DX 2019

Putting digital transformation at the forefront of innovation

14 Mar 2019SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland
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Speaker insights
 

Tom Cochran

Digital transformation consultant; Former Digital Leader

Obama Administration


What does DX mean for you?

Digital is woven into the fabric of our society and economy. Digital experience, much like customer experience or user experience may be slightly overused, however the former is central time zone they latter two. How people purchase items, pay taxes online, communicate with others, and even vote are driven today by DX.

 

What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?

Focus on the human element. Technology inherently had no value without competent and supportive people, plus a culture of innovation and change. All change efforts succeed or fail based on measured strategies and the collective buy-in of those involved or impacted.

 

Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?

The biggest roadblock has been complacency and inertia. People inherently are comfortable where they are and fear the unknown. It's understandable yet lazy because if you don't disrupt your organisation from the inside, you will be disrupted by market forces on the outside.

 

How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?

I've worked for many organizations, big and small. The human side of digital transformation is where I've succeeded or failed. An organization with the best technology but weak culture and employee skills will fail. One weak technology but innovative culture and entrepreneurial employees can be quite successful. Great technology and culture are two symbiotic ingredients which lead to incredible and sustainable transformation.

Roxanne Salton

Head of Digital Strategy and Delivery

Mercury


What does DX mean for you?

DX means Digital Evolution and not Transformation - as it feels that the latter has an end point when we know that Digitisation is an on-going process with no end point. The purpose of Digital Evolution is about inspiring and growing Digital leadership to position our businesses to spearhead the Digital Economy.

 

What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?

People, People and People...The change ultimately comes back to people and the culture. Nothing else matters unless you have an engaged workforce empowered to drive change. Technology is an enabler.

 

Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?

All the time. Change is hard, complex and takes time. Bringing people on the journey is critical and this can be done via experimentation. There is no one size fits all. We live in a society of information overload, sometimes, starting small seems to be the simplest way to build trust, capability and competency.

 

How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?

Mercury’s Digital Evolution is being achieved through a set of "ingredients" that when blended together provides us with a recipe for success. It’s an all-in approach that has proven to provide Mercury growth of its digital evolution to spearhead the digital economy.

Jennifer Cherrington

Former Executive

eBay, Amazon & Yahoo!


What does DX mean for you?

Digital transformation to me is less 'transformation' and more a roadmap of things that we do in order to not just meet, but potentially to exceed customer expectations in a rapidly changing world, and that 'transformation' that actually doesn't really have an end date.?
DX is not limited in any way, shape or form to just technology either! "Digital" is just a way of doing things, but one that is rich with data that can be combined with the qualitative aspects of people and process to create better and faster outcomes than were previously available.?
Being able to talk to customers, test new things and quickly move on using tools that technology has provided means that we can 'transform' or pivot far faster and more cost effectively than ever before. You still need an overarching business strategy and digital is just one of the tools in the box to achieve those goals.

 

What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?

Transformations need a really good plan. There is no such thing as unlimited resources for 99.9% of organizations so we all need to make choices.?
When undertaking anything you deem as a transformation, you will only be able to afford to do the most important things, so before embarking on the cool and funky, you need to take stock and make sure all of the 'goals' or work that you undertake pass the two most important tests.

1. Can I directly relate this to the overall BUSINESS strategy?- because if you can't then you shouldn't be doing it.? This includes pet projects! and just because you have a budget doesn't mean you should spend it independently - everything should be prioritzed for the best use of resources over time. and?
2. Have all of the transformation projects you are assessing been prioritised through the lens of the customer? If the customer ultimately doesn't benefit, you have to question why you would be doing it.

 

Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?

Roadblocks occur when stakeholders are not aligned. Digital transformation plans are made up of people, process and technology. The People aspect is the most important part. To use an analogy, if you are attempting to row a boat with a team of people, if one doesn't head in the same direction, you are less likely to win.?
Ensuring all people are aligned and understand what’s needed should mean that roadblocks are merely a quick break to get an agreed or better understanding. Overcoming 'roadblocks' means investing the time in ensuring the team and key stakeholders are all aligned it's better and far less expensive or frustrating to do this upfront!?
If a roadblock is truly real, then like agile, you need to take the time to assess whether or not the alternative way is viable.?

 

How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?

Becoming a more digital organisation can be transformational for both employees and customers provided the 'investment' in getting there is a prioritised and end to end exercise. The world of Tech is littered with the gravestones of well meaning 'projects' that are never adopted because it's just one part of the overall success of a plan.?
I think one of the most 'transformational' digital transformations for most companies has been the adoption of things like Office 365 that have allowed employees to work where they need to work and to collaborate far better than before. That 'efficiency' can then be used to spend more time on the things that really make a difference - which more than likely means being able to have the time and the locations to build the relationships with colleagues and customers to create better outcomes across the board with shared understanding and goals.

Stephen Whiteside

Chief Digital Officer

University of Auckland


What does DX mean for you?

At the University of Auckland our students have a wide variety of customer touchpoints, provided by many different departments.? This means that understanding the student journey, or their digital experience, is very important to us.? Student success depends on a wide variety of interactions, and today, analytics provide us with the opportunity to be more proactive.? We also provide services in a wide variety of ways, so integrating those services into a more seamless experience is important. ?These concepts apply to the University’s staff and other customers too, leading us to be more customer driven with end to end provision of services.? This is quite a mind shift for us, from the provision of individual services to consideration of the overall customer experience arising from all of our integrated services.

 

What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?

We have invested strongly in our change management practice, backed up with portfolio and project management.? As an academic organisation, winning the hearts and minds of our staff is important, and so the partnership between these practices and our technology teams to deliver and support change has been a focus for us.? Innovation is important, and so is speed to market.? But overall, I feel that our change management team has been one of our biggest assets in embedding transformation.

 

Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?

Like all Universities, we are hierarchical in many areas, and have a lot of diverse departments, some of which are silos.? This is a challenge in the implementation of Agile practices, particularly in delegating and enabling teams.? We also have an aging workforce, making digital literacy a greater challenge, particularly given the expectations of new students for a more interactive online experience.? So this means our programs around Agile capability and digital literacy are important.

 

How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?

The University of Auckland is in the top 1% of world Universities, and international competition is fierce.? We are less well funded than our competitors, and therefore we have to be more efficient and effective in how we operate.? Key changes revolve around process automation, enhancing our service delivery models, and focussing on the customer experience.? Our researchers have needed to gain new skills in supercomputing and data curation, and our teaching practices are becoming more interactive.? Artificial intelligence and machine learning are emerging forces in the delivery of our services. ?The competitive landscape is changing considerably, particularly due to the mobility of students.

Sarah Thirlwall

Chief Digital Officer

MinterEllisonRuddWatts


What does DX mean for you?

Digital Transformation to me is the desire to get better results and being prepared to do things differently to achieve them.

 

What is the one piece of advice for a successful transformation?

Set the right framework for management oversight and provide training for executives on governing transformational initiatives that involve discovery, an iterative approach, agility and risk management

 

Have you come across any roadblocks and how have you overcome them?

One of the most frustrating is working with an executive member who either refuses to engage or engages but runs a parallel competing agenda. This is difficult to overcome and requires tenacity, continuing conversations with that person to find the common agenda.

 

How has Digital Transformation impacted your organisation?

Allows us to be excited about and feel ready for the future. Transformation is not a one-time investment, it is a lot of incremental changes where over time the conversation shifts from technology to being about people working together to achieve better outcomes. We are on this journey.

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