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Digital transformation program: How to drive business success

No longer just a buzzword, digital transformation has become a top business priority. But CIOs across most industries still struggle to properly scale their digital transformation program, according to a recent Gartner report.

At the recent CDM Media CIO Boston Summit, we asked Bill Gillis, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, to share his advice for CIOs implementing a digital transformation program. First, CIOs should figure out what problems they are trying to solve because it will help them choose the right technology to drive their digital transformation program, Gillis advised.

In this SearchCIO video filmed at Summit, Gillis shared tips for success and explained how selecting the right vendor also helps CIOs with their digital transformation initiative.

Editor's note: The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

What advice do you have for CIOs who are leading their company's digital transformation program?

Don't let the industry drive what you need.
Bill GillisCIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization

Bill Gillis: Don't let the industry drive what you need. Think about the problem you are trying to solve and the technologies that might help you solve those problems.

I always go back to the analogy of building a house. If you don't have the right tool set, you can't really build the house properly. You can pound a nail with a screwdriver, but that's not really the best tool. What you want to understand is: What is it you are trying to build? That will help you understand the tool set you need.

And then, obviously, the other side of that is building great relationships and finding the right vendors that understand what you do and understand your business model. In our case, in healthcare, I always want to find a vendor that has healthcare experience; it's a very different industry.

It is important to find the group that works well with you. I tend to like to find not the big behemoths and not the really small folks, but that niche boutique group in the middle that can work with us and really understand our problems and help solve the problems and challenges that we have.

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What other factors can help drive a successful digital transformation initiative?
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Mekhala, the human component of the digital transformation is critical. At the end of the day, it is more a human challenge and new sets of behaviors that you want the company to exercise than a technology challenge. It is a major change management program at a very large scale.
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Agree!
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