Digitisation to Digitalisation to Digital Transformation, it’s a journey every organisation is on, really by evolution rather than choice or genuine innovation. While digitisation was simply the analog to digital conversion of files, digitalisation emancipated the business operational processes to create speed and efficiency. While it makes sense to say that most companies should be brainstorming on their digital transformation journey, the reality is that only a few have embraced the inevitable change.
“Use the symptoms to find the root cause of the problems,” said Glen McLatchie, CIO of SKYCITY Entertainment Group in a keynote presentation at the recent CIO-CISO Leaders Summit in Melbourne, evaluating on how to approach Digital transformation and demystify it into a simple solution understandable by everyone in the business. The importance of a good approach involves identifying risks of cybersecurity attacks, risk of tech failure and risk of technology inhibiting strategic growth opportunities within the business. The ultimate success will be based on how well the story of digital transformation is told and how much buy-in has been secured from both management and employees. SKYCITY organised exciting trade show like events within their IT department for employees and business leaders to attend and experience first-hand what was in store for the future. Glen’s parting message of “tell the story constantly and take the jazz hands out of digital transformation” resonated well with the audience.
As defined by Gartner, Digital Transformation is “the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds.” Moving from brick and mortar citadels to the screens (or eyeballs? – you must be thinking smart contact lens!) of customers is a concept which sounds sci-fi-ish, but whether you run a burger shop, a soft drinks company or are a circuit board manufacturer, the sooner your organisation embraces the nuances of getting there ,the more realistic is the chances of even survival in the next 10 years. “Share the success stories to the Board from your experience, and once they validate that with their network of directors in the industry, you would have created unshakeable trust in your ambition and plans on the digital transformation journey”, said Travis Stow, Chief Information Officer for Sigma Healthcare at the CIO-CISO Leaders Summit in Melbourne on his thoughts on getting exec buy-ins for digital transformation projects.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result – Albert Einstein
Companies established as recent as 10-12 years ago are grappling with their ‘legacy’ systems and processes to enable change management projects. Leaders like Microsoft, Nike, Home Depot, Target, etc. went through the rigorous process of ‘self-assessment’ and ‘digital transformation’ in the last few years. While there was a notable impact on their revenue during transformation, the eventual spikes in their stock prices and market cap shows that it’s paying ample dividends and at the same time delighting customers with a refreshing user experience. There is obviously no silver bullet that makes your organisation ‘digitally transformed’ and is an ongoing customer-driven strategic business transformation resulting from cross-functional organisational changes enabled by technology innovation and implementation. It’s a planned execution of a gamut of variables simultaneously from Organisational Culture, Executive buy-in, Operational Agility, Multi-platform integration, culminating in providing the best customer friendly service or product in the market.
When Netflix, Uber, Airbnb entered the market, they came in with the latest in digital interface technologies direct to their customers. Want to activate and deploy your idle cars and unused extra bedrooms into extra cash? ah yes Thank you Sir! Tesla’s Over the Air (OTA) updates and the software upgrades to your Netflix or Airbnb for apps fixes/upgrades means goodbye to the local mechanic or real estate agent charges. It makes you wonder if the Innovation teams at Blockbuster, 13CABS, etc had thought about a digital transformation strategy.
The lines are blurring between the responsibilities of the CMO and the CIO in organisations. The budgets for marketing automation, IoT (Internet of Things) things, CRM upgrades, Data analytics-based insights-driven decision-making needs, etc. are now creating that grey area of who owns the customer-centric strategic investments; Marketing or IT? Recent news streams are proving that some industries have already spoken; UBER, McDonalds, and J&J are first to eliminate the grey area between marketing and IT by making the CMO roles redundant. Reading between the lines, the CIO’s role has evolved into a revenue and profit generation one by executing strategies moulded around the most important and core focus of every business – THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
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