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Transformer

Issue 16 2018

The introduction of technology has always been disruptive to industries and companies that weren’t so well equipped. The introduction of horse-drawn ploughs disrupted the agricultural landscape in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The mass deployment of machinery in the 18th century triggered the Industrial Revolution and changed the landscape of commerce forever. Artisans slowly and carefully making products by hand couldn’t compete with the scale and speed of output resulting from industrial machinery.

Today, we use the term disruption frequently in the conversation about digital transformation.

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As the CIO, leading your organisation through the journey of digital transformation and dealing with sources of disruption is key to your role. To achieve this, you have to understand what disruption is, where it manifests and what drives it so you can spot it coming in your sector, and respond.

CIOs have long been expected to evolve beyond a technology focus to become more of a business executive. As the CIO you’re expected to best understand the intersection of technology and business and where digitally-driven players will impact. This is a watershed moment for the CIO. Stay as you are and focus on the legacy, or evolve to be a business-focused, customer-centric change leader – a transformer. The CIO should use the threat of industry or company disruption to evolve their role in enforcing their place at the C Suite.

Not only does the CIO need to build the right kind of alliances with the hierarchy internally, but also get the culture correct within the IT function, and work with vendors to achieve your ambition.

Technology is, however, just an enabler, any strategic initiatives aimed to bring about disruption ultimately need to be business focused and there must be a benefit for your customer.

Disruption can come in the forms of new international, quick-to-scale players entering your established sector, with a different business model, but looking to target your audience and steal your market share. It could be local startups who’ve eyed a gap in the way that customers are served, or it could come from your existing competitors who’ve changed their models and approach. But best still, disruption could come from within your own organisation. Disrupting the way your business operates, disrupting the products you offer, disrupting how you serve customers and hopefully disrupting your industry leaving your competitors in your wake.

In this edition of Transformer, we look at the issues, industries and elements CIOs should consider and take cognisance of. We look at areas that have been disrupted and have had to adapt to survive. Technology and people are constantly changing and for your business to stay relevant it either needs to disrupt or be disrupted.

I hope you find this edition useful and informative.





Ulrike Weitz
Editor
uweitz@microsoft.com


Ulrike Weitz
Editor

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Issue 13 2017

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Issue 12 2017

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Issue 11 2017

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Issue 10 2016

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Issue 09 2016

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Issue 08 2016

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Issue 07 2016

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Issue 06 2016

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Issue 05 2015

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Issue 04 2015

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Issue 03 2015

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Issue 02 2014

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Issue 01 2014