Are Managers Equipped – in terms of skills, competencies and courage to lead a digital transformation?
Digital Transformation requires strong managerial skills leadership. They must also possess a strong understanding of their specific capabilities and how their organization uses information. Pearlson, Saunders, & Galletta (2016) state that a manager in today’s world needs to understand these concepts with the same understanding of how to obtain and budget financial resources.
Traditional business functions such as operations, accounting, finance, sales and marketing has become interwoven with information technology. Information systems permeate into every aspect of a business, and therefore touches every employee in some form. Strong managers realize this, and do not leave decisions regarding their company’s information technology solely to their IT departments. Strong leaders also realize that a company’s informational needs may vary across the organizational chart and different levels of management may require different informational technologies (Pearlson, Saunders, & Galletta, 2016). It is not the responsibility of the IT departments to make decisions on how and what technology their business needs.
To address the question, “are managers equipped – in terms of skills, competencies and courage to lead a digital transformation”, my response would be it depends. This is evident by the shear fact that some companies succeed and some fail. Many of these failures can be traced back to poor decisions regarding digital transformations, while the opposite is true for successful companies. The Information Systems Strategy Triangle (Pearlson, Saunders, & Galletta, 2016) provides a framework on the impact of information systems on businesses. Just as important is a manager’s ability to lead their organization through ever changing informational systems across their business ecosystems. A good model to reference is the Eras model (Pearlson, Saunders, & Galletta, 2016, p34) which, “summarizes the evolution of information resources over the past six decades”. The leaders of today who have a firm understanding of these concepts will be successful in leading their organizations through the next era.
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Pearlson, K. E., Saunders, C. S., & Galletta, D. F. (2016). Managing and Using Information Systems A Strategic Approach 6th Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons