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Enabling the right business structure for digital transformation

Nadia Cameron (CMO) | Sept. 18, 2015
Marketing and IT leaders debate their role in digital strategy and accountability and their impact on the customer.

From left: Deakin University's Trisca Scott-Branagan, Australian Museum's Jason Wong, Vision Australia's Cameron Smith, ANZ's Amanda Gome and CMO and CIO magazine editor, Nadia Cameron
From left: Deakin University's Trisca Scott-Branagan, Australian Museum's Jason Wong, Vision Australia's Cameron Smith, ANZ's Amanda Gome and CMO and CIO magazine editor, Nadia Cameron

Defining what digital means to your organisation, as well as having guiding principles on the accountability of marketing and IT, are key to digital transformation, according to panellists at the CMO, CIO and ADMA's Executive Connections event in Melbourne.

At Deakin University, digital was put firmly in the spotlight after the vice-chancellor mandated that every course must have at least one unit online, executive director of marketing, Trisca Scott-Branagan, told attendees at the event.

Professors are now supported by a 'cloud mobile' team, which helps provide education, training and services around teaching and doing things in a digital context. More recently, the university launched Deakin Digital, a separate entity designed tasked with disrupting the way the institution innovates around digital.

In terms of the marketing function, Scott-Branagan said digital transformation was initially about gaining appropriate skillsets, initially through contractors and agencies.

"We used them to help us build up certain capabilities in our team, then we could transfer their skillsets into our team and hire people around those to help enable us to become more digital," she said.

Setting transformation in motion requires one or both of two things, Scott-Branagan claimed: A burning aspiration, or a burning platform.

"In our sector, the burning platform is the potential threat of deregulation, and the burning aspiration is that our organisation wants to mean something in the sector," she added.

At the Australian Museum, digital, ICT and online manager, Jason Wong, quickly realised he needed to position IT as an enabler of innovation. Wong has expanded his remit in recent years from IT manager to overseeing the Web team (rebadged to digital experience), and gained a seat at the executive table.

"One of my first challenges was defining what digital means for the Australian Museum," Wong said. "We basically summed it up as this: Digital is a dimension of everything we do, which is essentially the innovative use of technology in every part of the organisation."

At Vision Australia, CIO, Cameron Smith, said getting digital buy-in was firstly about better articulating the customer experience.

"The digital side came about once we developed that customer journey mapping and how we need to engage with clients, and what opportunities we have to better manage those experiences," he said.

To get the wheels in motion, Smith conspired with the marketing and fundraising GM to talk through the customer journey and then bring cross-functional teams together to map that out.

 

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