The digital imperative for CIOs is clear but daunting

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CIO Transform 3

Transformation is a top agenda item for many enterprises. The definitions of transformation span multiple categories, but with the pace of change and ever-increasing adoption of evolving technologies it's difficult to know which approach will turn transformation into business success.

Seeta Hariharan, General Manager and Group Head for Tata Consultancy Services Digital Software & Solutions Group, believes the answer lies in understanding the technologies driving transformation and leveraging them by optimizing the customer experience as the end game.

Hariharan explains, "The digital imperative is clear: leverage the confluence of mobile, cloud, big data and social media to build lifelong customer relationships, grow your business and cut your costs, or be left behind by competitors that do. But the imperative is also daunting. It's all changing so fast! New technologies get introduced every day. Customers know-and share-so much. Their expectations grow daily. Businesses have massive amounts of data, but lack the tools to analyze and use it.

"Eighty-five percent of the world's data has been created in the last 2.5 years. So the digital transformation has taken many of the clients across all verticals by surprise. This is more an imperative for our clients, not a choice. They know they need to address this transformation in the next 2-2.5 years. The clients also know they have to look at the technologies that are driving the transformation together, not in isolation. Clients need to get their heads around what impact these technologies have on their operations. These technologies are transforming the way businesses can customize promotions and offers to meet individual customer needs, inform the decisions they make on what products to develop, empower them to predict demand and optimize operations and most importantly, allow them to understand each and every customer better."

Clearly there are many options and the landscape is evolving every day. But customers are always the focus. Making the best use of the technologies customers want to use and optimizing their experience through a digital transformation is the path to customer retention and long term success.

Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software and services through business strategy.

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