This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with DXC Technology. It was first published on AFR.com on 26 March 2019.
A successful digital transformation at scale is the holy grail of any company strategy as well as a key enabler of sustained future growth. While Australia’s business leaders recognise this as a clear priority in taking their organisations to the next level, they remain aware of the challenges involved in implementing change at scale.
With this in mind, a year ago I moved into the role of senior partner for digital transformation at DXC Technology, after leading the consulting division for nine years to help translate the digital imperative into business speak and develop commercial strategies and solutions for our customers.
It didn’t take us long to realise that to achieve the full benefits of what a digital transformation can offer, transformation strategies have to be organisation-wide, not just within individual business units.
With the change being as much a cultural challenge as a technical one, it needs to be driven by the CEO and the board from the outset, with executives having a real understanding of its strategic imperative.
One of the enablers we are seeing in successful transformations is embracing outside the square thinking through fostering an agile mindset within the workforce to enable new levels of creativity and productivity.
This is something we have done at DXC over the past year by implementing a face-to-face agility training program for more than 70 per cent of our 10,000 employees in Australia and New Zealand.
The program has been about giving employees the tools to be more empowered by change, a critical capability both for working inside our organisation and when they are working with clients.
Encouraging fresh thinking was also a fundamental rationale for us opening the DXC Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) in collaboration with universities in Australia along with pop-up DTCs in multiple locations.
These centres change the way research and technology come together to solve business challenges by getting clients out of their usual offices and into a totally different physical environment on campus.
It’s not only a bringing together of minds, but the change in space actually enhances the thinking and ideation process from the outset. The environment opens up conversations that often help clients clarify their needs and identify gaps in their capability.
Digital era truths
Among the discussions, we talk about three truths of the digital era. One is that consumers are in charge and are to a large degree defining what the customer interaction will be. The second is that disruption will come from unlikely sources, so organisations need to be proactively and continually tracking their objectives to the way the market is trending. The final aspect is once you have a platform in place to then use that platform to accelerate and enable greater change than ever before.
A successful transformation initiative will involve leveraging data, improving the customer experience, taking advantage of upskilling, as well as workplace mobility and engagement. And it’s about having a pragmatic deployment partner who has taken the journey and overcome the challenges, as we have done at scale.
With the pace and complexity of change in business today, this delivery will often require the bringing together of a range of capabilities from many different providers.
There is an incredible supplier ecosystem out in the market, ranging from large companies to start-ups, to niche players. Being open-minded about working with them is critical to pursuing true digital transformation.
At DXC, we have established an ecosystem of more than 250 industry-leading strategic and solution partners, and it is these partnerships that help us drive collaboration and innovation to take transformation from an efficiency drive to a revenue and growth enabler.
Working together on successful transformations will help businesses take full advantage of the incredible benefits offered by technology in a digital sense and enable future growth and prosperity for us all. The key to success, however, is for companies to be able to move beyond point projects to adopting digital at scale.