A recent survey of 131 CIOs by the executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry found that lack of organizational alignment with the business ranked equally with the threat of cyber attacks and lack of funding as the thing that keeps them awake at night.

Lack of organizational alignment, according to the survey, is a bigger concern for CIOs than demonstrating return on investment, dealing with resistance to investing in new programs, or getting a seat at the table with the CEO.

The issue is especially acute in retail, which is undergoing volcanic disruption that’s creating new winners and losers seemingly overnight. That’s why it’s essential that retail teams are aligned for optimum success.

This fact inspired experts at Salesforce Commerce Cloud to develop the Retail Operations Canvas, which visually captures the key operational steps involved in establishing a successful retail enterprise. Specifically, the canvas eliminates job titles and hierarchy from the equation and helps you focus on your organization’s capabilities, decision points, and workflow, while considering the impact of possible changes on your operational strategy and individuals’ aptitudes.

The canvas takes an extended view of the traditional product-centric organization, and maps a more holistic and customer-focused perspective on an organization’s operational activities.

The document shows you how to use the Retail Operations Canvas to design the most appropriate team for your particular context. We outline situations we see in many retail operations, and walk you through how to address them using our tool. Further, we break down every function – brand development, product development, content preparation, product preparation, shopper acquisition, shopper experience, sales, fulfillment and service – and help you answer key questions that you probably haven’t previously considered.

This exercise will help you identify the specific skills and aptitudes required to perform essential functions, plotted against employees’ tasks and activities. You may find that individuals do not match the essential traits required for their role, in which case it’s time to make a change.

Retail organizations look nothing like they did ten or even five years ago. In the digital world, requirements can change before you have even finished writing a job description. As retail rapidly transforms, you cannot look to the past — or to others — to chart the best path forward.

While it might be tempting to look for best practice examples from similar brands, that is likely not the best approach for your business. Because your culture and operations are distinct, you should focus on identifying the right workflow and capabilities for your organization. You need new tools to help you assess your people, process, and technology needs in ways that help your business uniquely innovate and grow.

Then maybe CIOs can get some sleep.