The various facets of Digital Governance

The Chief Digital Officer’s (CDO) or the Chief Technology Officer’s (CTO) office would, more often than not, be tasked with the implementation of various digital initiatives (digitization of existing processes, new products, new processes of customer / partner interaction in  context to the customer / partner life cycle).

The sheer disruption in scope and scale, transgression of organizational boundaries, and the involvement of various functions calls for the absolute imperative of Digital Governance. In many digital transformations, Digital Governance is an afterthought; sometimes less than a thought. Some of the areas that a Digital Governance program should encompass are:
  • Business architecture: The form and shape of the organization that is to undergo Digital Transformation. The design / redesign / re-engineering of new or existing business processes those affect or are affected by digital initiatives and digital transformation
  • Digital strategy: A common view across digital initiatives of what the organization is trying to achieve in the short/medium and long term and how. Prioritize customer intimacy / revenue / operational efficiency impacts and draft digital roadmaps based on these. Assist other arms of Digital Governance on product, process and digitization choices based on their impact on the organization’s digital goals. The digital strategy arm should also quantify and qualify the impact of each digital initiative, in as granular a manner as possible
  • Technology architecture governance: The form and shape of the functional components that are required to undertake digital transformation. The tool and technology choices and trade-offs, including the infrastructure choices and trade-offs. The ideal enterprise architecture that digital transformation is intending to achieve or should be referenced against. The technology investment quantified and qualified and referenced against the intimacy / revenue / operational efficiency impacts of each digital initiative
  • Change management governance: Often neglected but absolutely imperative to manage the impact of change on people and associate dimensions. Includes aspects of a communication strategy / plan to put the whys, hows and impacts of the Digital Transformation and initiatives in plain speak, thereby soothing any frayed nerves, enlist support and cooperation and start creating a vision of how the digital organization or a digital process would look like. Includes a well-thought out change management strategy / plan for up skilling, reskilling and impact on individual jobs, roles and responsibilities. Should also deal with the KRAs and measurement parameters that the digital organization and its associates will be measured against
  • Program governance: Manage the digital roadmap, track progress of the digital journey’s health, diagnose  and give a prognosis of blips in the digital journey along with requisite corrections
  • A digital governance board: An overall CX-level board that oversees all these governance tracks, resolves ambiguities and conflicts, tracks achievements and ROI against the quantitative and qualitative benefits and investments visualized, and has overall responsibility for the digital transformation

A CDO’s office for Digital Transformation or an empowered CTO’s office are but precursors to Digital Governance, the necessity of digital governance, however, cannot be overstated.

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