In our executive brief, “Rise above the Chaos: Lay a Solid Technology Foundation for Your AEC Firm", you will find that technology advancements are rising in importance for every organization, including AEC firms. We also highlight the fact that the CEO’s role in this transformation has changed. McKinsey Research article “Why digital transformation is now on the CEO’s shoulders” emphasizes this point:

With the promise of performance improvements and productivity increases, such innovations were introduced to industry through the IT organization. Over months or years, and after multiple trials and evaluations, each gained the attention of the chief information officer, who was responsible for technology adoption. The CEO was periodically briefed on the cost and result.

With the 21st-century digital transformation, the adoption cycle has inverted…almost invariably, global corporate transformations are initiated and propelled by the CEO. Visionary CEOs, individually, are the engines of massive change that is unprecedented in the history of information technology…

Blueprint for Success

The shift from the IT organization to the CEO as initiators of digital transformation is important to recognize if you're looking for a successful technology deployment. The blueprint for successful deployments in this technology-infused world is a cross-functional, horizontal model and only the CEO has this vantage point within an organization.

Likewise, the CEO embodies that powerful voice that can communicate and propel a vision through the entire organization. Do not underestimate the importance of vision. Regardless if your organization is big or small, simple or complex, without a vision, the results you realize from the deployment of new technologies most likely will yield less than hoped for results. This can also leave your return on investment hidden in a myriad of fragmented, inefficient processes.

Key Steps to Lead Digital Transformation

So, if you are a CEO, here are a few key steps you can take to move forward and lead these initiatives:

  • First, discuss with your leadership team how technology will play a differentiating role in your future and acknowledge that every organization, including yours, is facing significant change.
  • Second, begin a program to map out your key business processes from beginning to end and identify how these processes could be streamlined through technology deployments. Focus on how these changes create value to your customers. Be sure to include all disciplines in this effort from sales and marketing through operations and finance.
  • Third, quantify the goals and metrics you use to measure your success and identify the programs you may need to drive adoption.
  • Fourth, recognize that your culture also will need to change to be able to quickly adapt to technology-driven advancements. Adopt an agile mode of continuous improvement as the technologies continue to open up these new possibilities.

Last but not least, recognize that you probably cannot do this alone. Carefully select and create an ecosystem of technology partners to de-risk these initiatives and augment your internal resources.  These partners will likely include consultants, software vendors, and service partners. Challenge these partners to work collaboratively across your entire technology ecosystem of internal and external resources. Share your vision with them and make sure they are invested in your success.

Previous Blog PostNext Blog Post