Enterprises around the globe are under pressure to drive digital transformation processes that enhance efficiency and employee productivity in the workplace. According to a recent survey from Gartner, top-performing businesses are already taking the right steps toward digitization, with 34 percent of their IT budget being spent on these processes, with plans to increase that to 44 percent by 2018.

However, the journey towards digital transformation in the enterprise has proven not to be an easy one, with many lacking the information-related skills needed to be successful. To best adapt and lead the charge, CIOs must take on this role. Here are the necessary steps they must follow to do so successfully:

Be Ready to Wear Multiple Hats to Serve The Business

The CIO’s role is more than just leading the organization’s IT department, but one that understands every aspect of the business to best lead digital initiatives. Today’s CIO must be able to advise executives and managers on the latest technology trends that could enhance operational excellence, and provide the C-Suite and the board with the real-time insights and analytics needed to make strategic technology decisions. Further, the CIO must always drive business value by consistently leading with an agile and collaborative approach, all while ensuring all databases, programs, and assets are secure.

Until the CIO can prove they can do all of these critical tasks, they cannot lead a successful digital transformation in the workplace that will be supported by the C-Suite and Lines of Business. To be successful, the CIO must be adaptable to rapid change and know how to collect and analyze data to deliver maximum benefit to their business users. Ultimately, this person must set the vision and tone for the department, and inspire and lead non-technical executives towards the benefit of digital transformation.

Lead the Charge By Bridging the Technical and Business Gap 

To drive a successful digital transformation, the CIO must collaborate with all Lines of Business users across the enterprise. By keeping open lines of communication and receiving input from all technical and non-technical users in the organization, CIOs can ultimately lead the charge of breaking down existing data silos and improving workplace efficiency with technology.

As the head of the company’s IT department, the CIO should be able to bridge the gap that these silos have created and demonstrate an understanding of business that will translate to mobile and digital processes.

Embrace Collaboration to Meet the Digital Needs of Business Users

One of the most common problems in any enterprise is that IT and Lines of Business do not often work together. Working in silos often leads to increased tensions between departments and a lack of understanding of what each other does on a daily basis. The role of the CIO is to integrate themselves into every aspect of the business,  understand each department’s challenges they face, and address how IT can best serve them to enhance productivity.

The separation of developing a business strategy and developing a technology strategy in the enterprise no longer exists. Today, a mixed approach that integrates digital needs with workflow processes led by a business-minded and technology-minded leader is necessary. Beyond their tech skills, CIOs must mobilize and be a force for change in all areas of the organization including finance and revenue, customer satisfaction and user experience.

Through digital transformation, CIOs have the opportunity to play a key role in bridging the gap between departments in the company, enhancing collaboration, and fully participating in driving internal and external value.