Top strategies to be used by IT heads to foster a digital culture

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Top strategies to be used by IT heads to foster a digital culture
Top strategies to be used by IT heads to foster a digital culture

Digital culture is an unsaid but understood mindset amongst the workforce

This is an exclusive interview conducted by the Editor Team of CIO News with Saaim Aslam, Head of IT planning & Enterprise architecture at Seera Group on Digital Culture.

What is digital culture?

  • A work place that is driven by digital tools and technology with the purpose of becoming more agile.
  • Digital culture is an unsaid but understood mindset amongst the workforce which encourages collaboration amongst cross-functional teams with the purpose of becoming more innovative.
  • There is a shift from getting insight from market research and business cases to more of a customer-centric focus.

A successful digital culture is when the mindsets of the people transform, not the organization.

Strategies that IT heads can take advantage of in order to foster a digital transformation culture:

  • Understand/educate oneself on digital culture; know that leadership is what will drive the transformation. Keep in mind that inculcating a digital culture is not a top-down approach, but rather an inclusive method. However, the driving force has to come from the IT leads.
  • Lead by example-adopt, implement, and pass digital tools on to your teams within your setting (for example, increased collaboration by using tools like Slack) -socially communicate and influence the culture within the organization.
  • Set expectations and hold yourself to them. The value recognition for the transformation has to be prioritised and clearly communicated. One needs to take accountability and responsibility for various transformation initiatives by taking ownership.
  • Focus on learning from data, let it drive decisions. Focus on customer feedback. Even internal processes should be based on what creates customer value. For example, contact centre processes can be tailored based on customer feedback and the various data sets that formulate the IVR reports.
  • Make an organisation wide change, from the c-suite down to the lowest rank. Train the behaviours of the workforce to see the value of the technology. You can’t expect the low-mid level staff to adapt to the culture if it’s not embraced by the top management, including the IT heads.
  • Leaders should foster developing new skills, set apart time to use online/tech-based learning platforms to foster new skills/cross functional skills for team members, these skills can be tech based or out of box, interpersonal/emotional intelligence, pretty much anything that drives value
  • Empower change, adopt a strategic thinking mindset. It is the responsibility of IT heads to break silos between their department and the organization, which can be done by aligning incentives and changes in useful interactions so people can understand the context better.
  • Attack before defending. Be prepared with tools in the belt before needed. While doing so, take risks with innovative tech solutions that can be implemented to an extent where some calculated risk factor outweighs potential.
  • Evaluate as you go, evolve with the needs as they arise. Flatten the hierarchy and make teams work together with reporting balances if needed. It will lead to more collaboration and faster decision making higher collaboration will mean more transparency. There should be high trust, high accountability, and quick execution.

Also readContinuous education is essential to achieving success as a technology leader

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CIO News, a proprietary of Mercadeo, produces award-winning content and resources for IT leaders across any industry through print articles and recorded video interviews on topics in the technology sector such as Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud, Robotics, Cyber-security, Data, Analytics, SOC, SASE, among other technology topics