4 ways digital transformation is a people issue

Digital transformation is absolutely a people issue, on a number of levels.

First, it’s a culture shift within a lot of organizations to view IT as a business leader, as a facilitator, as a group of people helping to drive transformation, as opposed to seeing IT as the cable guys, so to speak. That’s transformational from a people perspective.

Second, you’ve got to have the right people in place for digital transformation. I’m fortunate that one of the things we did early on is put a cadre of people in place who were relationship managers, who own the relationship between IT and the business. Those people have credibility and relationships with the business, and they have personalities as well. So it’s not IT as “the pizza guys,” as we used to lovingly refer to it at a former company, by which we meant brilliant technologists who’d slide an IT “pizza” under the door because you couldn’t unleash them on the general public. You need business people who can act as relationship managers first. They just happen to be technologists and understand how to apply technology to solve business solutions. So that’s a people issue.

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Third, it’s a people issue for me as a CIO. Instead of trying to take a command-and-control approach to this, I’m taking a collaborative one. I want people to view me as a partner helping them meet their objectives as opposed to trying to do a land grab and take ownership for something. It’s not about who owns it; it’s about how we collectively get there.

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