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Does digital disruption keep you awake at night?

September 10, 2020

Welcome to a world of disruption

Every day, new competitors are sprouting out from nowhere. Companies are being dis-intermediated by platform-based businesses. Facebook, the world’s most popular social media company, creates no content. Grab, is Southeast Asia’s largest provider of passenger transportation, but it owns no vehicles. Airbnb, the world’s largest provider of travel accommodation owns no real estate. Disruption is usually driven by technology and the C-suite will need to change their game to ensure, not just the success, but the very survival of their organizations.

It’s time to change the game and CIOs must lead the transformation journey

Gathering the responses of 473 business leaders from 32 countries, the Gartner 2019 CEO Survey asked leaders to rank their top strategic business priorities for 2019 and 2020. Their response was simple growth, IT-related items and corporate (structural development), financial, workforce, and customer. While IT-related items were second in priority, technology is the cornerstone for most of the priorities such as growth, product improvements, cost management, innovation, efficiency, and productivity. In this fast-changing digital environment, CIOs find themselves at the epicenter of action. To truly achieve digital transformation, we believe that CIOs must adopt an inventive approach to transformation and drive both technological and operating model transformation simultaneously.

Inventive IT – business-led and IT-driven transformation – is the answer

We call this new paradigm ”Inventive IT” – the simultaneous transformation of technology and operating model that enables business results. Inventive IT sets businesses to thrive on digitalization and inventiveness, propelling them to be competitive and successful in this disrupted digital world. We believe in delivering business value through the Inventive IT framework that transforms technologies such as digital and data platforms as well as operating models such as agile at scale, at the same time.

How organizations mess up their agile transformation

The journey to becoming agile is challenging and, from our observations working with clients across the public and private sector, most organizations face some common slipups when trying to achieving their desired objectives. Agile, fundamentally, is a re-design of the enterprise’s operating model. Two of the most common failures when trying to adopt agile operating models are the lack of emphasis on the cultural implications of an agile transformation and the lack of alignment among the leaders of the organization. Successful transformations require not only bottom-up change in the ways of working at the team level but at the executive level as well. Too often, we notice that companies only embraced iterative agile development in theory, while management stuck to rigid frameworks and tried to maintain status quo.

Make agile the new normal

“Embrace Agile as the new norm” is one of the guiding principles of Inventive IT. We believe it is crucial for organizations to embed agile so much so into their culture such that it pervades all business practices. After all, the gains from an agile transformation requires giving up some pre-existing ways of working. Too many businesses trying to adopt an agile approach lacked leadership alignment and ignored the cultural significance of adopting agile ways of working. We believe that transforming the practices and culture of the business and IT functions will enable them to work together in an agile mode at scale and deliver value rapidly. Agile facilitates business and IT alignment by delivering through short-term cycles, enabling decentralized prioritization and demanding product ownership. We specialize in partnering with businesses to help them succeed in their agile transformation journey.

How we helped a major mobility company embrace Inventive IT

A major European railway company wanted to launch an ambitious IT transformation program but struggled to scale up its enterprise-wide digital transformation. By creating agile foundations and relying on cloud to support the digital platform, we worked with our client to frame the strategy, steer the program, and managed the delivery. Utilizing the Inventive IT framework and by embracing agile principles, we were able to help the teams regularly revise their priorities to ensure the smooth integration of the program while ensuring that the project was delivered on time and within budget.

Simultaneous transformation is the key to implementing Inventive IT

In this challenging environment, technology is essential in solving business issues confronting all sectors. To succeed in this constantly evolving world, transformations must embrace both technological and operating model transformations, not in isolation, but simultaneously. We believe that CIOs will only achieve this by taking an inventive approach to transformation. Inventive IT is the key to enabling game-changing business results by building technology capabilities and progressively implementing new ways of working at the same time.


Dawn Koh 

Senior Consultant

Capgemini Invent