By Corey Moss

For myself, 2019 will be all about perspectives, no longer about predictions. One of these perspectives is that it will no longer be about digital transformation – as I and others have long claimed – though there are those who still will into the new year.

Now more than ever it’s about a necessary focus, this in terms of pinpoint enterprise technology and advancement perspectives. I do believe that predictions have their place, especially provided by those who are more in tune with specific technology realms, true knowledge-base experts if you will. Predictions that are at times shared based in generalizations, have essentially become a wait and see proposition. We as a society, driven by technology at a most rapid pace now more than ever before, can no longer count on these.

I was told by a very good friend in the tech industry a year ago that digital transformation was buzz – I wasn’t buying it at the time. There was no prediction made on his part, only perspective – and I consider him a true technology knowledge-base expert.

Now, I have grasped it. It’s more about digital perspectives, and not really transformation at all – at least where enterprise, and the tech industry is concerned in 2019.

Why is this?

Articles are still being written about digital transformation, however just how long can this type of transformation continue to take place? There never quite seems to be an end goal to this conversation per se, mainly more in terms of speculation. Yes, an end goal does represent something that is finite in nature, yet I do believe that a transformation of this sort must be based in determinations, and not what ifs.

We talk about leadership, culture, collaboration and more – these are certainly traits for advancement and transformation, though not necessarily digital at all. Collaboration does of course involve levels of technology for interaction along with such transformation, however that is not a focal point here (it will be in future articles).

TechRepublic‘s 7 ways to accelerate digital transformation success talks about how CIOs and CEOs are increasingly leading digital transformation efforts, according to Altimeter’s annual State of Digital Transformation report. In my estimation, it has already been the CIO’s responsibility for quite some time to lead the organization on the proper digital path (along with the CTO), however where the CEO is concerned, I believe that role has to continue to be about company leadership, culture and collaboration first and foremost – more to do with the necessity for measured growth and resulting expansion. In short, ongoing success.

And honestly, if a CIO hasn’t gotten it yet – this “digital transformation” – they might never in this rapidly accelerating technology world, as a pathway must have already been established. It might even be time to give the CXO a more forefront role in the organization on the digital side. CIO and CXO in-line reports to the CEO on the digital expansion, and success side.

I will even go as far as saying that the CEO likely might not have the time to be a “digital lead” with the company or organization’s true growth success at stake. CFO’s have in certain respects taken a stake in the digital side – and I say of course, an organization always needs to be in touch with their finances to go along with such transformation. My recent story about well-funded AR startup Blippar and their crash becomes an example of this – and the CEO comes from a rich technological background. Too many can get in trouble in such a growth pattern, not paying close attention to the bottom line.

So what of the digital then, along with this transformation? What becomes a true essential factor guiding strategy for growth and expansion?

A recent Microsoft article 12 degrees of transformation: Fruit of the Loom spots winter’s actual arrival – in the data looks at transformation through a data perspective – this being the digital representation.

A passage:

To crack those unknowns, the team collected store-level, inventory metrics from a Fruit of the Loom national retail partner. They compared those numbers with 10-day temperature forecasts, supplied by AccuWeather, covering cities served by the retailer. The forecast analysis focused on October and November, Rogers says.

The data scientists used Microsoft SQL Server to process the vast datasets and Microsoft Azure machine learning to model the data and pinpoint the temperature change that prompts consumers to act: 12 degrees within six says.

The information was promptly put to use.

For this digital perspective, it’s all about data, speed, and relevant insights.

“And with this data, if you know the temperature is going to drop by 12 degrees next week, you may want to stop that planned promotion and save yourself a lot of money,” according to Jim Yang, a Microsoft data scientist and part of the Microsoft team that collaborated with Fruit of the Loom.

Which brings us to the next important executive role – the Chief Data Officer.

chief data officer (CDO) is a corporate officer responsible for enterprise wide governance and utilization of information as an asset, via data processing, analysis, data mining, information trading and other means. CDOs report mainly to the chief executive officer (CEO). Depending on the area of expertise this can vary. CDO is a member of the executive management team and manager of enterprise-wide data processing & data mining. *

Where so much reliance is given to the CIO and CEO in an enterprise company or organization, it appears that the CDO has truly become one of the most important roles for advancement and growth. You need look no further than the statement “information as an asset” to understand that what we know of data as a most important provider of targeted information for successful growth – is a real basis for transformation.

Digital tranformation here becomes data transformation – a true perspective for 2019. The CEO needs to focus mainly on a company or organization’s leadership, culture, and collaboration (and even step back somewhat from the technological, even if he or she has a tech background), and the CDO, CIO and CXO in tandem become the main internal leaders of this new transformation and growth. The CTO rounds this out with a scientific and technology-driven internal role.

Data is the new currency – take that to the bank. I’ll bet the CFO will.

*Wikipedia – Chief Data Officer.

Note: Header and Transformation images – CC0 Creative Commons via Pixabay.

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk, Convergent Week and The AV Tech Trade. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn