Chris Collazo, Chief Architect for the Americas at ServiceNow, talked about how consolidated data platforms can expedite digital transformation.
At the outset of his thought leadership presentation at the 2019 CIO Leadership Forum: Embracing the Digital Revolution, from Information to Transformation, held on June 20 in New York, Collazo stated, “When we think about digital transformation, a lot of what’s going on is about changing the world of work for employees and how we interact with our customers. Digital transformation is top of mind, but why is this so important?” he asked.
“Digital natives make up the majority of the workforce in the United States, so we have a changing relationship of employees and technology. Previously, employees thought of complexity as equaling power, but now we have a generation that looks at technology in the workplace the same way they do in their personal life. They’re using technology to optimize their life, which means the focus is on ease and speed using an app,” Collazo explained.
“Coupled with this are cloud mandates. Cloud is about enabling agility and allowing access to capabilities that we once invested in. Also, cloud has taken things that were previously considered individual, competitive advantages and made them commodities. When it comes to agility, we now get to start with the business problem and the tools we need to solve it as opposed to figuring how to build the tools we need to do that innovation. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in the pace of disruption,” he pointed out.
“The overall theme we’re seeing is that process optimization is giving way to the data-driven experience. This doesn’t mean optimizing existing processes using technology—that’s how you miss out on the value. It’s about using technology to reduce the number of processes you have and supporting business outcomes. To do that, the goal is to collapse process into data-driven automation. The question to ask is, ‘Can I take advantage of the data I have in a few different areas and bring it together to solve that problem?’ When considering the experience, it’s not enough to just think about how you interact with your customers. Experience is also internal—do you have the same view of experience for your associates as you do for your customers and partners?” asked Collazo.
“Only about a third of CIOs feel they have a well-defined approach to planning for their technology investments that aligns them to business schools, and only about a quarter of organizations have an enterprise-wide digital strategy in place. Because this isn’t an enterprise mandate, the opportunity for change is much smaller. We’re not recognizing that we need to be thinking about our entire business in the context of the available technology and what we can do differently,” he said.
“There are three main categories of how to begin transformation that we see in the world of work. The first is reimagining engagement with your customers. This is the biggest focus point. As you mature and think about your strategy, you recognize that, in order to be successful here, your organization needs to improve the employee experience, which is the second approach. Lastly, you need to reimagine your customer engagement,” stated Collazo.
“Why is transformation so challenging? There are three main reasons,” said Collazo—disjointed internal systems and processes, too many disparate tools and solutions, and difficulty in getting executive alignment.”
He continued, “Platforms are the solution, and digitally mature organizations are seeking to simplify their platforms—90% want a unified platform, but only 19% have consolidated platforms. Digital maturity is highly correlated with platform consolidation.”
Collazo noted three common transformation initiatives:
• Automate to remove mundane, repetitive processes.
• Create modern user experiences.
• Improve the employee experience.
Collazo offered these takeaways:
• Digital transformation may be powered by technology, but it isn’t a technology project.
• Platforms are the key to building enterprise-based workflow experiences.
• Data replaces process as the key enabler of digital transformations.
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