What is a Construction Chief Transformation Officer?
by Evan Hill | September 24, 2021
The role of Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), sometimes labeled as Chief Digital Officer, continues to gain traction post-pandemic as more companies adopt digital solutions and embark on fundamental changes that will sustain their processes. Propelling these changes further is the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes new funding streams for owners interested in digital transformation.
Watch: Gain Confidence in Managing Your Infrastructure Projects with e-Builder
While maintaining good communication with all stakeholders is a CTO’s primary role, to be successful, a CTO must strike the right balance between a ‘change’ cheerleader and motivator—a visionary who keeps short-term and long-term milestones in mind and can see final goals clearly.
The role of Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), sometimes labeled as Chief Digital Officer, continues to gain traction post-pandemic as more companies adopt digital solutions...
And in case you’re not entirely familiar with “digital transformation”, it is the process of changing how organizations interact with their customers through technology. It can also be the use of technology to enhance internal processes to make them more efficient. Beyond these two basic applications, digital transformation can encompass a broad variety of initiatives.
What Skills Should a Chief Transformation Officer Have?
Here are a few essential skills every CTO should have:
Because CTOs work with everyone from C-suite to entry-level employees, they need to be genuinely good at collaborating with others, striking the right balance between bringing people along and respecting their need for consistency. The CTO must have the versatility to unite stakeholders behind a common goal and keep the transformation moving forward at a steady pace.
Digital transformation involves significant financial investment for an organization of any size. The CTO must acknowledge this, and maintain a firm understanding of available resources, budgets, and spending—and keep that record updated along the way to make sure the plan stays on track and on budget.
The CTO needs to act as a role model and visionary who consistently reminds stakeholders of the promise of digital transformation and how it will simplify their workflows. The process of implementing new digital tools can be tedious and complex, so the CTO must remind employees of the benefits they will soon reap. The best CTOs can maintain their calm in the face of frustrations or negative feedback and remind stakeholders that things will get much easier post-implementation.
Focus on Results
As transformation is underway, the CTO must also keep an eye on project goals and customer service, ensuring that standards of quality are still being met even in the midst of the digital transformation. CTOs should proactively explore ways digital transformation within the organization will impact its customers—once implemented, how will it improve their experience? How will it speed workflows and processes? This information will be helpful for motivating all those involved during the implementation phase.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Having a Chief Transformation Officer?
Pros of Chief Transformation Officers
Enhanced Processes & Technology
With a CTO on the team, you have a dedicated role to manage the digital transformation process from start to finish. They can navigate the turbulent path and create a digital highway where there was once a dirt road. CTOs are responsible for bringing digital goals to fruition to enable your business to run more efficiently but also to stay ahead of the competition.
Every organization strives for employees and processes that perform faster, smarter, and more efficiently. And the best way to realize that objective is to have CTOs drive home the benefits of innovative solutions that make it easier for employees to perform their jobs—organizations can’t deny the value of streamlined processes, documentation, and internal collaboration.
Improved Customer Engagement
Smart organizations invest time and money in identifying how to increase loyalty and customer retention. A CTO tasked with understanding the customer’s journey and behavior can create a digital transformation plan that does both.
Invested in the Future
Organizations that hire a Chief Transformation Officer are essentially announcing their commitment to invest in its livelihood, i.e., its customers, processes, and people. At the end of the day, it's not just the CTOs that will be evaluated by how they overcome the technical, methodical, and cultural challenges that change over time, but how organizations as a whole approach the quest for digital business transformation.
Cons of Chief Transformation Officers
Some organizations may attempt to embark on their digital transformation before clear end goals have been established. For example, will the proposed changes help you increase your revenue growth or gain higher consumer engagement or both? This is where it becomes necessary for a CTO to help define business KPIs and become the anchor of the digital transformation process.
People Fear Change
Digital transformation can sometimes carry a negative connotation, generally in circumstances where the organization’s overarching goals have not been communicated clearly or frequently. Plainly speaking, people tend to fear change. So, the CTO and all vested stakeholders should provide a unified front and supply reassurance that the proposed transformation will not only benefit the organization, but also those affected by the change.
Ultimately, there is a delicate balance that a CTO must achieve between internal and external facing digital transformation objectives—spending too much or not enough time on one or the other—and the customer experience, or pace of innovation and growth can potentially suffer.
Chief Transformation Officers in Construction Management
Because large organizations are multi-layered and complex, a CTO can help clear the way for big changes. That’s certainly the case in construction, where teams are often working separately—contractors on a jobsite versus designers in an office, for example—and might not have built-in avenues to communicate easily.
In construction companies, a CTO’s job is to see the big picture and understand how the digital transformation will impact each worker’s role. They should be able to look ahead, anticipate potential problems or misunderstandings before they happen, and deal with them proactively.
Whether they’re overseeing a shift toward paperless drawings and document management, digitizing processes for operations and procurement with construction management software, or implementing onsite technologies such as asset or punch list tracking, the CTO plays a key role in leading their organization toward successful adoption of digital innovations.
- Infrastructure Bill: Get Smart, Get Started, Get Funded
- Infrastructure: Gain Confidence in Managing Your Infrastructure Projects
- Get Smart: Capital Guide Overview based on White House’s Funding Guide
- The Definitive Guide to Digital Transformation for Owners of Capital Improvement Programs
- Blog: Breaking Down Infrastructure Funding for The American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
- 25 Competitive Infrastructure Funding Opportunities for Local Governments, Fact Sheet by the White House
Key Topics Covered: infrastructure