Technology transformations are regarded as complex and difficult to manage by many organisations and their IT functions. When it comes to leading a successful transformation within the organisation, technology leaders have differing views on how to do this.
In this debate on how to manage complex continuous transformations, the speakers explained what transformation means to them and went through examples of technology-driven change, among other key topics.
With Keme Nzerem moderating this roundtable debate, the speakers include:
- Patrick Schober, Director Professional Services, LeanIX
- Sabah Carter, CDITO, Financial Services Compensation Scheme
- Dan Kellet, CDO, Capital One UK
- Raj Dhawan, Global CTO, Soho House
- Nick Rawlings, Head of Transformation, Covéa Insurance
- Charlotte Baldwin, Global CIO, Costa Coffee
Complex continuous transformation – what does it mean?
“When we talk about complex continuous transformations you work across lots of industry cases”, said moderator Keme Nzerem.
When thinking about complex transformation, Director Professional Services at LeanIX, Patrick Schober, refers to whole IT landscapes. He argued that it is important to be successful in this landscape as it is “pretty much the foundation of your work”. He said that the questions he asks himself are: Where do I have unwanted complexity and where do I have needs from the business? He believes that once a technology leader has this information, only then will it be possible to focus and prioritise on the task at hand. “If you’re looking at the landscape of large organisations, you will probably face, let’s say, more challenges to transform than you are actually able to do at a time”, he said.
Charlotte Baldwin, Global CIO at Costa Coffee, puts this into “real world terms”. She argued that technology leaders need to focus on what transformation requirements a business has. This includes understanding the strategic objectives and the organisation’s business strategy. Having what she calls a “laser focus” on these objectives will help understand how technology and digital capabilities can drive the company forward.
Transformation and business objectives
To Raj Dhawan, Global CTO at Soho House, transformation is the way his organisation does business. In changing the way they do business through technology, Raj stated that they could achieve significant cost avoidance in the organisation’s business operating model. When thinking about where the business is going, he said: “In the next 12 to 36 months, for us, it’s about acquisition”.
CDITO for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Sabah Carter, stated that she has a mission to try and achieve objectives. “We’re not a revenue generating organisation, we have our metrics”, she said. This entails getting compensation to the customer as soon as possible. She added: “Many of them are vulnerable by the time they come to us so speed is of the essence”. Sabah explained that they look to their processes, people and technology to help transform any challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Later on, Sabah discussed how the external situation for the organisation is changing. She outlined that the complexity of the type of claims they receive is changing. Before, there was a high volume of low complexity claims. “Now we’re in a world where we actually have very high complexity but potentially lower volume claims”, she said. This has prompted Sabah’s organisation to look at how they are transforming in order to do things differently.
Transformation and change
Dan Kellet, CDO at Capital One UK, focused on the changing markets. “It’s a really important point that transformation – whether it’s digital, data or technology – doesn’t happen in isolation”, he said. He argued that this needs to be balanced alongside the organisation’s business strategy, much like Charlotte’s earlier point on having that “laser focus”.
Thinking about Capital One UK’s current position, Dan stated they have had very strong growth over the last couple of years. On the other hand, he wants technologists to be aware of what’s happening economically. “Not only do we need to focus on growth but we need to focus on what’s happening and adapt to changing markets”, he said.
It has been an interesting time for the insurance sector according to, Head of Transformation at Covéa Insurance, Nick Rawlings. “We’ve seen a lot of changes in consumer behaviour”, he noted. He agreed with the idea that technology leaders should be adapting and changing with the current environment. On the other hand, Nick has a different view of transformation. “Transformation for me is not just about technology, it’s a fundamental change in an organisation to achieve a series of outcomes”, he explained.
This roundtable was recorded at The Studio and made in partnership with LeanIX. To find out more about The Studio, click here.