Digital leaders and the transformation of the IT function

Jostein Engesmo, Niki Panteli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With digital transformation attracting increasing attention, our study is motivated by a need to understand the impact on the transformation of the Information Technology (IT) function in pre-digital organisations. In particular, we present in this paper a qualitative study that aims to examine how digital transformation influences the IT organisational structure and leadership in pre-digital organisations. The empirical study is based on a series of semi-structured interviews with digital leaders across a range of organisations and sectors in the UK and Scandinavia. We find four different categories of both IT organisational structure and leadership following digital transformation initiatives: managing digital as projects within the IT function; managing the IT and digital functions separately with separate leaders; managing IT and digital within one function with dual leadership; and managing the IT and digital functions together with a single leader. The study has both theoretical and practical implications for the management of digital transformation and the IT function.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2021

Cite this