Digital Transformation Reimagined: Insights from the HMG Strategy CIO Summit 2017

Digital Transformation Panel, including Ramon Baez, CIO's from Abbott Labs, Baxter International, Crowe Horwarth LLP, CMO from Alfresco, and Practically Digital CEO Rob McGillen

Digital Transformation Panel, including Ramon Baez, CIO's from Abbott Labs, Baxter International, Crowe Horwarth LLP, CMO from Alfresco, and Practically Digital CEO Rob McGillen

This week HMG Strategy and their local partner SIM Chicago, hosted a CIO Leadership summit in Chicago that focused on digital transformation and how enterprises can successfully adopt for their own business.    Being part of a great speaker panel on the discussion today, the pearls of wisdom shared are worth passing on.      

7 key insights from the assembled digital leadership:

1.     Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination – while stating the obvious - focusing on digital strategy (and transformation) as a singular activity or deliverable is missing the opportunity.  Digital transformation and the strategy to achieve it is business specific, and keeping in mind that the journey will have achievement points (goals), and transformation journeys (projects and sprints) - an important perspective to embrace. 

2.     Transformation success takes executive alignment – a key theme from many of the speakers today is the importance of executive sponsorship and alignment of digital transformation with the CIO / CDO in a company.   Whether an enterprise mission statement and a reoccurring dialog, or spending time frequently with the leadership team on the digital needs – alignment is crucial to success.

3.     Cyber-security is a major factor to the transformation journey – and should not be under invested.  The continuous attempts against all organizations (commercial, government, and academic / not for profit) to breach and disrupt needs to be a crucial factor in your digital changes.   Defense is no longer enough – offensive considerations need to be considered when your company is clearly under assault. 

4.     Customer focus is key, and partnering with Marketing and Sales is crucial to aligning the IT organization with the revenue generating streams of the business.   Digital is not about a platform or ‘new app’ – it is about the customer experience, brand alignment, and enabling the customer journey / experience.   Ensuring your marketing leadership and IT are aligned are important components of the successful digital transformation.

5.     Culture matters Realizing the importance of culture and ensuring everyone understands and feels part of the digital journey within the company.    Ensuring the balancing act between customer experience (#4 above) and internal culture attenuation to the digital change are equally important. 

6.     Differentiate your business with digital – identify how your company can be different in the market is crucial to your digital transformation journey.    Use digital business platforms work to your advantage (Marketing centric, Sales Centric, delivery and collaboration centric are all good areas to focus on) in that differentiation journey.   

7.     Stay digitally current – continuous digital awareness is crucial for IT leadership to be useful and influential to the broader business objectives.  Being part of organizations (including SIM Chicago) and continuously educating yourself on the new trends of digital are a must in the digital journey.   

8.     Start now – digital transformation is not waiting on a business unit or a leadership objective – it is happening in every area of your business today.  Start now in your digital leadership efforts, focusing on the journey for the company and your customers!

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