There’s a funny image circulating right now of a survey that asks, “Who led the digital transformation of your company? A) CEO B) CTO C) COVID-19.” COVID-19 is circled.
COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation at many companies, knocking through long-standing resistance and silos. As ITWC CIO Jim Love noted, “Sometimes it takes a crisis to turn people’s mindsets around.”
The crisis is also setting the agenda and the priorities of where to focus digital transformation efforts, such as facilitating the needs of a mass, remote workforce.
But there’s still not a shared understanding of what digital transformation actually means. It stands for much more than suddenly working from home over Zoom. It asks businesses to rethink how they deliver value to their customers in a digital world.
As Sandy Shen, senior director at Gartner, put it recently:
“The value of digital channels, products and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now. This is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: