Strategies You Need to Make Digital Transformation Work - InformationWeek

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11/25/2019
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Strategies You Need to Make Digital Transformation Work

CTOs, IT leaders, and executive management can use these examples to form their own master plans to transform their organizations and win.
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Training and Tech Trends in the Making

Kush Saxena
Image: Joao-Pierre S. Ruth
Kush Saxena

Image: Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

In a discussion of trends and strategies, Kush Saxena, chief technology officer for markets and transformation at Mastercard Operations and Technology, said the core of digital is about transforming every aspect of engagement with stakeholders or engagement of stakeholders amongst themselves. For Mastercard, which operates in the B2B2C space, he said that means making it easy to offer services combined with third-party services.

“We think of digital technologies as fundamentally changing the way people relate to each other,” Saxena said. That includes how organizations relate to each other and how companies relate to suppliers.

Saxena said the biggest opportunities in digital transformation can come from democratizing decision making and bridging technologists and makers with business opportunities. “For a company of our size, there are lots of business opportunity and consequently there are lots of teams of makers,” he said. Part of Mastercard’s transformation initiative divvied up its technology shop into mini companies, each with a business objective and a captain to lead the team moving at the pace of a small company. “Talent like that exists in the company; it often may not be in the roles they are playing today,” Saxena said. “They may need a little bit of a nudge to get them there.”

One way to give such a nudge, he said, is to combine training with third-party talent, which can better arm in-house teams. Saxena said there are benefits focusing on areas such as AI and data management to cover the talent gap but there must also be deep conversations on strategy and business. He also highlighted the importance of diversifying practical knowledge on the team. “This year, we set a goal where one out of every four people has to take a new job and experience a different part of the business,” Saxena said. The expectation is that over a four-year period, every team member could gain new experience about other aspects of their organization.

 

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth has spent his career immersed in business and technology journalism first covering local industries in New Jersey, later as the New York editor for Xconomy delving into the city's tech startup community, and then as a freelancer for such outlets as ... View Full Bio

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