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Your digital initiative’s biggest test may be measuring its success

Clint Boulton | June 8, 2017
Struggling to gauge the success of your digital transformation initiative? CIOs at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium share how they’ve cracked the code.


When digital drives productivity

Under Fowler, GE's IT group drove $200 million worth of productivity improvements consuming field service software. Fowler says the company is mulling how to combine the software, delivered in an application called Field Vision, with resource planning capabilities from ServiceMax assets it acquired last year and commercialize it.

"It's a great example where what we're doing inside the company to drive productivity is going to turn into a commercial product in the digital space," Fowler says. Today humans still perform a great deal of work provisioning, upgrading and maintaining machines; he says that GE machines will increasingly trigger processes automatically.

Overall, Fowler says he is targeting $700 million in operating profit by driving digital productivity, including process cycle efficiency in manufacturing plants, across GE. The efforts require GE to break down long-standing silos between commercial, engineering, supply chain and services. "It's really thinking about the fact that we have to build an organization that thinks of digital first and how software and analytics are going to make something more efficient," Fowler says.

As with Gledhill, Fowler gets his strategy from the top. General Electric's CEO Jeffrey Immelt is driving the culture change, sitting in on reviews for every digital product. Immelt also chairs the company's cybersecurity council, a rarity in an age where CEOs are averse to dealing with matters that don't directly impact strategic advantage.

Meanwhile, Gledhill is preparing to propel DBS into the next phase of its digital journey: Creating a "digital P&L" by carving out digital revenues from those generated from traditional financial services transactions. Challenges with this business model include how to define digital revenues, whether to attribute services to the product groups they avail to and whether to bucket sales people in digital or non-digital groups.

"How do you take the entire company and split it down the middle and create a credible P&L for the digital and non-digital business," Gledhill says. "It's quite complicated."

Source: CIO 


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