Businesses need better support from higher management for digital transformation, say top CIOs

Businesses need better support from higher management for digital transformation, say top CIOs
unsplash-logoBenjamin Child

Are Singapore businesses primed for the digital age? Organisations are on the cusp of a new digital age and with it, comes a new way in which people want to work. ServiceNow’s latest survey polled 516 top CIOs across 12 different countries from 24 top industries to get their opinions around digital transformation in the workplace. Results for the study show that Singapore business leaders are close to achieving digital maturity but still feel that there is a need to strengthen strategic planning at the organisation level, to reap the full benefits of digital transformation.

Respondents surveyed in Singapore span 20 industries comprising IT, cybersecurity, finance, manufacturing, HR and legal. More than two thirds (76%) of CIOs in Singapore strongly believe in the value of digitised workflows in order to foster better collaboration and communication across various business functions (91%), and in improving overall organisational productivity (80%) and efficiency (76%).

However, respondents also cited that different business functions within their organisations had developed separate processes to digitising workflows because of a lack of strategic planning at a higher level with only half (50%) of CIOs believing that their own organisations have successfully integrated technology across business functions for greater productivity.

The need for organisation level implementation

Top limitations cited in adopting these new technological practices include possession of inadequate technology (48% compared to a 41% global average), a shortage of skills (46%, same as global average) and ineffective collaboration among departments (46% compared to 37% global average).

“Companies which streamline digital workflows across the enterprise have proven to be more operationally efficient, resulting in greater success when attracting and retaining talent. Identifying the right processes for integration is essential in equipping employees with the right tools to continuously improve their work. CIOs need to ensure that digital culture starts from the top-level and resonates down through the entire workforce,” said Mitch Young, SVP and GM, APJ, ServiceNow. 

Collaboration within the C-suite

Many CIOs in Singapore believe that close collaboration with C-suite executives is imperative in order to drive change within an organisation. 76% of respondents report they work closely with their respective CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) and CTO (Chief Talent Officer) to successfully implement reformative talent strategies. Another 59% have partnered up with their COO (Chief Operation Officer) to action more streamlined workflows.

“Organisations across every industry are trying to figure out how to embrace digital transformation and at the same time CIOs and CHROs are being asked to deliver great employee and customer experiences. In order to truly achieve a successful transformation journey, there must be a robust plan and unparalleled communication at the organisation level,” said Mitch Young, SVP and GM, APJ, ServiceNow. 

Changing the role of CIOs in Singapore and globally

In this age of digital revolution, the role of CIO has never been more important. Two-thirds of respondents (61%) agree that their roles have undergone a paradigm shift. With a noticeable change in core responsibilities of CIOs in Singapore towards;

  • Business and leadership skills over previous technology skills (67%)
  • Closer collaboration with CHROs on talent strategies (70%)
  • More frequent communication with CEO on setting business goals and IT investments (76%).

A majority of CIO respondents in Singapore (53%) say that 60% of an organisation’s workflow is digitised today. In the next three years, the number is projected to grow to 89% with more emphasis on a standardised workflow for seamless management between departments. It is clear that CIOs will be the new strategic driving force of this new era of organisational transformation.