89% of businesses plan or have adopted digital solutions into their corporate strategy. But how many have taken action to propel these digital strategies into 2019?

Given the pace of innovation and adoption of digital technologies globally, there has been an unprecedented disruption across industries and added pressures for senior management to take charge. With this in mind, we examine the role CEOs will play in pursuing a more digital future.

Driving Investment.

Traditionally, digital strategies have been researched, recommended and implemented by CMOs who take charge for 34% of companies, while 19% of companies traditionally turn to CIOs or CTOs according to a report by Altimeter. However, due to the overwhelming growth of the digital world, businesses are now turning to the CEO to lead the way and support integrated digitization across the company.

By 2022, it is predicted that businesses will spend close to $2 trillion on digital transformation solutions across the supply chain, from back-end administration to production processes. Subsequently, the question is no longer is there a budget, but rather how much are we willing to invest in our digital futures?

With larger budgets, CEOs are utilizing solutions such as SaaS softwares to help grow the business from the inside-out, prioritizing internal challenges above all else. Improving internal processes is an area that can be easily forgotten in the momentum of digital transformation, and is more likely to be identified and addressed by CEOs due to their understanding of the entire business’ internal hurdles.

Providing Company Vision.

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.

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 employees roles by involving upper management, for example turning to Operations to implement solutions in order to streamline day-to-day tasks. By implementing internal support for employees, businesses will inherently develop key foundational corporate values.

Prepare the Team.

CEOs must establish a company culture rooted in technology in order to gain a competitive advantage and gain 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 company future.

CEOs should look at getting their teams to turn to solutions that may not be massive projects but also small scale investments that can bring immediate success.  This can be in the form of sales operations streamlining customer services through simple solutions such as sales order automation. 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.

Take the Lead.

Leadership skills are a vital asset to any successful CEO. However, in the wake of digital transformation 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 and learning will inevitably invite innovation, creativity and progress in the workplace. The CEO, paired with support throughout the organization, will propel the business into an unavoidable, yet promising new era of digital transformation.