Soundbites: Lessons on Navigating Digital Transformation from Top IT Leaders

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Our Agents of Transformation share their words of wisdom on how they’ve navigated digital transformation throughout their careers. Check out their stories.

Technology has become intrinsic to our daily lives. From the way we travel, shop, commute, and consume entertainment, there’s no disputing that we live in a digital world. And no one knows this better than the businesses that are delivering the services we’ve become so dependent on.

These consumer-facing organizations are under immense pressure to keep up with evolving technology trends and deliver digital experiences that consumers not only expect, but demand. As a result, businesses are now investing in agile models that rely on multi-cloud and IOT environments, distributed services and microservices, APIs, and relentless code releases that introduce constant improvement and constant change.

And it’s this constant improvement and constant change that characterize digital transformation. Every company is undergoing a digital transformation because if they don’t, they run the risk of falling behind their competitors and putting customer loyalty in jeopardy.

Unfortunately, not all organizations feel equipped to tackle digital transformation. In fact, only 27% of technologists are confident about their personal readiness for digital transformation, according to research from AppDynamics. Despite this, they recognize it’s a challenge they must overcome, with 71% of technologists reporting that they see an urgency for true innovation within their organization.

So, what can today’s technologist do to help their companies innovate and progress on their digital transformation journey?

We asked some of our Agents of Transformation to share their words of wisdom on how they’ve navigated digital transformation throughout their careers. Here’s what they had to say:

Arnaud van Rietschoten, the Emirates Group, Vice President IT Service Management and Digital Workplace

“Never accept the status quo. People tend to think of digital transformation as this huge, monumental task but transformation and innovation can – and should – happen at a much smaller scale.

In the early days, I was in a very labour intensive and boring role. I knew there was a more efficient way to get the job done, so I decided to write a program to automate the process. It was my own initiative – no-one asked me to do it. I believe if you go above and beyond your day job, and push yourself to be a driver of change, that your efforts will be rewarded throughout your career.”

Heather Fry, Paychex, Director of Product Development

People should always come first. I didn’t necessarily fully understand that early in my career, but I recognize today how easy it is to become so focused on technology, business goals, and project deliverables that you create a sort of “hardened shell” around you and a culture that doesn’t cultivate an open, team-focused, growth mindset. As a leader, I have learned that mentoring others and building an open environment where it is ok to make mistakes, learn and grow, drives engagement. Positive change ultimately happens as a result of partnerships that are approachable, collaborative, and supportive of a shared set of values.

Jelle Van Wijk, T-Mobile, Product Owner for Performance Monitoring

It is easy for me to see the value of a big idea, but it’s not just about me, it’s about communicating with and convincing others of the potential of that big idea. I have learnt how important it is to be able to explain in a tangible and meaningful way how new ways of working, or new technology investments, will help the business. I’ve also learnt the importance of listening to their feedback and trying to understand their concerns. This has enabled us to find common ground from which we can move forward. As individuals we can all be successful, but when we work together we can deliver something spectacular.

Want to meet the Agents of Transformation? Read their full interviews here.