Marketing, CIO, HR: the couples of digital transformation
Who to drive the company’s digital transformation? The transversal nature of the subject means that no one can claim to have the skills, the legitimacy and the business impact necessary to manage and, above all, to advance the subject at the level of the company. Starting from there, some have looked for synergies and starting from the principle that the smaller an alliance, the easier it is to build and manage, we started with couples.
The first and most famous of these is the Marketing-DSI couple (or CMO-CIO in business terms).
The CIO: this essential partner that we love to deceive so much
The logic of the Marketing-DSI merger is quite obvious. For many businesses, digital transformation begins with the customer experience or, worse, is all about the customer experience. The customer needs digital: the choice of the pair is self-evident and moreover, they found each other naturally.
A somewhat tumultuous relationship, however. For agility reasons, marketing quickly fell into the arms of the cloud, leaving the CIO very sheepish. Why wait two years for what you can have in two weeks. But now, after the experimentation comes the need for industrialization, customization and interconnection with other tools of the company. And the subject of data requires real specific skills without which nothing is possible. Morality the couple ended up reforming and is going rather well because in the meantime the IT department has learned to become agile and in any case has realized that its value in the couple should be more tangible and has started to change in this direction. Marketing is much happier with this computer that says “let’s go” than with one that says “no” on principle.
But digital transformation is also the employee experience. Hence the existence of another old couple: the DRH-DSI couple. This one has had a bit of the same story as the first. The meeting, a quiet life, the cloud, the reunion when it was necessary to take a step further. On the other hand, the relationship is far from being as passionate. We talk about infrastructure, delivery, compliance, process, but for the transformation and the experience we are still very shy. It must be said that the weight of regulatory constraints that pile on top of each other do not help to get out of the daily grind. But it is time to put a little madness in the relationship without which the children (collaborators and candidates) risk quickly filing a complaint for abuse. Or get adopted elsewhere. We will talk about this later.
Irony of fate: because he is solid and has mastered the fundamentals, the CIO is an ideal son-in-law, but his clumsiness and clumsy character have long pushed his partner to look elsewhere as much as possible. But it is changing and promises us that it will improve day by day. In any case, he has no choice: if others always end up needing him from time to time, his life has no meaning without the plans of others. He therefore questioned himself to increase his contribution to the success of others and adopt a new vision of their relationship.
HR Director and Marketing: the ideal couple who never meet
I have a deep conviction: marketing will not achieve anything without the right resources and will not convey any customer experience online or offline (because the world is both physical and digital and to forget it is to miss it. 50% of the subject) if there is noemployee experience consistent. In fact, I also have a second which is at least as important for companies: they will face a growing consumerization of work which will result in the internal adoption of practices, postures, tools, approaches imported from the world. “customer”, “consumer” universe. This consumerization will not spare HR and to face it, the most appropriate approach is to get closer to marketing and collaborate with it because it largely masters these things and can provide methods, tools and position itself as a partner, service provider or coach.
A HRD-Marketing couple seems to me to be an essential but too rare pillar of digital transformation. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that they do not have a usual working relationship on which to base this new dynamic. The second is that the HRD – and in particular in France – is crumbling under its sovereign mission and the application of new laws that pile up day after day. Not enough breath to do more for a function often under-staffed to which, moreover, it is difficult to give way to the chapter.
An ideal couple who therefore find it difficult to meet and get to know each other, mainly because they do not frequent the same dating sites.
The Chief Digital Officer is the company’s meeting site for digital transformation
There are therefore at least three functions that have an interest in cooperating together on digital transformation. At a minimum. I will add the business directions without which the most projects will never land. But I see them more as partners than in piloting.
Anyway, these functions either do not meet, or have difficulty forming a real couple in the long term. Already two is complicated, so think of three.
To fill this gap, Chief Digital Officers have been appointed. Their role is twofold: to compensate for the lack of vision and / or leadership from general management on this subject and to ensure that others come together, get to know each other, talk to each other, come together around a shared vision and ‘a common project. The CDO’s mission is to be the hub for meetings and synergies, to ensure that those who worked in their area start working with others.
All this to come to a conclusion: there will be no digital transformation until everyone, at the top of the company, will be able to cooperate around a shared vision because it is about ‘a shared challenge. Solo initiatives, “digital miracles” or variable geometry pairs are just the worst. A company will not be able to move forward if certain key functions continue to not talk to each other or ignore what they can bring to each other.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.
He regularly deals with social media news on his blog.