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Leadership

Strategies, advice and opinions helping to define and develop the role of IT leaders and their staffs.

How the Data-driven CIO Enables Digital Transformation

Some people prefer the destination, but I prefer the journey.

 Not really the journey, but the anxiety of the journey. Whether during a detour at Starbucks on the long drive to Disneyworld, reading a chapter in the biography of Walt Disney, or my eighth back-to-back viewing of Monster’s Inc., I’m wondering about the next stop, chapter or sequel and ignoring what’s right in front of me. Maybe that’s why I’m constantly tripping. The anxiety of what I’m missing or what’s next is always pushing me ahead of the now.

 I’m even anxious to get this article done. It has been in my inbox for the last three weeks, with ample time to deliver the content for editing before the publishing deadline. The knowledge of its presence keeps me alt-tabbing to my inbox to see if it has magically been completed.

Let me check….nope, still there.

 I’m attracted to the places where I have not been, to the words not yet written, and the lessons not learned. I’m anxious when I stay the same. I’m addicted to change, personal transformation, and trying something new. It’s not just me though; explorers thrived on being somewhere else and scientists sought to answer questions. Groups of explorers and scientists created movements, and those movements became newly discovered continents and vaccines.   

Investors and shareholders, on a quest for financial growth and diversification, have pushed the commercial world into its own era of innovation and exploration. Millennials have created a constant and continual consumer demand for the shiny and new; autonomics have replaced task work with knowledge work; and social media combined with mobile access continues to create new interaction models. The promise of Big Data solutions from the Internet of Things has created a world where IT and businesses are inseparable and indistinguishable. Technology, while historically the enabler of business, is becoming the business. It’s the Digital Transformation of industry.

This Digital Transformation is an acknowledgement that operational excellence and intimate customer experiences are best created by digitizing the communications, interactions and the operating models of our companies. The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is the first step to redefine these new models. CDOs are trying to answer some key questions: What are the various paths the client is following when transacting with us? What forms of communication are they expecting throughout that journey? What next steps are they anticipating? How are we creating new ways to delight them with valuable surprises? How are we creating an experience they were not expecting?

There are many examples of digital transformation across a variety of industries, led by the CDO:

-          The redefinition of the mobile passenger experience in an airport by recommending the shortest security lines at the best possible times, and automatic ordering of a favorite pre-boarding snack as the passenger arrives at the departure level    

-          The implementation of an omni-channel retail experience allowing consumers to browse online, try on in a store, buy with electronic payment systems, and same day shipping from the warehouse directly to their home

-          The new family-based wealth management experience that is predicting the best use of savings, the events that might cause the need for a loan, and the detection of fraud on an account well before the funds have been withdrawn

 

Hold on…quick check…nope, still there, but halfway done.

 

Digital transformation, or technology becoming the business, is elevating and evolving the role of the CIO, which may also include the role of CDO. The CIO priority of cost efficiency has migrated to organization growth, creating a new set of CIO concerns that includes:

-          Economic Transparency: Articulating the cost of IT as a factor of how the organization earns revenue and reinvests profits. No longer will a single large pool of IT dollars be distributed inequitably throughout the organization. A per Line of Business bottom-up budget process that aligns financial KPI’s directly to business models will be managed by financial analysts who report directly to the CIO. The big IT budget “bucket” will be replaced with IT costs articulated as $ per widget produced for LOB 1 and $ for each order received for LOB 2

-          Creating new business value: Measuring technology in terms of system uptime and project delivery success will be replaced with KPI’s and bonuses calculated based on the incremental value that projects have to the growth of the organization. Percentage of projects delivered on-time/on-budget will be replaced with net incremental increase to revenue or margins. All projects will be prioritized on the business value that they will create

-          Diversifying skillsets: Most internal skillsets are calibrated to manage the existing suite of applications. Considerable organizational changes must be implemented to up-skill, re-skill, and add new skills to the team in order to create digital solutions

-          Rationalization, Simplification and Modernization: Re-evaluating the level of importance, risk, and maturity of IT assets is a fundamental requirement to make room to innovate. It’s quite likely that a subset of applications can drive the same business value as the current application portfolio if a more agile architecture and set of tools is deployed

-          Reputational Risk: CIO’s need to eliminate the potential of becoming cyber news-fodder, plus the additional responsibility for creating news worthy innovation beyond customer and investor expectations

Digital transformation, or technology becoming the business, is enabled by IT programs that are initiated and managed by a data-driven CIO or CDO. Governed programs responsible for managing, mobilizing and enriching data across people, process and technology will kick-start digital innovation:  

-          Data Management:

  • Data lifecycle management, from its initial creation and storage to its eventual deletion or archival, is the foundation for a policy based approach to understanding the right data to source and to keep. Stewardship of data via governance and information security programs are required to determine data’s value and protect its use for creating new business offerings and client experiences 
  • Example: The ability to source, store and secure video surveillance and location information about airport passengers enables the digital transformation for air transportation

-          Data Mobility:

  • Mobility of data FROM places: Abstracting/virtualizing data from applications and devices to increase the value of data and make it available for other business purposes. Most data was architected as part of the originating application and closely coupled to the version of the application. Abstracting the data FROM the application elevates its value and potential use   
  • Mobility of data TO places: Consolidation and enhancement of data to use across platforms requires integration work. This will make data sharable across people and places
  • Making data mobile FOR places: Make data available in a secure manner to generate new value. This will require new application development, compliance, analytics, and data brokering solutions to be integrated into the organization
  • Example: The ability to abstract products from the inventory management system to make it available to the retail transaction system shared across all retail outlets, enables digital transformation for retail

-          Data Enrichment (Data Analytics and Information Management)

  • Data Analytics competencies need to be implemented to derive value descriptively (what happened), diagnostically (why did it happen), predictively (what will happen), and prescriptively (how can we make it happen)
  • Information management focuses on how organizations derive insight and value from various sets of data related to growth (new revenue streams, evolving relationships with clients, data-driven insights about the business) and internal effectiveness (improving internal process efficiency, improve information security, making more effective decisions)
  • Example: Analytic capability to combine data from a variety of sources and use machine learning algorithms to predict fraud and take action, enables digital transformation for financial services

 

It is a race against time and the competition for making technology become the business. It’s an organizational journey that requires strong leadership. Enabling digital transformation requires a data-driven CIO combined with the CDO’s innovative spirit and desire to dramatically improve the customer experience.     

 

One last look… let me check my inbox once more... and sent.

 


Paul Lewis is the CTO of Hitachi Canada and an advisory board member with The IT Media Group. 

 

Past Attendees


ADP - VP Architecture & Infrastructure

AESO - VP, Information Technology

Agnico Eagle Mines - VP, IT

Agrium - Global Mgr., IT Security

Agrium - Senior Director IT Shared Services

Aimia - SVP & Global CIO

Ainsworth Engineered - Director IT

Air Canada Vacations - Director IT

Alberta Energy Regulator - Director, Office of the CIO

Anthem Properties - VP IS

AON Risk Solutions Canada - Head of IT

Aviva Canada - VP, Architecture & Strategy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch - CTO

BC Ferry Services - VP & CIO

Bellatrix Exploration - Director, Information Technology

Bentall Kennedy - VP IT

Black Press - CTO

BlackBerry - VP Corporate IT

BMO Financial Group - Head of Services Delivery

Bombardier Aerospace - CISO

Bonavista Petroleum - Head of IT

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Global CIO

Bow Valley College - Director, IT Services

Bridgewater Bank - Head of IT

BuildDirect - VP IT

Bulk Barn - Head, IT

Burnco - CIO

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - VP, IT Planning, Architecture, Governance, Operations

Calfrac Well Services - Head of IT

Canada Mortgage and Housing - VP, Information & Technology

Canadian Depository for Securities - CIO

Canadian Direct Insurance - CTO

Canadian Payments Association - VP & CIO

Canucks Sports - Head of IT

Cardel Homes - VP MIS

Cargojet - CIO

CCS Corp. - VP IT

Centerra Gold - Director IT & Comm

CIBC - Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning & Engineering

CIBC - SVP & CIO, Retail and Business Banking Technology

CIBC Mellon - AVP, Enterprise Architecture

CIBC Mellon - SVP & CIO

Cineplex Entertainment - CTO

City of Brampton - Senior Manager, IT Architecture & Planning

City of Toronto - Director of Strategic Planning & Architecture

CN Rail Service - Chief Information Security Officer

Coast Capital Savings - VP Technology

Concordia University - AVP & CIO

Crescent Point Energy - Head of IT

Dairy Farmers of Ontario - Head of IT and Administration

Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie - VP, IT

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP - Director, Information Technology

DealerTrack Canada - Director, Technology

Defence Construction Canada - Corporate Manager, IT

Dentons - Canada CIO

Devon Energy - Director, Integrated Business Services

Direct Cash - VP IT & Security

Dynamic Tire Corp - CIO

eHealth Ontario - VP, IT Systems & Services

Encana - Director, InfoSec

Enerflex - CIO

Enerplus - VP. IS

ENMAX - VP, IT & PMO

Essential Energy Services - Director, IT

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - VP IS

FGL Sports - VP, Information Technology

Fix Auto Canada - COO & SVP

Flightnetwork.com - CIO

FT Services - CIO

FundServ - CIO

Genus Capital Management - CTO

Genworth Financial Inc. - VP IT

Golder Associates - CTO

Gran Tierra Energy - Director IT

Grant Thornton LLP - CIO

Greenwin Inc - VP, Information Technology

Groupe Dynamite - Director, IT

GSK Canada - IT Director

GTAA - Acting CIO

H&R Block Canada - VP IT

Hewitt Equipment Ltd. - VP & CIO

Hitachi - CTO, Americas

Home Trust Company - CIO

Home Trust Company - CTO

Home Trust Company - VP & CISO

Horizon North Logistics - CIO

Indigo Books and Music - CIO

ivari - SVP & CIO

JP Morgan Chase Canada - Executive Director, Information Risk Management

Keyera Energy - Director, Information Technology

KnowledgeOne - CIO

LaFarge Canada - Director, IT

Landmark Cinemas Canada - VP, IT

LCBO - Director, Applications Systems

LCBO - SVP & CIO

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp - VP IS

Lightstream Resources - Head, Information Services

London Drugs - GM IT

Loto-Quebec - Corporate Director, InfoSec

Magna International Inc - VP & Global Leader, IT (CIO)

March Networks - VP Professional Services & CIO

McCain Foods Limited - Manager InfoSec

McInnis Cement - Director of Information Technology

Medical Pharmacies Group - VP, Information Technology

MEG Energy - Manager, Information Technology Solutions & Services

MMM Group - CIO

Montreal Police Service - CIO

Morguard Investments - CIO

Moulding & Millwork - CIO

National Bank of Canada - Information Security Officer

National Capital Commission - Chief, IT infrastructure & Support Services

NHL Players' Association - Head, Security & Technology

Northbridge Financial Corp - CIO

OEC Group Canada - Vice President, Information Technology and Client solutions

Oildex - VP, Architecture & Infrastructure

Olympia Financial Group - CIO

OMERS - SVP IT

Ontario Pension Board - CTO

Ontario Trillium Foundation - CIO

Ottawa Police Service - CIO

Pacific Western Transportation - CIO

Packers Plus - Global IT Director

Patient News - CTO

Peel District School Board - CIO

Pengrowth Corp - Director IS

Penn West Exploration - Snr. Manager, IT Operations

Peterson Investment Group - Head of IT

PFB Corp. - CIO

Pizza Pizza - CIO & VP, IT

Precision Drilling - VP, IT

Precision Drilling - Director, IT Infrastructure & Security

PSP Investments - Snr. Director, Internal Audit & Business Infosec

Public Works and Government Services Canada - Director, IT Security Directorate

PwC - Managing Director, Real Estate Technology Advisory

Qantas - Global CIO

Queen's University - Director, Information Technology

RBC Royal Bank - Head of Application Security, Data Protection & Security Consulting

Regal Lifestyle Communities - CIO

Revera Inc. - CIO

Revera Inc. - Security Architect

Ricoh Canada - VP,IT

RioCan Property Services - VP IT

Rogers Communications - SVP, Customer Experience IT

ROM - CIO

Russel Metals - VP,IS

Scotiabank - VP - International Systems Technology

Scotiabank - Director, Architecture & Engineering

Sears Canada - Divisional VP, Information Technology Services

Secure Energy Services - GM, IT

Shaw Communications - VP, Technology Operations

Shaw Communications - Director, Risk Management

SMART Technologies - Director, IS Corporate Services

Smartcentres - Director IS, IT

Societe de Transport de Montreal - Division Head - Security and Compliance

Street Capital Financial - CIO

Sun Life Financial - AVP, Data & Business Intelligence Services

Sun Life Financial - VP Application Ops & Services

Suncor Energy Inc. - Director, Application Portfolio Optimization, I&PM, Business Services

Symcor - CTO, VP Technology Services

Talisman Energy - SVP IT & Business Services

TD Bank - Enterprise Architect

Teknion - SVP, CIO

TELUS - Chief Security Architect

Tervita Corporation - VP, Information Technology

The Hudsons Bay Company - VP Technology

The Hudson's Bay Company - SVP & CIO

The Source - VP, Information Technology

TMX Group - VP, CISO

Toromont Industries - VP & CIO

Toronto District School Board - Chief Technology Officer

Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - Director of Technology

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - Chief Enterprise Architect

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - CIO

Toyota Canada - National Manager, IS

Transamerica Life Canada - CIO

Trican Well Services Ltd. - Director, Business Information Systems

Tridel Corporation - CIO

Trillium Health Partners - IT Director, Applications & Clinical Informatics

UFA Cooperative - VP & CIO

University of Calgary - Executive Director, Development Services

University of Ottawa - CIO

University of Ottawa - Senior Director IT Services & Infrastructure

University of Waterloo - Director, Technology Entrepreneurship

Vancity - VP Technology & Solutions

Viterra - Director Enterprise Technology

World Health - Director IT

Yellow Pages Group - Director - Enterprise Data Management

York Region District School Board - CIO

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