How CIOs can lead digital transformation

BrandPost By O2
Mar 31, 20154 mins
CareersIT Strategy

Digital services are connecting us faster than ever before, with Facebook recently reaching 50m users in a fraction of the time of anything before it – including the television, iPod and the internet. In this hyper-connected world, the way we use technology has never been more closely aligned between our business and personal lives. With that comes an expectation to receive the same seamless, and straightforward, digital experiences from our service providers that we get from our social networks.

We now expect access to information, whenever and wherever we want it – seamlessly, effortlessly and immediately. In order to stay relevant, organisations must ensure they continue to keep pace with these rapidly changing demands – alongside the complex challenges that come with the digital revolution – to deliver a unified, effortless and ultimately simple experience to their employees and customers.

The decision on how to do so is now a board-level issue. And it’s the CIO who faces the challenge of delivering these immersive digital experiences to their customers and employees, whilst maintaining productive, secure and efficient teams throughout their organisation. CIOs are certainly aware of the increasing necessity of this digital switch. In fact, 51% of the CIOs we spoke to felt that digital change was coming too fast. Unsurprisingly, some share a perception that implementing new technologies can be complex, expensive, and potentially disruptive to their business.

But are they right to be concerned? There are of course challenges in modernising any IT infrastructure, as digital services bring with them a host of new connections, complex networks and a sea of heavy traffic. It can be hard for legacy infrastructure and networks to adapt to these new demands. CIOs must overcome these challenges in order to align the latest technologies within an increasingly complex and often outdated infrastructure. Even if implemented as effectively as possible, these legacy systems are likely to struggle with the increased demand for services placed on them. That’s why it’s no longer possible to achieve a full business transformation by arming employees with the right devices and software connected to these outdated set-ups. Businesses now need to implement a robust, agile and digital-ready infrastructure, which allows for company-wide transformation.

Whilst it may seem complex, it doesn’t need to be. In fact, complete renovation of your entire IT infrastructure is actually a lot simpler than it sounds. At O2, we’ve done just this, having recently embarked on our own journey through digital transformation. By simplifying our infrastructure and bringing together our fixed, mobile and WiFi networks, we’ve developed the architecture to provide our employees – along with our 12m wifi + 24m mobile – in the UK alone – the seamless digital experiences they have come to expect.

We have developed the complete platform to provide immersive, flexible, and – most importantly – simple digital connectivity to both our customers and employees. By offering a range of services – mobile devices, M2M, O2 Gateway, cloud and security – through one platform and one supplier, we have been able to rid the digital revolution of its complexity and make IT easy once again.

So as we embark on the next phase of the digital revolution, it’s important to remember that digital transformation equates to business transformation. It’s not simply a new technology to add on to your existing infrastructure – it should signal a complete change in your methodology and how you do business. It presents a new, better way to work. By implementing it in the most efficient way, you can provide the rich digital experiences that the market now expects and not only do more, but be more – to both your employees and your customers.