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Keeping up with the demands of digital transformation

Zafirah Salim and Nurdianah Md Nur | Sept. 15, 2015
Speakers at the CIO Summit in Singapore talk about the key considerations for digital transformation and provided advice on overcoming related challenges.

Close to 200 IT leaders gathered at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on 10 September 2015 for the Singapore leg of the CIO Summit 2015 series. The event saw analysts from the IDC Asia/Pacific and thought leaders sharing pointers with delegates on how to steer their digital transformation into the right direction. 

Competing in a new digital era
The conference kick started with a presentation by Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific. According to Ng, in this new digital era, technology is at the core centre of our economy. As such, the thinking, vision, strategies and approaches to IT leadership also calls for a change. Responding to this, IDC has coined a new IT leadership framework called "IT leadership in three dimensions (3D)", which aims to help CIOs and IT executives progress on the digital transformation journey.  

Delving deeper in this model, Ng said that there are three key dimensions to it: innovation, integration and transformation. Innovation refers to the adoption of third platform technologies, and the replacement of legacy systems and processes. It fosters partnership between IT and business, harnesses millennial generation talent as well as drives open innovation.

"The motto for this dimension should be 'chasing the moon' because sky is the limit here. IT leaders need to have an open mind and think outside the box. They should build and sustain a 'fail fast' culture and process, and encourage a game-changing disruptive mindset on top of developing evolving operating, business and monetisation models," said Ng.  

Integration on the other hand, refers to IT operational management and legacy modernisation. In this dimension, the transition strategy is very important. This refers to the ability to transition from legacy to IT-enabled business innovations, and the ability to bridge the gap between 'old school' and 'new generation' of skills and mindset. Besides this, the governance process is also critical. The key idea here is "delivering and sustaining agility", emphasized Ng.

The final dimension, transformation, is considered to be the most important as it is seen as the "glue" that binds all three dimensions together. It requires IT leaders to continually evolve and develop strategy and operating models to transition future innovations and minimize disruption. According to Ng, this dimension encompasses two factors: partnership and influence. Since transformation is a partnership-led model, IT leaders have to increasingly partner with LOBs, as well as ecosystem players and partners. Additionally, IT leaders can also play a significant role to influence the entire ecosystem within their organisation.

"Digital transformation and the 'IT leadership in 3D' model are closely related and should come together. Innovation, integration and transformation must coexist, but the priority level can differ depending on an organisation's maturity level on the digital transformation journey," she concluded.  


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