CIODigital Disruption

5 Myths about Digital Transformation Every CEO Must Know

Rules are good things when they work. But as it pertains to digital transformation, the old rules do not work anymore. In an article for, Kumar R. Parakala considers the various conversations he has had with over 30 CEOs in the past year, and from them he identifies five dangerous myths that continue to persist about transformation:

  1. Strategy myth: Digital transformation is all about technology.
  2. Accountability myth: We need a CDO to oversee digital strategy.
  3. Customer centricity myth: We are customer-centric and externally focused; our internal team is capable enough as is.
  4. Competition myth: We know what our competitors are doing and we are not far behind.
  5. Vendor expertise myth: Our consulting vendor knows exactly what it is doing.

The Startling Truth

The first myth is the one that is probably actually going away the fastest. Most people know by now that digital transformation is very much a cultural shift in addition to a technological shift. There is increasing agreement too that establishing a dedicated CDO role is not crucial to digital transformation. The CIO can fit the bill much of the time, and Parakala is passionate that CIOs should report directly to the CEO because of the importance of the CIO role. Whoever ends up being chosen to lead though, it should be someone with very strong facilitation skills and who is of course knowledgeable in technology.

Accounting for the third myth, a truly customer-centric business knows that looking externally is not enough. Tightening nuts and bolts and streamlining internal processes can create a better customer experience in the long run. Having a strong sales pitch is only one step in a long, ongoing process.

Another thing digital disruption has changed is the nature of competition. Industry verticals are not quite as cut and dry as they once were, and new competition can come from unexpected places. How one business might become a disruptor itself is a big question:

I recognize it may be very difficult to create these radical industry disruptors. However, it is clear the definition of competition has changed in the digital era. Digital technologies are enabling new ways of doing business using platform business models. This allows one business to provide a “brokerage” service to multiple businesses to add maximum value to their clients. This creates a different kind of competition. CEO must recognize the changing landscape of competitors and develop appropriate strategies to effectively compete. Competitors in old regime can become alliance partners in the digital era.

Finally, it should not be taken at face value that consulting vendors are always at the top of their game. Some businesses are not willing to “eat their own dog food,” as the weird phrase goes, when it comes to transformation recommendations. However, it is equally important to remember that many IT vendors are highly competent and entirely worthy of trust. So just remember to study up on people.

Now these myths are dissolved and will never be brought up again. You can view the original article here:

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