CDOs vital to digital reinvention of Enterprises: Accenture report

Launched at the IAMAI CDO Summit, report focuses on deployment of digital technologies to drive efficiency and customer experiences

A recent global survey of more than 900 executives across 12 industries by Accenture found only 13 percent companies are positioned to drive both growth and efficiency with digital. Report further states that 64 percent of the executives fear for their company’s survival if they are unable to deliver on these two imperatives with their digital investments.

A handbook for Chief Digital Officers summit utilizing data from the global Accenture report and based on interviews with senior digital functionaries across companies was unveiled at the Chief Digital Officer’s Summit organized by IAMAI.

Companies no longer perceive digitization as an end state. Instead it is an ongoing process aimed at two objectives: Greater operating efficiency and New customer experiences. Realising the potential of digitization, 96 percent of the senior executives surveyed by Accenture globally, say that they are investing in digital to pursue these twin goals. Some of the leading retail companies, interviewed in India for the purpose of the report, for example have started leveraging digital technologies such as virtual reality to enhance in-store customer experiences and drive sales simultaneously adopting digital to optimize operations and achieve higher operational efficiencies.

In an era when over 800 million individuals across the globe are keen to consume hyper- personalized experiences, as many as 84 percent of the executives surveyed in Accenture’s global report, believe that delivering differentiated customer experiences will strengthen their competitive advantage. For example, a leading private sector bank in India uses a combination of technologies to create a virtual customer-service assistant which allows customers to carry out transactions and request services by simply typing in a message. This has enabled the company to deliver improved customer experiences.

CDO – the driver of digital reinvention

Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is a critical player in the company’s success in the digital era. The CDO defines the digital reinvention roadmap and helps lead the organization through the journey. This report further recommends three steps for CDOs to succeed in digital transformation:

Step I: Set a digital-first strategy: Developing a ‘digital strategy and roadmap’ for the business, rather than simply infusing digital in the strategy of the company.

Step II: Set the agenda in the C-suite: Understand the priorities of the C-Suite and collaborate with them successfully implementing a digital-first strategy and digital reinvention.

Step III: Manage implementation: CDOs should address and meet the six core imperatives, identified through the research, to profitably combine digital technologies, deliver new efficiency gains and create enhanced customer experiences in parallel.

Rajan Anandan, Chairman, IAMAI & Managing Director, Google India, said “India today has over 400 million internet users, 300 million of them having access to internet on their smartphones. Regardless of which industry you are in today digital transformation is absolutely critical and very important to understand how your consumers are evolving, how their behaviours are changing, how their purchasing journeys are changing and then evolve your products and services to be able to delight the consumers. I am very excited about the event that is happening today as well as the CDO handbook that is being launched today and I think it’s going to be a must have for every single CXO in the country.”

“Rapid changes to technology coupled with falling technology costs and an easier access to capital is leading to never before envisaged technology led innovations. This pace of technology change is unlocking unique digital opportunities for organizations which they can harness to achieve extraordinary gains. Therefore, a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) will play a critical role in defining the digital reinvention roadmap which complements the organization’s business journey. CDOs must use their deep understanding of the business and vast knowledge of the digital tools, to steer the entire organization through the journey of digital reinvention,” said Nachiket Sukhtankar, Senior Managing Director for Accenture’s technology practice in India.

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