IT shifts away from ‘Big Bang’ digital transformations

Recognizing that digital transformations never truly end, many CIOs are pumping the brakes and shifting to a more measured and thoughtful approach to innovation.

IT shifts away from ‘Big Bang’ digital transformations
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When Shannon Gath took the technology helm at AMAG Pharmaceuticals just over a year ago, the company was in the midst of an enterprise-wide digital transformation. One of her first actions, along with her commercial business partners, was to pump the brakes on a multimillion-dollar data management and analytics technology investment that was expected to streamline customer data, help the company better understand the customer environment, and lead to new customer offerings. 

Despite the project’s solid intentions, “It wasn’t the right investment for us for the size of organization that we are,” says Gath, vice president and head of technology at the Waltham, Mass.-based company. A majority of the core capabilities they were really looking for already existed in a current platform and could be implemented with an upgrade.

That pause allowed Gath to introduce more governance around the project and gather consensus by asking key leaders, “Do we really want to make that level of investment at this point in time? Or can we solve 80 percent of the problem with an incremental investment to be re-evaluated at a later point in time? Are there other problems to solve in the organization with those budget dollars?" They ultimately agreed with her assessment. 

“I believe in meaningful innovation, something very deliberate and purposeful,” Gath says. She’s not alone.

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