Digital Transformation? Your Essential Checklist

Being at the forefront of both tactical and strategic responses to the Pandemic, the role of the CIO has never been in sharper focus. Effective and forward-thinking CIOs will not only have helped ensure the survival of their business but will be demonstrating how the future transformation of technology will deliver significant and sustainable change.

Now is the time for the CIO to shine!

Against the current backdrop, digital transformation remains key – it will be a major factor in the success or failure businesses experience as they emerge from the current, challenging trading conditions. However, this must be balanced against budgets, resourcing, security, and BAU.

The following three areas will be key, and essential to the success of the business. Whilst the CIO may lead the transformation in these areas, they must be fully enabled at ExCo level to ensure complete success and alignment with the overall business drivers.

  1. Increase revenue growth through new and existing channels

Prior to the Pandemic, digital channels were an important part of the Technology infrastructure, and one that was often seen as the most important when it came to revenue generation. Now, not only does it play a key part in growth, but it also plays an even bigger part in survival! Some CIOs had grasped this early on, others are now realising the opportunity. To move from ‘Tactical’ to ‘Strategic’ however requires a longer-term view, and no small degree of entrepreneurialism.

The world is no longer what it once was. There is no guarantee that what worked last year will work this. Indeed, there are some examples of changes in buying behaviour meaning change is required. It is crucial therefore that the Board empowers those below them to drive these much needed and business critical changes.

Now is the time to re-examine all previous assumptions with a new, open minded point of view. There are no Sacred Cows. This opens an enormous new opportunity for creative CIOs. How can the technology continue to support BAU, yet deliver to a new and sometimes frightening external market? Transforming the Digital Channel should enable strong alignment with existing platforms yet provide that essential foundation for increased growth.

  1. Cost Control

Cost control or cost optimisation is on everyone’s lips. Doing more with less has never been more important. Not only with people resources, but also in a ‘new’ normal which may also affect the Target Operating Model, Facilities, and even global locations.  Many of our clients have retail stores with no footfall, food and beverage outlets without customers, buses and trains without passengers. It is fair to say all sectors and functions expect to be negatively affected on budgets, but CIOs are also under pressure to deliver growth on top of this. Is your technology function considered as a sunk P&L, or as a profit centre?

Strong budget management, together with ensuring your team are fully aligned with the challenges, will ensure a ‘team’ approach to delivery. Review of all existing platforms, support agreements, licence agreements and general outgoings will all be required – nothing should be off limits.

It is also key for CIOs to now be exceptional managers. You may have distributed teams and may not have had a face to face conversation for some months. Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand that there is no one size fits all solution. Some of your team will be enjoying the change in scene, others will struggle being out of the office. The team will so much more effective, and much more creative in terms of cost optimisation, if you find ways to be inclusive and mindful of their individual circumstances.

  1. Business resilience

The new operating conditions has meant existing systems are being put under significant stress. The requirement to urgently change infrastructure in March last year has meant that there are now parts of that infrastructure which are now more at risk than before. New ways of working, home-based colleagues, remote working contact centres all allow for bad actors, be they organised or opportunistic, to gain access to the life blood of any organisation, Data!

Bring in outside or external consultants to review your security – a fresh pair of eyes may identify something that has previously been overlooked. With the year that everyone has gone through, there is no blame to having missed anything in the heat of emergency planning, but now is the time to put that right and effect a positive and resilient transformation.

I something in this article has resonated with you. If you’d like to discuss it, confidentially discuss how Norman Broadbent Change and Transformation could help you deliver significant and sustainable business change and business benefits, please contact me, Mike Davies, on 07411 686616 or via email at