Trust must come before transformation

The most difficult part of digital transformation isn’t the technology or the skillset, it is cultural change and glued to that is a small word with a very big meaning – ‘Trust’.

Trust is pivotal to any digital transformation strategy. It describes the readiness and ability of organizations and their chosen partners to collaborate, sharing knowledge and resources to drive economic growth.  This means working in parallel to get the best results that only come from open dialog which allows you to stay focused on your shared vision. A framework where partners can consistently set their expectations with each other – the human touch!

Orange Business UK and Ireland teams run transformation workshops with our customers. They are not, as you may expect, about technology. They are about building a long term relationship. Why? Because we need to trust the information the customer is giving us is correct from the very beginning so we can advise appropriately. The customer must have a huge amount of trust in us to share their critical data and pain points. Only when you acknowledge trust on both sides can you really start to work on the fundamentals of the project.  This need for ‘cultural alignment’ is becoming more important – with both customers and sales teams using it to determine whether the project will have a successful outcome. Delivering transformation takes time – and if you can’t work together – and trust each other – it will not succeed.

Laying the digital foundations

CIOs need to put into practice IT strategies that have a direct association with profitability as technology is now seen as a business enabler. According to the Gartner 2018 survey, 84 percent of CIOs at top performing enterprises have responsibility for business outside IT. The CIOs role is changing from “delivery executive to business executive”. This makes digitization more important than ever, but change can’t happen for change’s sake.

Suddenly change isn’t just about technology anymore. It is about human change, CIOs must get buy-in at all levels. They need a partner they can trust to speak with at a business level, not just a technology level. A partner that can help them create a knowledge sharing culture. 

Undertaking digital transformation is a complex and risky process. Some map out their journey quite quickly and accurately, others find it a struggle. Success is down to knowing where to focus time and resources on digitization. This requires a re-think of how teams collaborate and work with one another. This means breaking down silos within the organizations, sharing the burden and setting out long-term strategies.

There are organizations who have the internal resources, support and leadership to go it alone, but many CIOs are looking for strategic partnerships to execute their digitization roadmap to help them navigate the product vendor landscape and make informed decisions. They are looking to learn from their transformational experiences and tap into their knowledge and skills base. It is paramount the organization and the partner are the right match - or it will fall flat. 

A trusted partnership can help organizations to honestly appraise where they stand digitally and what needs to change to transform, distilling this valuable insight into achievable and measureable business objectives.

Partnering for success

The majority of CIOs understand the value of working in a trusted partnership to access technologies and run proof of concept in a controlled environment before pushing it out to the company.  With solid data behind them, these CIOs can make informed decisions when planning and presenting to their international leadership boards.

Trustworthiness has to be a fundamental principle of any digital transformation strategy. It may seem obvious, but it is important to remember that digital transformation is far more than deploying new technologies. It is a non-stop learning process and partners must have trust in the abilities of each other to lead effectively and honestly before digitization can start.

From inspiration to transformation. Read more about effective digital transformation here.
Lorenzo Romano

Lorenzo is the Managing Director for UK and Ireland, where he is responsible for the retention and growth of the UK business while ensuring Orange Business is recognized as the trusted digital transformation partner for all its clients. Prior to his Managing Director appointment, Lorenzo restructured the sales business to focus on driving new revenue growth across the strategic services portfolio. He also successfully evolved the new logo business, which has secured new prestigious customers, such as Google, BBC Worldwide and Jaguar Land Rover.