Digital Transformation, Cultural Transformation

My organization, like so many companies, is embarking on a total digital transformation. We realize that today more than at any time in the past, we need to find a way to better engage our customers and prospects in a very personalized way that adds value for them. The days of mass marketing and hoping that some of what you throw against the wall will stick are gone. Today’s consumers expect and demand the right content at the right place and anywhere and anytime they want to consume it.

Clearly, for most organizations a part of what needs to be transformed is their technology infrastructure.  Whether it’s a robust content management system to house video, audio and text content, or a robust big data strategy that helps to cut through the noise and allow you to build a holistic view of your audience, or the CRM capabilities to know what offers to put in front of what audience at what time, technology is clearly a key underpinning of a successful digital transformation.

However, the bigger challenge is not transforming your technology capabilities—but rather transforming the way you think about consumer engagement. Unlike many functions of the past, digital is not the kind of responsibility that is the single domain of a specific organizational department. We need our businesses to develop strategies related to whom we want to engage and what our value proposition is for this audience. We need our marketing teams to help us think through the best ways to get meaningful content in front of people in a way that motivates them to take appropriate action. And we need our technology groups to let go of the mindset of 99.99% of whatever technical metric used as a gauge of our success and instead focus on time to market and flexibility in trying innovative new approaches to leveraging technology to help drive customer engagement.

Therefore, the biggest transformation is a cultural transformation requiring people to learn to better collaborate within an organization, be willing to take prudent risks, and view innovation not as a “pass/fail” course but rather as a learning laboratory where we can leverage our learnings to continue to evolve our thinking and our offerings to meet the demand of an evolving market place.

I hope to spend the following months sharing some lessons learned and best practices from our transformation efforts and those of my coaching clients in the hope that they serve as a foundation of learning and evolution for my readers. 

Larry Bonfante
Larry Bonfante
Larry Bonfante is a practicing CIO and founder of CIO Bench Coach, LLC, an executive coaching practice for IT executives. He is also the author of Lessons in IT Transformation, published by John Wiley & Sons. He can be reached at

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