CIOs are the culture change agents to drive digital dexterity in the workplace

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The Cape Town leg of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is currently underway, and the annual event is focused largely on CIOs and the increasingly significant role they play in the success of their organisations, specifically when it comes to digitalisation and the embracing of technology.

This holds true as society and business increasingly consume and produce digital goods and services, making a digitally dexterous workforce essential to foster agility, collaboration and the adoption of new digital technologies, the research firm adds.

It has therefore fallen to the CIO to the change agent for digital dexterity in the workforce, Gartner adds.

“The digital component of most jobs is increasing. Technical skills are important, but are not enough to steer a successful digital business transformation,” says Helen Poitevin, research VP at Gartner.

“Business and IT leaders need to employ the right talent with a specific set of mindsets, beliefs and behaviours — which we call digital dexterity — to launch, finish and capitalise on digital initiatives,” she adds.

The payoff from being digital dexterous can be significant, according to Poitevin, as employees with high levels of digital dexterity are more than three times more likely to gain value from digital initiatives than those with moderate digital dexterity.

“They are quicker to launch, finish and obtain the outcomes they seek from digital initiatives,” the research VP highlights.

To help their employees to develop digital dexterity traits, business leaders need to build them up by enabling enterprise agility and developing digital competencies. This, as Gartner illuminates, is made all the more important considering 29 percent of CIOs in 2019 viewed digital business as a top priority.

CIOs are not allow in leading this culture change, with HR officers being a welcome partner in this mission, the research firm explains.

Increasingly, it’s the responsibility of the CIO to operationalise the enterprise culture and the prevalence of digital dexterity in the workplace. The CIO will play a key role in supporting desired behaviours and changing the processes, procedures, policies and management practices that shape how work gets done to encourage desired behaviours,” notes senior research director Daniel Sanchez Reina. 

“This will only happen by applying a framework of culture change, which includes increasing the digital dexterity of the entire organisation,” he continues.

To that end Gartner introduced the PRISM (purpose, rituals, identity, support and merit) framework to enable organisations to change cultural traits that prevent a culture change

“PRISM works because it allows organisations to raise employee’s awareness on the need for change. That is the one and only key to success,” concludes Sanchez Reina.

[Image – Photo by LYCS Architecture on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.