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Leading digital transformation to scale

Nurdianah Md Nur | May 13, 2016
Speakers at the CIO track of the CXO Conference Singapore 2016 provided advice on how to scale up digital transformation efforts.

To cope with this change, he advised CIOS to adopt relevant new tools, as well as train their IT teams to be able to communicate the value of a tool to the business without being too technical, and educate the business teams to effectively those digital tools.

Becoming future-ready
Dell Amit 

In his keynote, Amit Midha, Dell's President for Asia Pacific and Japan and Chairman of Global Emerging Markets, underscored the need for digital transformation. Besides improving an organisation's revenue and increasing employee productivity, digital transformation is crucial in helping organisations stay relevant and competitive.

However, to do so, CIOs need to first understand that digital transformation is a journey, not a destination, asserted Midha. He continued that CIOs should lead with a future-ready strategy, change the way they think about tech, hire new talents to pave way for innovative leadership, rethink the business model, systems and processes in new ways, as well as invest in their own people in terms of training.

Embracing data and disruption
Spotify Sunita
Sunita Kaur, Spotify's Managing Director for Asia, next talked about how data has driven a number of business initiatives in her company. For instance, Spotify decided to roll out playlists based on moments (ie. activity) because their data showed that subscribers were not finding music by genre but according to their accompanying activity such as running or cooking.

Sunita also shared that Spotify encourages self-disruption to stay ahead of their competitors. To do so, it will designate a day to allow employees to describe their vision for Spotify and suggest changes to the company. This is done once every six months.

Leading digital transformation
The event concluded with a panel discussion in which the panelists unanimously agreed that the CEO should lead an organisation's digital strategies as he/she best understand the business goals and can thus set the pace for the entire organisation. However, Michael Lee, CIO Adjunct Advisor of IDC Asia Pacific, cautioned that if a CEO were to relegate the digital transformation lead to a discipline head, the person in charge "should be someone who can challenge status quo, has the digital knowledge, and might be politically savvy to negotiate the minds of many of vested interest of lines of business."


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