CIOs—Make these 4 mindset shifts to transform digital work

Someone takes notes in their home office while working on their laptop.

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2021 is the year of the comeback. Market commentators see huge potential for renewed growth and opportunity in the year ahead. As businesses shift their technology investments to embrace digital transformation, what can CIOs do to lead the comeback for their organizations?

1—Think digital first

Work is digital. Implement technology that empowers people to do their best work, no matter where they work. Consider the marketing department: digital tools have to enable end-to-end productivity and outcomes throughout the lifecycle of marketing’s work, including idea creation, collaboration, content development, review, launch, or measurement. And they have to do it across disparate teams working from anywhere. IT leaders are charged with helping the business deliver on its goals by implementing technology that enables teams to manage, plan, deliver, and optimize work that matters most.

2—Integrate to automate

Knowledge workers spend around 60% of their time emailing, attending meetings, finding information—time subtracted from meaningful work that drives results. An enterprise application platform for work that connects processes, collects data, and automates work—digital transformation imperatives—reduces this wasted time. IT leaders reacted to the pandemic by consolidating fast or rationalizing duplicate tools across their organizations. Make integration—a foundational step on the path to automation—a priority. As you define workflows and their various touchpoints, integrate disparate tools to create a connected ecosystem of technology that enables the automation of workflows and tedious, time-consuming tasks. This frees up teams to focus and be more productive on the right work.

3—Normalize agility

In 2020, businesses demonstrated their ability to respond to a crisis with impressive agility. Make agility a permanent state of mind, whether in planning iteratively or in execution. Give leaders quick and easy access to the data they need to continuously adapt, prioritize, and realign. Work management technology is the connective tissue between tools, linking and presenting data and insights from disparate systems to key decision makers at the right time. A centralized platform for work becomes the source of truth for all work information and the fuel for data-driven decisions—the basis of making agility not just a crisis response, but a steady state.

4—Transform through partnerships

Cross-functional partnerships underpin digital transformation success. The digitization of work has precipitated conversations about what organizations are really trying to achieve and the technology they need to get there. Find the right partners—internally and externally—to solve problems and support your digital (work) transformation journey, and test, iterate, and learn as you go.

Evolving at pace—or even ahead of the curve—is fundamental to upleveling digital work. It requires the right mindset and the right technology, putting CIOs at the forefront of digital work transformation in 2021.