Who's driving the culture in your organization? Source: Shutterstock

Who’s driving the culture in your organization? Source: Shutterstock

Culture is key to accelerating digital transformation — Gartner

ORGANIZATIONS now know that digital transformation is not something that they prioritize. It’s something that needs to become part of their very DNA.

However, most mid-sized and some multinational organizations are also well aware of the fact that they’re behind the curve on technology and need to accelerate their digital transformation journey.

Gartner’s analysts believe that culture is the key to achieving that acceleration and feel that CIOs are the ones who should be tasked with driving that shift inside the organization.

“A lot of CIOs have realized that culture can be an accelerator of digital transformation and that they have the means to reinforce the desired culture through their technology choices,” said Gartner Research VP Elise Olding.

According to the analysis conducted by Olding’s team, by 2021, CIOs will be as responsible for culture change as chief HR officers (CHROs).

“A partnership with the CHRO is the perfect way to align technology selections and design processes to shape the desired work behaviors.”

To be clear, it’s not a partnership to drive technology adoption in the HR vertical alone. It’s a collaboration to change how everyone within the organization sees, uses, and thinks about technology.

The mission and values of an organization usually fall into the remit of HR. The partnership between IT and HR can shed light on how IT can make technology and process design decisions that foster the intention of the desired organizational culture.

The idea is that enterprise architects can adopt principles that align to the cultural traits, and when business analysts design processes they can create them with the intended traits in mind. Hence, IT supports the way an organization behaves in cooperation with HR.

Recently, a handful of consultants from BCG drew a similar conclusion in a blogpost sounding a warning bell for companies that ignored culture in the digital transformation process.

“We assessed roughly 40 digital transformations and found that the proportion of companies reporting breakthrough or strong financial performance was five times greater (90% percent) among those that focused on culture than it was among those that neglected culture (17 percent)”

Gartner’s analysts are so confident about the idea that they forecast 80 percent of mid-sized and large enterprises will change their culture as a way to accelerate their digital transformation strategy by 2021.

The team says that the thought about culture being the key to quick and successful digital transformation wasn’t formed overnight.

A previous study revealed that 50 percent of CIOs struggling with digital initiatives found culture to be the main barrier.

“The logical conclusion is that CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later,” concluded Gartner Research VP Christie Struckman.