The Power of a Strong Technology Foundation
As Sood explained, the power of technology is unprecedented. It drives customer value, efficiency and growth, all while helping organizations achieve better outcomes. The lack of a strong, innovative technology foundation can prevent organizations from reaching their goals.
Sood said CDW puts technology at the center of its “entire corporate strategy,” recognizing that technology should act as the catalyst to change. When organizations are ready to make changes, Sood and his team consider how the technology can help meet business goals, scale alongside the organization and deliver better insights along the way.
Part of developing a foundation that can support digital transformation is aligning leadership to prioritize change. “From our CEO or board to the executive committee that I work with very closely, there’s clear alignment around the need for the technology transformation” Sood said.
What Practices Best Support Digital Transformation?
With unified leadership, CDW has been able to propel its digital transformation strategy through a combination of agile processes, technology initiatives and an effort to reframe the concept of transformation. CDW moved to a scaled agile framework, allowing the company to optimize processes such as quarterly planning. It also increased flexibility to respond to things like market fluctuations, permitting Sood and his team to react and recalibrate in real time.
Sood also sees great benefits from modernization initiatives, including component and software upgrades. These initiatives take place each spring, he said, when his team sets aside time to address them. This helps CDW tackle their technical debt year-round while also working on broader modernization efforts across the organization.
Finally, reframing transformation relies on balance, Sood said, noting that there must be acknowledgement of the organization’s internal and external initiatives. It’s important to work toward internal goals while meeting customer demands and ensuring customers receive the highest quality of service. Digital transformation will continue, but it’s up to organizations to implement strategies that enable internal growth and support external efforts.
The Fine Line Between Success and Failure in Digital Transformation
Technology alone doesn’t enable digital transformation — change management is critical, Sood said. Specifically, it’s people that make the difference. First, organizations must develop strategies to promote value and increase adoption.
Second, having the appropriate team can make all the difference. Sood noted the importance of getting the right people in the right leadership positions. Identifying people who have a “journey mindset,” who are committed to driving change and who possess a range of skills — technical, communicative, planning and more — is fundamental to a successful digital transformation strategy.