CIO Talk

Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Transformation

Sourabh Tiwari, CIO/IT Head, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (India)

Digitization is playing a vital role across all business sectors today as entire organisational structures and entire frameworks are being redesigned starting from employees and vendors to business partners and customers.

With the spread of digital technologies across stakeholders; CIOs, CDOs and CTOs now have to deal with the added pressure of regulating the flow of information and formulizing digital readiness inside out in the organization. His jobs involves dealing with critical component of IT strategy that are as critical from the business point of view like reliability, security, usability, performance, data and cloud. Recent innovations in connectivity, SMAC and IOT have framed the base of digital evolution and enabled businesses to reach far and wide. But with the growing infrastructure, IT leaders across organizations suffer from a few core challenges.

The first challenge in the digital journey is the consolidation of all the business components and uniting them on a Digital platform. Such a platform suits to offer a seamless customer experience and transitioning to up-to-date digital integrations. Another challenge in the initial planning phase is budget constraints, with allocation of funds being perpetual headaches. CFOs demand defined objectives right from the start which is a tough ask at this stage from the CIO. This is highlighted by the challenges arising with organisation functional silos as collaboration and alignment of business leaders for a common cause from multi-function, multiple locations, hierarchical structure and old school business traditions.

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“With the growing vitality of their role, CIOs need a clear vision which aims towards hyper productivity, availability and engagement.”

Sourabh Tiwari
Chief Information Officer
Overseas Infrastructure Alliance India


As the journey goes from the planning stages to initial phase of execution, challenges arising from capturing large amount of data from multi-channels like social, transactional, analytical and GPS, records and growing sources with multi-tools like mobility and IoT form the next issue. This has another challenge which comes hand in hand in the face of data security acceleration, process and policy acceleration and prevention of multi-secure attacks. Another universal challenge is handling system Integration and middleware solution, with lack of effective and mobilized system for digital integration creates issues with is a prerequisite costly if ignored.

A few critical steps, if kept in mind, can greatly ease the task of the CIO throughout the journey. Innovation is the bread and butter of the CIO today. All along the Digital Transformation journey, the CIO should look to partner with specialized leaders, intermediaries and companies to reshape processes, policies for building employee-employer relationships and approaching and scouting required talents. Digitization needs a revamp of overall digital infrastructure. CIOs should always look for ways to make their infrastructure leaner, more flexible, and better equipped to adapt in unpredictable markets. The approach should be towards simply getting the plan to work deliverables rather than just ROI and TCO focused parameters.

A big step towards digitization is creating a Digital Workplace culture. IOT enabled offices providing workers with a more productive environment, and beacon-enabled stores giving customers with personalized experience have shown marked improvement in business processes, gaining competitive advantage, revenue growth and increasing competitiveness. A big step towards realizing the Digital is creating a cohesive Customer Service Experience (CX) model as a differentiator. CIOs should focus on omni-channel platforms for customer journey experience. This is supported by mass customer service to mass personalisation via virtual assistants, instant messaging, mobile apps, video chats, Internet of things.

The surge in Hybrid Cloud landscape has a significant influence on digital transformation plans for organizations across business. CIOs should now seek business value additives in combining on-premise and cloud solution. The hybrid strategy offers innovative end-user features, faster provisioning, and moving on from the storage and scalability problems of legacy IT. Constantly upgrading the infrastructure through latest hardware and software refreshment enables CIOs to match steps with industry peers and competition. New age digital trends like product-as-a-service; active creation, service everywhere, personalization, community collaboration, open ecosystem and value chain disintegration should be tested for business benefits and continuous infrastructure improvement. Also worth mentioning is the blockchain revolution. The revolutionary technology has the potential to disrupt and transform the world of money, business and society as application and use-cases surge to new heights every day.

To conclude with, CIOs, with the growing vitality of their role need a clear vision which aims towards hyper productivity, availability and engagement. Only then can they truly reap the benefits of the Digital Transformation journey for their organizations.

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