Digital Transformation

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Seven Key Steps for the Evolving CIO

  • Read Time: 7 min 

As “digital” becomes the competitive priority in every industry, CIOs must lead their companies’ digital transformation — which requires much more than technology leadership. The technical side of operations — communications networks, software applications, and data management and security — must still run smoothly, CIOs must also adopt new practices and missions if they’re to evolve into transformative digital leaders.

The Best of This Week

  • Read Time: 2 min 

This week’s must-reads for managing in a digital age: What the U.S. is getting wrong about the race for powerful AI, why putting culture front and center when managing is important, Facebook faces cryptocurrency hurdles, and why sports analytics fail in the playoffs.

Digital Transformation Should Start With Customers

  • Read Time: 6 min 

Few organizations have the resources necessary to transform operations, business models, and customer experience all at the same time. They need to prioritize. Focusing on the transformation of the customer experience should be first. This is not because it’s necessarily the easiest, but because doing so is far more likely to keep a company viable than changing other aspects of business.

Tell Your Colleagues: MIT SMR Is Unlocked Today Through Thursday

  • Read Time: 2 min 

On Oct. 8-10, MIT SMR is dropping its paywall — all of the content is freely available to visitors. Readers will have immediate access to ideas, research, benchmarks and tools, all grounded in the reality of our technologically driven economy and society. We’re offering some recommendations based on what readers tell us are some of the most pressing problems they’re facing right now.

Navigating the Contested Rise of Fintech

Technology adoption based on the technology alone is bound to miss the mark. Fintech will not disrupt the financial industry overnight, but when it does, it will reflect a larger and more complex social debate than its inherent technological or economic merits. Managers need to get involved in this debate now, so they can navigate the uncertainty, and decide to adopt it — or not.

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What We Publish, and Why

When we consider articles for publication, we look for three things: ideas that will help managers navigate an increasingly digital world, evidence-based thinking, and accessible frameworks and recommendations that readers can apply. We’re eager to hear from our readers about what they value in MIT SMR, what topics they would like to see us explore more often or more deeply, and what we could do better.

The Best of This Week

  • Read Time: 2 min 

The must-reads MIT SMR editors are most excited about this week, including: Why emotion is a key ingredient for getting customer experiences to stick, what we can learn from Germany’s platform economy, the best leader for your digital transformation effort might not be the obvious candidate, and more.

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Transformation Without Technology

  • Read Time: 4 min 

In our present age of digital disruption, the fact that digital technologies cause many of the challenges companies face doesn’t mean that technology is necessarily the solution to those problems. Where do companies focus their transformation efforts if not on technology? They focus on their most valuable assets: their people.

Bridging the Leadership Gap Between Tech and Business

  • Read Time: 5 min 

For so many of organizations today, technology is the business. Yet, for many companies, the persistent separation of the IT function within the organization creates siloes and sets up a false dichotomy between technology and business leaders. To remain flexible and adaptable in the face of constant change, business and technology leaders alike need to take bold action.

Strategy For and With AI

Executives intent on exploiting AI to enhance processes or products tend to focus on having a strategy for AI. But creating strategy with AI can matter as much or even more. In a machine-learning era, enterprise strategy is defined by the KPIs that leaders choose to optimize —the measures organizations use to create value, accountability, and competitive advantage. AI can help determine what KPIs are measured, how they are measured, and how best to prioritize them.

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Building Digital-Ready Culture in Traditional Organizations

For legacy companies, culture change is often the biggest challenge of digital transformation. How can they become more agile and innovative without alienating their best employees or wrecking their best existing practices? This article provides a framework for leaders in any industry. The process begins with understanding four key values of digital culture: impact, speed, openness, and autonomy. It then involves adopting or refining a set of digital-ready practices, grounded in these values.

How to Choose the Right Digital Leader for Your Company

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Striking the right balance between competence and credibility is essential to digital leaders’ success, but it depends on what a company expects its CDO to do. While external candidates can bring critical digital competence and experience to organizations seeking a better digital footing, they may struggle to build the necessary credibility for organizational change.

Four Profiles of Successful Digital Executives

  • Frontiers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 10 min 

Hoping a jack-of-all-trades can lead your organization’s digital transition is unrealistic. We found four distinct types of successful digital executives who can best provide vision and purpose for digital. Crucially, each type has unique strengths and performs best in different contexts.

Showing 1-20 of 34