives in the enterprise require CIOs to step up and be effective leaders for change, according to Financial Times Focus and Apptio.

5 building blocks your company needs for successful digital transformation At the 2019 MIT CIO Symposium, Jeanne Ross discussed where companies stand when it comes to digital transformation.

Digital transformation is not a new idea in the enterprise, with the worldwide spending on these projects expected to surpass $2.1 trillion by 2021. Not only are digital transformation efforts shifting business goals and objectives, but they are also changing the interpersonal dynamics of the C-suite, according to the report Disruption in the C-suite from Financial Times Focus and Apptio, released on Tuesday. 

Digital transformation has forged collaboration in the C-suite, and positioned the CIO as the best leader for driving change, the report found. However, digital transformation also often disrupts the function of the C-suite, creating larger tensions between IT and finance, it added.

SEE: How to build a successful CIO career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Digital is completely transforming the IT operating model, and that means CIOs and CFOs need to work collaboratively," said Sunny Gupta, Apptio CEO, in a press release. "These business leaders need to accelerate new delivery models such as cloud and agile, optimize technology spend to fund new innovation, and boost financial agility to make resource decisions that are aligned with the speed of business."

More than half (56%) of companies undergoing digital transformation initiatives said they are embracing flexible, agile strategies based on lessons from customers and employees. But 47% of business leaders said that digital transformation has also blurred the lines of roles and responsibilities within the C-suite. 

CIOs and CFOs are the most unaligned, which creates tension between the two, the report found. CIOs are now considered the go-to leaders for inspiring and delivering change in the organization, but CIOs must communicate effectively to get results. 

For more, check out the 5 building blocks for successful digital transformation

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By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.