Most organizations have either began their digital transformation journey or are planning to start with it. As companies look to digitize most of their services and functions, the role of IT and tech teams has become all the more important. On the technical front, it is the IT infrastructure that lies at the core of digitization, and from the perspective of change management, it is culture which plays an essential role in facilitating transformation.
Vidya Srinivasan, Head of IT infrastructure, Genpact discusses how with the right combination of infrastructure and culture in place, organizations can lead a successful digital transformation. Here is an excerpt from the interaction with her on ‘culture and digital transformation’:
How do you think the role of IT leaders is changing? What should be the key priorities of every IT leader amidst this period of digital transformation?
IT leaders must become a truly trusted partner of the business.
To be able to do that they have to be anticipating how the company’s business model is changing, how IT can enable the changes, and how they can challenge the business’ thinking to come up with a more valuable solution.
Further, there is one major challenge grappling most IT leaders today. It is the fact that even newly deployed digital technologies need to be in sync with the company’s core IT infrastructure. For this, IT leaders must adopt a kind of startup mentality that allows traditional parts of IT to keep running while they help the business understand what they want to achieve from digital.
Finally, ‘mindset shift’ should be one of IT leaders’ top priorities. Traditional IT organizations are “wired” to value stability and seamless operations. But with digital, the IT team is being told to, "go disrupt, go think differently.” Essentially, to go against their DNA.
IT leaders need to figure out how to re-engineer their team members’ thinking, and who their strongest change makers are to help champion the new way of thinking and working.
They also need to prioritize making sure that the digital technology vendor ecosystem will be successful in the company’s evolving IT environment.
As a leader in IT Infrastructure, can you enlighten us and our readers on the importance of having a strong infrastructure before any organization embarks on their digital transformation journey?
Most organizations don’t have that luxury of time. The digital transformation journey has to kick-off quickly because of business reasons, and customer and workforce expectations.
So, it is important to let that journey begin and then start mapping other prioritized pieces to enable the transformation, while subsequently looking at the core IT infrastructure to enable digital, self-service, modern work, etc.
However, it is vitally important to recognize that a digital architecture built on an old non-scalable, non-agile system will ultimately not survive. One of the ways to overcome this issue is by using a hybrid model in which some things operate on-premises and others in the cloud. This worked very effectively for Genpact.
How can businesses ensure that they have a strong foundation with the right infrastructure in place?
Although money must be spent on infrastructure changes, the most important part of the foundation for digital transformation is a strong change management program.
How the business uses technology will change, and how customers interact with the business will change. IT can make a major contribution by getting involved and becoming the catalyst that pushes those changes.
How can HR teams and IT teams work together to ensure a smooth transformation journey for their company and employees?
Firstly, as HR is a key stakeholder, IT needs to understand what HR’s needs are and how they get things done.
Secondly, as the process of digitization requires such a large mindset and skill-set shift, HR and IT need to work together to create an environment which allows to try and fail. They should also identify the agile employees and give them the opportunity to evangelize the value of the transformation.
At Genpact we drive a culture which supports employees to learn, think differently, embrace different skills, take bets, and fail fast.
A major piece for running a smooth digital transformation involves hiring and retaining the right digital and IT talent. To hire the right talent, HR and IT – in fact, all areas of the company – need to work together to create an enticing and exciting internal culture.
For instance, at Genpact, we have been able to hire and retain high-caliber, high outcome-producing talent through consistent demonstration of our “Learn. Grow. Succeed.” employee value proposition.