At last year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Cape Town, the research firm unpacked several concepts and trends that CIOs will need to bear mind over the coming years. One of them included the need to implement and champion culture change within their organisations.

Now the firm’s latest research points to the fact that this will become a growing need by 2021. More specifically over the next two years CIOs will need to take on the role of chief HR officers (CHRO) if they intend to lead a successful digital transformation for their business.

As much as 80 percent of medium to large-sized businesses will change their culture as a means of accelerating their digital transformation strategy, with 67 percent already in the process of doing so, according to Gartner.

Going through changes

A lot of CIOs have realised that culture can be an accelerator of digital transformation and that they have the means to reinforce a desired culture through their technology choices,” notes Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner.

“A partnership with the CHRO is the perfect way to align technology selections and design processes to shape the desired work behaviours,” she adds. 

Previously the values and mission of an organisation fell under the purview of HR managers, but as every business is a digital one these days, the role that IT can play in organisational culture means that this is no longer the case.

“A great way to jump-start culture change and enable adoption of new technologies and processes is the culture hack. Start with a small, motivated user group and use it to showcase fast wins and results,” Olding points out.

“In 50 per cent of cases, transformational initiatives are clear failures and CIOs report that the main barrier is culture. The logical conclusion is that CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later,” adds Christie Struckman, research vice president at Gartner.

With digital transformation something that every business is concerning itself with, it’s clear that if your CIO isn’t contemplating how to hack the culture of the organisation, they definitely need to less you run the risk of quickly being left behind by others.

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