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The changing role of the CEO

​​​​​​Digital transformation is not "just" an IT project, and neither should it be born and bred in the IT department. Digital transformation reaches into all areas of the business, and this is why it is crucial for successful transformation that top management is at the forefront of the digital project.

Digital transformation is not just about digitalizing a few services or internal processes. Digital transformation, which is intended to prepare companies for the realities of a digital world, has far-reaching consequences for a company that wants to be a digital leader in the market. Technology is only a part of the project: Customer contact, the organization, and even the core business model are all potential arenas for change – a change which should be enabled by technology. 

This is why the CEO of the company needs to be at the forefront of digital transformation, and must know how to organize the company so it is able to:

  • think technology into all products and services

  • introduce new business models via technology

  • work in an agile way – with short-term strategies that can be adapted to rapid change

  • react innovatively and proactively to new opportunities and challenges.

The CEO needs digital know-how

​The new role of the CEO requires a good deal of technological insight. The CEO can no longer leave this to the IT department or the CIO. The digital leader may not necessarily understand exactly how a particular technology works, but they must understand its importance for the business and how such technology can be incorporated into the company’s culture, services and processes. This means that the new role of digital leader will often take place in close collaboration with the CIO who, instead of doing the traditional IT department tasks, will now be more of a digital coach, teacher and ambassador for both the CEO and the business-supporting solutions. This will enable the CEO to make informed decisions. Read more about the new role of the CIO here.

Put people at the center

​Digital transformation, however, primarily involves people: the customers and the company's employees.

Internally, digital CEOs need to focus on managing, strengthening and nursing the organization into a position where they can react to a highly changeable environment. This requires direction, strategy and clear plans to keep everyone on the same track. But the digital reality also requires a readiness for sudden change and an ability to mediate this readiness across the organization.

Externally – towards customers – digital CEOs need to have a deep insight into customer behavior and preferences. Only in this way, will they be able to launch the right digital projects.

The Digital CEO needs to:

  • ​show direction, and set out an agile strategy for the whole organization in a highly changeable environment

  • prioritize and sort through the countless technological opportunities that are constantly being changed, outdated, refined and upgraded

  • bridge the gap between the digital natives and the digital immigrants

  • establish a culture, which allows and trial by error

  • stay updated, remain well-informed, and continuously adapt the organization and its skills for the new realities of tomorrow. ​

Demand a solid technical foundation

This calls for a solid technical foundation that can support adaptability and an agile approach towards the market, as well as providing the necessary insight to react quickly and accurately. A cloud-based business system offers just that flexibility and insight. 

With a solution in the cloud, the company can quickly scale up or down as necessary - without worrying about server capacity and computing power. With cloud-based Business Intelligence, the company can gain deep insights into the market and give service to its customers in real time.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 combines ERP, CRM, BI and office tools into one powerful, cloud-based solution that contains everything that a company needs for digital transformation. You can read more about D365 here.​ 



Jesper Bagh+45 3079 ​​Head of Cloud Service Development Bagh