Navigating the Digital Future to Accelerate Transformation

Community Blog
Written by Clara Howell

MAY 30, 2023

This year has already seen disruption and economic and political volatility across the globe. As organizations continue to navigate the digital future, the CIO and CISO roles have become increasingly critical and important. Across Evanta’s CIO and CISO communities, executives are finding digital business and data and analytics to be within the top 10 objectives for 2023, with digital talent falling closely behind. 

More specifically, the Vancouver, BC CIO and CISO community has expressed that all three of those topics are a top 10 priority and are largely intertwined. What’s been a driving factor that ties these three topics together? Digital business acceleration across the enterprise has technology executives looking beyond talent challenges to improve efficiency and alignment with digital business objectives. 

CIOs and CISOs in the Vancouver BC community gathered recently to discuss the vital role data and its security plays in the digital age. Executives discussed their ideal data ecosystem and strategies for relaying the value and data metrics to key stakeholders for buy-in. The conversation also touched on the need for digital talent to drive growth and innovation, while keeping the future of the workforce and organization top of mind.

Six technology executives from various industries and backgrounds including banking, government, education, distribution and retail, led discussions in small groups at their Inner Circle Dinner, a networking dinner and facilitated discussion on key business challenges identified by the community. 

Leading the discussion were Governing Body members Helen Knight, Chief Information Officer & Strategic Advisor, Salvation Army Canada; Martin Palacios, Chief Information and Security Officer, Paper Excellence; Alex Buhler, Chief Technology Officer, INDOCHINO; Rob Davidson, CISO, Pacific Blue Cross; Rachel Guinto, VP, Cybersecurity, First West Credit Union; and Mark Basco, CIO & CISO, Adentra Group.

Below were their key takeaways from the discussion on digital transformation:

Define the digital business initiative, specifying the goals.

  • It’s important to first define what digital transformation means for everyone.
  • Some industries, like banking, are implanting open banking and can compete with larger players, but one challenge is that the regulators may be years behind them.
  • One goal is to attract more customers by offering better digital services.

Understand the power of partnership internally.

  • CIOs and CISOs are in charge of providing advice to businesses to modernize, guiding the business to change manual processes into digital ones to improve business outcomes.
  • Challenges that were present include governance and training internal and external customers.
  • The key is to always partner with the person or team that owns the process.

Data is critical to success.

  • Digital business outcomes include gathering the value, monetizing the data and optimizing the data.
  • Many organizations have current data science projects underway, some of which have identified an optimization opportunity with AI.
  • It’s important to share quick wins with data to try to show value early on and regularly.
  • Remember to build a plan around organization maturity in terms of data reporting, analysis, and value.
  • Share meaningful data stories with key stakeholders.
  • Ensure you and your team understand how security and privacy issues can impact data access.

As the technology landscape continues to change and accelerate, technology leaders must work together to develop and implement robust data governance and security strategies while focusing on digital talent to drive transformation and accelerate growth. Discussing strategies and best practices with peers during an Evanta Inner Circle Dinner is a great way to network and spark ideas to bring back to one’s own organization.

“Evanta Inner Circle community gatherings provide a wonderful opportunity to validate my technical strategies and learn what other senior technology leaders are doing other industries.” Governing Body Host Helen Knight, Chief Information Officer & Strategic Advisor, Salvation Army Canada said. “I especially appreciate how my peers authentically shared their current challenges to propelling innovation, and how we worked together to identify greater opportunities to make positive change.”

For more about this topic and to stay on top of what your CIO and CISO peers are discussing, join a CIO or CISO community  near you, or check out our calendar for more Inner Circle Dinner opportunities to gather with technology and security peers in person.

Clara Howell headshot

Clara Howell

Content Manager at Evanta, a Gartner Company