Why leadership alignment is the cornerstone of successful digital transformation

Summary

A critical factor in any business transformation is alignment of priorities and objectives, clearly communicated between decision-makers—specifically IT and LOB leaders.

84% of digital transformation projects fail, as per Forbes. But, why? With a number so high, it’s sure to throw a wrench in organizations’ plans for future development. Well, key factors centre around misaligned business objectives and internal communication problems, as both contribute to weak strategy and ineffective execution. Destined for failure right from the start.

As forward thinking organizations accelerate digital transformation to enable business growth and sustainability in a rapidly changing market, leadership must be willing to transform themselves. Success requires a growth mindset and a willingness to collaborate. Leaders must present a united front that earns buy-in across all areas of the organization and breaks down silos to drive innovation and productivity.

A critical factor in any business transformation is alignment of priorities and objectives, clearly communicated between decision-makers—specifically IT and LOB leaders.

Priorities of IT leaders

IT leaders have always had a central focus on ensuring smooth and cost-effective integrations that maximize performance and minimize downtime. As such, their priorities for digital transformation include:

 – Strong performance

 – Smooth integration

 – Safeguarding management/support

 – Maintaining scope of costs

 – Securing systems, devices and users

With the majority of Canadian workplaces shifting towards cloud integration to enable hybrid work and provide scalability, IT leaders are more integral to strategic decision-making than ever, enabling business objectives and organizational growth in a software-driven world.

However, with decisions that impact an entire organization, LOB leaders become an important factor in the equation regarding actions taken when implementing solutions that affect business processes.

Priorities of LOB leaders

Even though LOB leaders might share some similarities in their end goals for digital transformation with IT leaders, they also have distinct priorities and responsibilities:

 – Maximize performance

 – Efficient processes

 – Cost savings

 – Timely decision-making and action

The central difference between the priorities of IT leaders and LOB leaders lies in their execution. When troubleshooting an IT issue/implementation, IT leaders want objectives to be accomplished efficiently and securely to avoid and prevent future error.

This distinction in their strategies often leads to frustration amongst the chains of command and even downtime when colleagues get bogged down on incohesive strategies used to adopt new IT solutions.

Where does it go wrong?

An important factor for implementing any business plan is a coherent strategy. However, different departments/portfolios within an organization often have their own motivation and goals—especially when it comes to software integration. Whether it be saving costs, ensuring security, or fixing the problem as quickly as possible – when there is misalignment between mission objectives, decisions can become disjointed and strategies fall apart.

A business plan without a coherent strategy can result in various obstacles and consequences that will ultimately sabotage the organization’s success, including:

 – Inefficient processes

 – Compromised services

 – Frustrated employees

 – Investment loss

Another problem that results in digital transformation failure is when LOB leaders perform shadow IT. This occurs when LOB leaders (or any decisions-makers other than the IT department) implement IT solutions or perform troubleshooting without informing IT leaders. These actions can have disastrous impacts on business processes without proper care—resulting in data loss, exacerbated problems, extended downtime, and more.

Learn more about the consequences of shadow IT and how they can disrupt your business functions.

The Importance of a cohesive strategy

Despite having different backgrounds and expertise, LOB and IT leaders share a great deal in values and “big picture” priorities that can be united through digital transformation.

The first step begins with both parties coming together to understand each other. LOB leaders must understand the entire scope implications of adopting new technology and the importance of IT as a strategic resource. However, as all IT leaders know, declining every request from other managers will not get you far when it comes to growing relationships or advancing digital projects.

A healthy relationship between leaders is based on common goals and enablement of one another’s distinct priorities. A single, holistic vendor can provide your business with the services and resources needed to bridge the gap created by contrasting values/priorities—through fostering collaboration, enabling business objectives, and delivering streamlined performances.

Ricoh can provide unparalleled support that helps align your organization’s digital transformation strategies, enable business objectives, and streamline services— as your strategic vendor partner.

Discover more about Ricoh’s digital transformation services — let’s talk!

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