Digital Transformation - The Power to Empower...

04 AUG, 2016
by Bikash Mohanty

On April 18, 2009, the President Obama of United States had announced the appointment of his government’s first CTO for the country. “CTO for a country”! What is the need, how does this work? The statement from his then office read as: “President Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century”. Likewise; I do receive regular communications from the office of Prime Minister of India, which say that: “Systems are being set up to build capacity for digital India by engaging with stakeholders to give ideas and enabling organizations to manage them. Learning & knowledge management systems are also being introduced within the Government systems to update skills of Govt officials in order to realise the vision of a Digitally empowered India. As we engage citizens through apps and social media platforms to give feedback, a system has to be in place to analyze and drive meaningful insights from that feedback to drive policy changes. Rapid Assessment System (RAS) being set up is one such initiative.”


In essence; the need of the CTO position in the United States or Digital initiatives by PMO in India was to manage: risk, opportunity, investment, efficiency, growth & trust  at the country level through Digital Transformation. Same objectives & outcomes are also likely; when we drive our business organization through Digital Transformation.


Digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way. Today five (5) trends are dramatically reshaping our current & future economy:

Hyper connectivity

The hyper-connected world is a world where things that need to communicate will and do communicate. Truly, our dishwasher can talk to the power grid, our fuel sensor can talk to the gas station, and our grass can talk to our sprinklers. Hyper-connectivity means everything is talking: person-to-person, person to machine and machine to machine. These interactions are 1:1, 1:many and many:1.

Super Computing

The limits of 20th century computing power are gone. Networking & in-memory computing allow for the creation of new business opportunities, which were previously unimaginable.

Cyber Security

Cyber-security is the protection of information systems from theft or damage to the hardware, the software, and to the information on them, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. Bad actors have expansive disruptive capabilities. Today; the trust remains the ultimate vehicle or investment capital; giving security focussed organizations a significant advantage in brand reputation.

Smarter World

Sensors, Robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence are the new normal driving the outcome-based economy.

Cloud Computing

Imagine how many innovating ideas died down early because of the fear and inability to cope with high capital investment in technology infrastructure. Good new is: Technology infrastructure can now be rented to eliminate the barriers to entry. Project timelines are dramatically shortened and customer relationships are becoming increasingly direct.

It is said that in next 10 years; 40% of the global S&P 500 will no longer exist; if they don’t keep up with these technology trends. However it is understandable that not all types (size + industry combination) of businesses will require transformations listed above straight away. But it is indeed time now for the plan and to check what is absolutely essential to drive original strategy of the business through these changes.


While the change is inevitable; maintaining Simplicity, Transparency and Reliability in times of change will make the transition smoother. Driving simplification of everything from the Boardroom to the Finance, Risk and Insight functions enabling them to respond with agility to opportunities and risks in the Digital Economy can drive decision-making and control functions of every organisation. We need solutions, which can bring effectiveness to the following:

  • Effective Risk Management
  • Real-time Control/Awareness over the business
  • Automated Continuous Monitoring
  • Risk & Controls structure
  • Advanced Cyber security technologies
  • Fast Analytics tools for Big Data
  • Predictive Technologies
  • Transformative Audit capabilities
  • Next generation security/fraud solutions
  • Reduce infrastructure cost & customer engagement cost
  • Reduce boardroom meeting time and effort through better information flow
  • Leverage predefined best practices to accelerate time to value

Four key building blocks are essential to digital transformation: cloud, mobile technology, data, and networks. Together, these building blocks can fuel an enterprise’s shift to the new way of doing business, in a much simpler way.

Insight Simplification through Technology

  • Cloud for Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Predictive Analysis

Finance Simplification through Technology

  • Cloud for Analytics
  • Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
  • Accounting & Financial Close
  • Collaborative Finance Operations
  • Treasury & FRM

Risk Simplification through Technology

  • Cloud for Analytics
  • Access Governance
  • Controls & Compliance Management
  • Fraud Management
  • International Trade Services

Operations Simplification through Technology

  • Cloud for Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Real-time insight
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Dashboards & Mobile Analytics

With over 1.3 billion people now on social networks, it’s no surprise that networks play a large role in digital transformation. Social transformation is one of the four essential building blocks of digital transformation. But they are not essentially the same thing.

As growing digitization and evolving consumer demand rapidly change in the marketplace, executives must find new ways to innovate for business advantage. By embracing digital transformation – the use of new technologies like cloud, mobile, Big Data, and social networks – companies can capitalize on new opportunities and optimize existing operations to achieve significant business improvement. But to transform themselves, they must have the right digital assets in place first to protect their own operations from disruption.

The 2015 Gartner CIO Agenda Survey show that not only do CIOs expect, and aspire to, a leading role in digitalization, their CEOs expect them to step up and lead the digital charge during this critical transition period. To seize this unique opportunity and ensure that their enterprises survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world, CIOs must accept the “digital now, digital first” reality, address long-standing challenges in value and risk management that could thwart digitalization and replace pragmatic command and control with vision and inspiration.”