Gartner Digital-Transformation Roadmap Advice Aimed at CSCOs

Gartner Advice on Digital Transformation Roadmaps Designed to Help Under-Pressure CSCOs Seeking to Turn Digital Ambitions Into Business-Aligned Goals

Gartner has published a guide to help supply chain leaders create a digital transformation roadmap, including common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

The company has produced its supply chain roadmap guide to help chief supply chain officers navigate the complex and time-consuming process of digitalisation.

“CSCOs are under pressure to digitalise the supply chain,” the report says, “but many struggle to translate this ambition into an understandable, easily communicated and business-aligned digital transformation roadmap.”

Supply chain digital transformation is designed to mitigate supply chain risk and optimise cost but, says Gartner, “requires strong alignment between business and supply chain strategy to succeed”.

It adds that, to succeed, the process also requires:

  • Technical skills, including advanced analytics
  • Business skills, such as cross-functional collaboration and data-driven decision making
  • Demanding behaviours, such as adaptability and risk taking.

In its report, Gartner points out that a digital supply chain roadmap should be a multi-year plan for supply chain technology investment to support business growth. 

Digitalisation roadmaps should address short- & long-term goals

The best roadmaps, it continues, address both short-term improvements and strategic long-term vision. Gartner outlines the following steps to creating an effective digital supply chain roadmap.

  1. Identify supply chain’s objectives for supporting digital optimisation and transformation
  2. Determine changes in supply chain’s capabilities and processes
  3. Prioritise investments in technology
  4. Create a plan to address supply chain’s digital talent gaps
  5. Determine a governance framework and finalise supply chain’s roadmap

Gartner also outlines the objective of a meaningful roadmap. These include:

  • The business’s digital transformation and optimisation goals align with the supply chain’s capabilities.
  • The CSCO and supply chain technology leaders can assess the implications of new digital technology on the business model and supply chain operating model, including capabilities, talent and processes.
  • Supply chain has a multiyear plan for technology investments to support business growth.
  • The CSCO can assess the current digital competencies and skills of their staff and identify where to focus on building these further.

It also goes on to discuss common problems faced by supply chain leaders seeking to digitalise:

  • Too much focus on quick supply chain wins  CSCOs, says Gartner, have a tendency to react to market opportunity at all costs.
  • Experimenting with new tech in isolation  Many CSCOs do not understand their role in the organisation’s digital journey, says Gartner, and as a result, experiment with disruptive technologies in isolation, leading to wasted effort and delays.
  • Prioritising tech investments  Because they assume digitalisation mainly involves tech investment, CSCOs often fail to develop the capabilities that drive digital transformation.

Among the world's top digital supply chains are those of Schneider, Cisco Systems, Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson. 

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