I cannot believe it’s been a month already since the Forrester CIO Summit took place in Singapore. As usual, it was a great forum to exchange views with you, Singapore-based and other regional technology management leaders, on what is keeping CIOs busy these days: the digital transformation of their enterprises. Following these exchanges and my recent discussions with CIOs in Singapore and beyond, it is clear you understand that:

  • The power has shifted into the hands of your customers. Dane Anderson kicked off the Summit by making the case that the balance of power has shifted from institutions to always connected and technology empowered customers. To remain relevant as CIOs to your business stakeholders, you must shift your focus from the design and deployment of internal systems focused on process control to enabling digital products and services for more effectively engaging your customers.
  • The future of business is digital. My colleague John Brand then explained what makes a digital business. Companies like Alibaba and Burberry are digital businesses because they excel at integrating the two sides of digital strategy: creating leading digital customer experiences AND agile digital operations in service of customers.

Subsequent sessions gave the audience further insights into the steps that CIOs need to take in order to empower their business through the digital transformation journey. In particular, I would like to highlight the following calls to action:

  • Reinvent yourself to systematically understand and serve digitally empowered customers. The retail industry is at the forefront of digital transformation in Singapore. Todd Kurie, VP of Marketing at Redmart, explained how the digital retailer leveraged technology to build a customer-centric grocery service.
  • Let the business drive your technology management strategy. Richard Davies, Group CIO at International SOS, explained how he shifted his focus from IT systems like ERP to business technology (BT) systems such as decision and customer engagement systems. This allowed his team to develop a travel tracker an alert app that significantly increased the value delivered to their clients.
  • Work with your marketing peers to realize big data’s potential. Customer insight analystFatemeh Khatibloo gave a great speech on how organizations can close the gap between the data available to their organization and the ability to turn that data into business insights. Marketing is a great place to start closing this gap.

If you attended, I hope Forrester's series of Summit for CIOs was as exciting for you as it was for me. If you did not, I encourage you to join us at our 2015 Summits in Singapore (20 August), Mumbai (25 & 26 August) and Sydney (15 & 16 September). I look forward to continue the digital transformation discussion there!