Effective digital solutions that offer a clear ROI are a key part of digital transformation strategies. Digital solutions are a powerful way to improve operational efficiency, meet changing customer expectations, and improve the quality of products and services. What’s not to like?
Traditionally, digital strategy implementations have been researched, recommended and implemented by CMOs, CIOs or CTOs. But increasingly, businesses are looking to their CEOs to lead the way. CEOs are seen as the ones who have to be in command and drive digital transformation. This means it’s CEOs who have to find, understand, and own the adoption of new digital solutions. How does this new expectation shift the role?
Driving Investment for Digital Solutions
By 2023, it is predicted that businesses will spend close to $2.3 trillion on digital transformation strategies across the supply chain, from back-end administration to production processes. The question is no longer is there a budget, but rather where should that budget be invested?
CEOs are better-positioned than anyone to drive digital transformation. They possess a comprehensive bird’s eye view of the organization, and a special understanding of internal hurdles. Most importantly, CEOs are acutely aware of the importance of everyday business processes that may not be the flashiest candidates for a digital transformation, but are in fact crucial to improve.
In striving to improve business processes, CEOs need to prioritize digital solutions that:
- Offer a clear and proven ROI
- Can be onboarded relatively quickly (SaaS platforms should be prioritized)
- Eliminate obviously dated manual processes
From an investment perspective, these digital solutions are a no-brainer. Sales order automation is the perfect example. It eliminates the outdated practice of manual order processing and also automates order entry. It allows a CEO to redeploy resources to activities that deliver greater profitability, improve order cycle time, increase customer satisfaction, and maintain an enterprise’s competitive edge.
Providing Company Vision
70% of businesses believe their CEO has an average or above average understanding of technology, meaning employees look to their CEOs to incorporate digital solutions. CEOs are improving employee roles by involving upper management – for example, they are turning to Operations to implement solutions in order to streamline day-to-day tasks.
Understanding the importance of foundational corporate values has a stronger impact on business operations than often recognized. In the wake of digital transformation, it is not a question of changing the corporate vision, but rather adjusting it to adapt to a more progressive future. A key way to present this future is to tie digital transformation goals to a broader vision of the future of business and the future of work.
Take automation. According to Forrester, the organization of the future “depends on automation to create massive efficiencies and new capabilities – and has the potential to unleash human capital to pursue more creative, higher-value goals.” Digital solutions that embrace a broad and powerful trend like automation enable CEOs to express a company vision that is truly bold.
With sales order processing, for example, automation can rapidly enable enterprises to achieve 100% data accuracy, eliminate unnecessary costs, and redeploy human capital to provide the highest levels of customer service. Such clearly desirable outcomes, offered by the power of automation, can effectively be tied to a powerful company vision.
Preparing the Team
CEOs must establish a company culture rooted in technology in order to gain a competitive advantage and drive further business growth. Ensuring the team is not only prepared, but is capable of accepting and adopting transformation, will lay the groundwork for a prosperous future for any organization.
CEOs should look at getting their teams to turn to not only massive projects, but also to targeted investments that can bring immediate success. This can be in the form of sales operations streamlining customer services through simple digital solutions such as automated sales order management software.
While businesses are seeing dramatic shifts when it comes to digital solutions and technological advancement, the core values of any company must remain intact to ensure prolonged business success. Incisive, targeted improvements offer a way to bring obvious improvements without too much disruption.
Taking the Lead
Leadership skills are a vital asset to any successful CEO. However, in the wake of implementing digital transformation strategies, having a visionary CEO who is capable of adapting and conveying characteristics, such as flexibility, cooperation and open-mindedness, is critical in an ever-changing marketplace.
As employees continue to turn to the CEO for more than just leadership, they will be seen also as a strategic leader. In this role, they are paving the way for digital transformation and adoption across the business from products to services, to employee roles, and most importantly in business model changes.
Building a successful enterprise that is not only steeped in technology but rooted in digital strategy will inevitably invite innovation, creativity, and progress in the workplace. The CEO, paired with support throughout the organization and the right digital solutions, will propel the business into a promising new era of digital transformation.