CIO, HR officer to help unlock digital business

Read time 2min 30sec
Daniel Sanchez Reina, senior research director at Gartner.
Daniel Sanchez Reina, senior research director at Gartner.

The responsibility to change the culture and practices within an organisation rests with the CIO, with the chief HR officer being a key partner in the digital business transformation agenda.

This is according to Daniel Sanchez Reina, senior research director at Gartner, speaking at a media roundtable at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo about how organisations can create a digital dexterity programme to lead successful digital business initiatives.

Gartner defines digital dexterity as the ability and desire to exploit existing and emerging technologies for better business outcomes.  

Sanchez Reina expressed that when it comes to digital dexterity, the CEO is not looking at the HR director anymore. Obviously they are looking at the CIO because digital is at the core of any change.

According to Gartner predictions, instead of leading the culture change, the HR manager will contribute to culture change along with the CIO by 2021, he pointed out. 

Increasingly, it’s the responsibility of the CIO to operationalise the enterprise culture and the prevalence of digital dexterity in the workplace,” said Sanchez Reina. “The CIO will play a key role in supporting desired behaviours and changing the processes, procedures, policies and management practices that shape how work gets done to encourage desired behaviours.”

Sanchez Reina went on to say 50% of the transformations in the world – be it digital or non-digital – fail. “Only a third considers this as complete success, which means two-thirds of organisations in the world do not fulfil their transformational agenda.”  

Helen Poitevin, research vice-president at Gartner, highlighted that every business today is constantly looking for people who are able to be more innovative, more analytical, collaborative, have creativity and are agile in their approaches.

“The digital component of most jobs is increasing. Technical skills are important, but are not enough to steer a successful digital business transformation,” said Poitevin. “Business and IT leaders need to employ the right talent with a specific set of mindsets, beliefs and behaviours – which we call digital dexterity – to launch, finish and capitalise on digital initiatives.”

Model example

Gartner has introduced the acronym PRISM, which it says is a framework to enable organisations to change traits that prevented a culture change.

PRISM is derived from purpose, rituals, identity, support and merit.

According to Sanchez Reina, purpose aims to answer why organisations need to change, rituals has to do with operationalising the changes, identity focuses on creating a new identity as the big culture change happens, providing support required as the change happens, and merit is focused on celebrating the change of behaviour and culture.    

“PRISM works because it allows organisations to raise employees’ awareness on the need for change. That is the one and only key to success,” he concluded.

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