Why is the future of enterprise transformation complex and co-owned?

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There is no one-size-fits-all solution to enterprise-grade digital transformation. The digital divide is not just an IT problem but spans multiple disciplines like compliance, finance, and operations. Addressing such complex challenges requires breaking down the problem into smaller, more manageable components.

According to Gartner's 2024 CIO agenda, 45% of CIOs are shifting to co-ownership of digital leadership, while 55% retain digital delivery responsibility and partner with CxOs as sponsors of business area digital initiatives. Often, when preparing for digital initiatives, it can be easy for organization leaders to feel pressured to give an estimate that fits within the organization's budget. However, the price of wastage through digital transformation programs not meeting their objectives could be around $2 trillion by 2026, which is incredibly high and should make organization leaders reconsider their initiative trajectory.

Frank Baalbergen

Chief Information Security Officer, Mendix.

Addressing the disconnect across business disciplines

CIOs must recognize that tackling complex problems within a specific team alone is often ineffective and inefficient.

Successful problem-solving requires collaboration and alignment across different business disciplines and functional areas. Organizations can leverage expertise and perspectives to identify, optimize processes, and capitalize on new opportunities. This involves engaging with cross-functional teams.

Each department brings unique perspectives, expertise, and resources, and leveraging this collective intelligence can lead to more innovative and comprehensive solutions. Cross- disciplinary collaboration fosters a culture of teamwork, creativity, and accountability, enabling organizations to tackle complex challenges with agility and resilience.

Organizations can collaborate with each department across the business in two ways: co- ownership of transformation and fusion teams constructed to ensure the transformation happens.

The future of organization is fusion teams

By adopting two collaborative approaches, organizations can effectively address their challenges and drive transformative change. Firstly, through co-ownership of digital transformation and the establishment of fusion teams designed specifically to ensure the success of this transformation translates to the business leveraging the collective expertise and insights of each department across the organization. It is because fusion teams are cross- functional groups that blend business and technology expertise to collaboratively develop and implement digital solutions.

Secondly, implementing fusion teams becomes crucial as organizations frequently face long backlogs that impede app development and limit the realization of potential business value. These teams serve as the nexus between business and IT, facilitating accelerated development, cost reduction, risk mitigation, and alignment with business objectives, ultimately maximizing the value delivered by technology initiatives.

With this, most CIOs face pressure to accelerate their digital transformation agenda. Gartner's research shows that distributed, simultaneous initiatives with broad-based involvement can progress 2.5 times faster than centralized, sequential efforts.

Fusion teams are key elements of this type of distributed digital delivery model. Organizations need a combination of business decision-makers, IT leaders, and working groups to turn insight into action that drives the business forward.

Additionally, leveraging fusion teams enables businesses to capitalize on more talent and entrepreneurship within the organization. It also breeds more collaborative behaviors at all levels, whether through operations, budget management, or the innovation roadmap - which is increasingly co-owned by CIOs and the rest of the C-suite. 

Combating budgetary issues

In order to beat the odds of transformation, organizational leaders need to bring IT and other businesses closer together. The strategic approach couples IT with business units and distributes budgets, fostering alignment between technological investment and organizational goals.

By involving business units in decision-making, companies can ensure that IT initiatives are directly tied to addressing business needs and driving desired outcomes. This collaborative approach promotes better communication and shared ownership of technology projects, leading to more effective resource use and a higher return on investment.

Moreover, by integrating IT into various business functions, leaders can leverage technology to enable innovation, efficiency, and competitive advantage across the organization, driving sustainable growth and success.

Collaborative models foster stronger alignment between IT and organizational objectives and promote agility, responsiveness, and the ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The future of transformation requires breaking down multifaceted challenges into manageable components and fostering collaboration across various business disciplines through fusion teams.

By distributing IT budgets and aligning technology initiatives with business goals, organizations can achieve sustainable growth, which creates co-ownership. This collaborative model ensures effective resource use, accelerates digital transformation, and enables businesses to adapt swiftly to emerging opportunities.

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Frank Baalbergen, Chief Information Security Officer, Mendix.