Article - IT

From digitalization to business value creation:
Five steps to navigating the transformation journey

By Jade Gamlin|23rd February 2023

IT leaders face a number of challenges in 2023. Cost pressures, the need to innovate, changing employee and customer expectations and, of course, ever more demanding business requirements – not least when it comes to demand for digital transformation delivery. But what are the realities, expectations, success factors and capability investments needed in order to achieve true business value creation? 

New York Power Authority CIO, Rob Piascik, opened our first CIO summit of the year with his thoughts on how to successfully drive digitization in any business.  

1. Get real

Understand where you are on the spectrum of digitization before continuing on the journey. Are you digitizing – moving from analogue to digital, are you digitalizing – applying digital capabilities to processes, such as automation, or are you digitally transforming – altering the way your company functions through the operating model and the product suite. Once you’re clear where you are now, it’s easier to see a pathway forward.  

2. Make a case for transformation

Create a compelling business case with clear objectives, whether that’s increased speed to market, improved efficiencies, better productivity, flexibility, security or attracting the best talent and communicate it well. Tell the story of what’s in it for everyone involved.  

3. Stakeholder management

Digital transformation is a journey that needs to be supported from the top, therefore it’s important to get buy in from, and address how it will affect, the C-suite and board of directors. It must also take into account customers and the organization as a whole, and the incremental progress they can expect. Be transparent about how things are proceeding and adopt flexible strategies to address any roadblocks across technology, the workforce and the products.  

4. Change management and governance

Invest time in addressing how the organization is brought along with the transformation journey and how they will receive the new technologies. It’s important to take shared ownership over governance, rather than rely on IT to manage it. Instead, agree the prioritization across departments and don’t be afraid to reach out for help, whether that’s internally or externally or through third parties and consulting firms.  

5. Consider the ‘Total Experience’

Formulate how the transformation will affect everyone that touches it to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets business objectives. It must consider the cross-channel organizational experience, how the user interacts with the product or service design and functionality, the quality of customer interactions across the journey, the employee experience as well as how vendors can interact with systems, services and employees.  

So, where should we invest to take our digital capabilities to the next level? Piascik recommends building foundations in data management first and foremost, as that’s what provides the intelligence and will be critical to the transformation. Then follows cyber security, product management, automation and enterprise architecture. And, while building these core elements, be sure to incorporate investments in your workforce, he says. With talent moving at such a rapid rate, employees must be supported and curated to ensure the organization is supported with the right skillsets. We’re living in an age where all employees need to have digital capabilities, therefore the tools they’re using must be native and user-friendly to ensure an excellent employee experience and high degrees of efficiency and productivity.  

The Outlook

Digital transformation takes a lot of work to get right, but once the foundations are laid, you begin to reap the rewards through increased resiliency. A hybrid cloud environment alone will present scalability, agility, the ability to leverage a suite of partners with different digital offerings and provide increased business continuity in the event of a cyber-attack.  

Want to hear more? 

GDS Summits are tailored 3-day virtual event conferences that bring together business leaders and solution providers to accelerate sales cycles, industry conversations and outcomes. Regarding the CIO Summits 88% of Delegates said the overall experience of Digital Summit they attended was either Above Average or Excellent whilst 92% of Delegates said the Digital Summit provided them with actionable outcomes to support their current initiatives.​ 

For more, click here to hear from attendees on how GDS has helped them to achieve their business outcomes. 

Continue the debate at GDS’ CIO Summits where we bring together senior IT executives who are actively seeking to share, learn, engage, and find the best solutions. 

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