Digital Vanguard – riding the wave of disruption

Date: December 2019
Author: Viney Hora and Narain Chutijirawong

The business world is being challenged and transformed by new technologies, these new forces are redefining the way we interact with our customers, and their expectation on how we deliver the experience as well as their preferences. Digital transformation is commonly known and recognized by almost every business, it is not an option anymore but rather becoming a strategic initiative to make sure that company will still be relevant to the market.

To ride on the wave of disruption, it is always easier to said than done. In fact, many incumbents, especially those are very successful, preoccupied with the status quo, doesn’t recognize that the ground beneath it is shifting. Patterns of disruption are not easily seen, let’s alone to be predictive.

Therefore, the firms must ensure that they are always ready and prepared for either defending its position or playing an offense role in digital disruption. From the Deloitte global CIO survey, we have identified a set of key characteristics of the leading firms who has been seen as a market leader in digital and emerging technologies and we called them ‘Digital Vanguard’.

Regardless of industry the firm are, these digital vanguard companies have 3 common perspectives that set them apart from the rest which are; Business-IT alignment, Talent Management and Technology strategy.

First, the Business-IT Alignmentthe growth mindset that drives innovation investments. Digital vanguards mandate a technology-driven emphasis on strategic business growth and prioritize tech-driven innovation. Business and IT need to work together and well-aligned to achieve maximum business result. The role of CIO is changed from back-seater or supporter to be as a co-pilot, working side-by-side with business leaders and ultimately must own overall firm digital strategy in which those strategies are congruent with other business functions priorities as well as balancing with firm-wide digital innovation initiatives.

Second, Talent Management - dynamic culture attracts top talent. Digital vanguards intentionally foster cultures that allow them to hire and retain top technology talent with their reputation as a leader in innovation, opportunities to work with emerging technologies in a creative and inspiring environment. It is imperative that the newly digital organization thoroughly understands and responds to its talent needs, helping them understand how their roles will create impact to the company. Culture should be inclusive, full array of people, at all levels, to drive digital transformation, encouraging iterative experiment, fail early fail fast. The future of the workforce always have been challenging, how to reshape/redesign job, manage contingent workforces. Strong leadership required to drive and foster productive, innovative culture throughout organization.

Lastly, Technology strategy - well balances in core and emerging technology strategy & investments. Digital vanguards effectively manage both current and future business needs by balancing investments in foundational technologies with those in emerging technologies. While making sure that their IT architectures and infrastructures well support current business needs, it also invest significantly in new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, internet of things (IOT) while uncompromised with the safety of the system by putting in place a cybersecurity initiatives comprehensively.          

By studying and understanding these three perspectives; Business-IT alignment, Talent management, and Technology strategy, the company can develop its own strategic direction on digital transformation & innovation. Looking thoroughly at their own business landscape and environment, re-examine business operating models, while internally access the alignment of culture, talent and skills whether it supports the direction or digital transformation initiatives. Any talent needs to be re-train, upskill or acquire unconventional employee, like crowdsourcing. At the end, it comes down to leader who must have a clear vision to set the path for organization, agile & digital-savvy leadership, forward-looking, ecosystem thinking are critical skill for next-gen leader.

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Digital Vanguards

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