Rapid technological progress increasingly requires company to adapt and change. This is turning agility into a business model of the future and a key to successful digital transformation. We discussed how technology drives transformation and increased business agility at this year’s CIO konferenca, which took place last Friday, 13 September, in Kongresni center Brdo pri Kranju.
The event was attended by more than 200 CIOs, CTOs, CEOs and other executives.
The event served up varied content and experienced speakers who shared their views about the changing role of IT and business agility.
In his keynote address entitled “Adaptive leadership”, Klod Kolaro, General Manager, Comtrade System Integration International, defined business agility and spoke about the recommendations for modern and adaptable leadership.
He emphasized that operational agility is the exact opposite from hierarchical organizations which are static but stable and where top-dopwn management is the norm. Employees in these organizations have limited access to information and consequently worse conditions to perform their work. On the other hand, agility is different as it looks to create operations that are dynamic and stable at the same time. Instead of physically separating management and the employees, the agile approach brings together individuals who contribute to added value into project teams together with managers. As they join the teams, they provide information and divide priorities.
Next, Klod described the types of leadership types that need to be avoided to stay agile. He described the leader who needs to build on his capabilities and become:
Visionary – The leader has the vision and knows the company’s purpose, so they know where they will be in the future and why the company exists. They believe in this and communicate the story to employees.
Transformer – The leader has an open mind, is aware of the business opportunities and accepts and faces them.
Coach – The leader learns by experimenting and empowers his people to adopt this mindset as well.
Democratic – The leader knows how to influence employees and challenge them to share their ideas and believe in them.
When faced with change, companies need a comprehensive approach. Pawel Bialka, Executive Partner of Gartner in Poland, spoke about how companies can design and implement new IT business models. “What companies need is a comprehensive approach to changing the way their IT operates,” emphasized Bialka.
In practice, however, it may be hard to change the approach comprehensively. Companies continue to face certain challenges on their journey to agility. Martin Švik, CTO, IBM CEE, spoke about these challenges. Among others, he emphasized poor employee engagement, bureaucracy and low trust.
Successful transformation requires companies to understand what is blocking their path towards the goal and what needs to be changed. Only then can they take a comprehensive approach to address the challenge. “Transformation is not something someone can do for you, nor to you. It is the new you and requires leadership engagement,” said Miha Kralj, Managing Director, Cloud Architecture, Accenture.
Afterwards, Uroš Klančar, Head of Digital Transformation at Sandoz Global Product Development, in Pavel Škerlj, CIO, Petrol, d.d., gave their professional views of digital transformation. They were followed by a presentation of the results of the survey we carried out in collaboration with event organizer Housing Co, d.o.o. The key findings of the survey entitled Development of Digital Transformation in Slovenian Companies were presented by Tomaž Poznič, MSc as an introduction to the panel discussion hosting Miha Kralj, Dr. Uroš Klančar, Klod Kolaro, Pawel Bialka and Mihael Krišelj.
Each year, the event hosts an award ceremony. The prestigious award CIO of the Year, normally awarded to an IT manager or a CIO, was received by Mr. Edmond Pajk, CIO, Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.
2019 Digital Transformation of the Year award was presented to hospital Topolšica for their successful and complete transformation into a digital company.
“A successful implementation of an IT solution that ensures legal validity of digital healthcare documentation is just a springboard to the digital transformation of processes we have planned for the future,” said Marko Oberstar, IT manager in Topolšica hospital. “This award validates our efforts and confirms that we are on the right track as we move forward to expand our efforts and get even closer to our patients,” said Jurij Šorli, General Manager, Topolšica hospital.