Category Archives: Digital Transformation

CEOs Need to Consider These Factors When Starting a Digital Transformation

CEOs Need to Consider These Factors When Starting a Digital Transformation

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Imagine you are a CEO/CAO/CIO in charge of your organization’s digital transformation. Here are some of the things you might see:

  • The organization is way behind the digital transformation maturity scale
  • The C-Suite may be older and are not familiar or comfortable with emerging technology.
  • The C-suite can’t envision the company converting into a digital one.
  • IT is in disarray and ill-equipped to deal with the onslaught of changes coming.
  • There is no proper data management, business process management, or measurement of any kind other than the basic financial stuff.
  • You’re unsure of the current internal support you have.
  • The company as a whole has no real digital strategic vision with any focus on consumers.
  • No one knows how to assign value to their data.

So how do you start? If you’re in charge of starting a digital business transformation, you will want to make sure you have a clear vision of the organization’s future, start a robust change management program from the beginning, hire and retain the right people, and identify the appropriate projects and outcomes that will allow you to reach your digital transformation targets.


You need a clear vision

Having a strong, clear vision is essential for any successful digital transformation. But what does that truly mean for you? Here, a bit of self-reflection is in order. As the CEO, you have to determine where your company is in the grand scheme of things and whether or not the company is ready for a digital transformation. But what does this mean? The questions you must answer are:

  • Where are we on a digital transformation maturity scale?
  • How do we use our data?
  • Most, if not all, organizations will become data-driven, digital companies. Can you c-suite stakeholders envision and understand this?
  • Can you, as the CEO, envision this as well?

If no is the answer to the last two questions, perhaps the entire c-suite, including you, is not the right group for the job and you need to get up-to-date immediately.

If yes is the answer to the last two questions, then great. But that’s not all. As the CEO, you must now plant the seeds to develop a new business model for your organization; one that revolves around the client experience.


You need to implement change management NOW

As a digital transformation leader and implementer, your biggest hurdle will be the organization’s corporate culture. One of the most effective methods of leaping over that hurdle is to establish a robust change management program from the beginning. Timing is important because such a massive change will require a continual, consistent message of the changes that will come and their impact upon the organization, making sure to emphasize any benefits.

What many will tell you is that getting buy-in from the major stakeholders is very important. While this is true, it is only part of the story. What is even more important than the buy-in from stakeholders is their commitment, which can materialize as:

  • Assigning dedicated resources to the digital transformation initiative;
  • Acting as digital transformation champions throughout the departments;
  • Taking responsibility for certain initiatives or projects derived from the corporate digital transformation strategy.


You need help; IT can’t do it alone

While change management is important to get both buy-in and commitment from staff, it might become apparent to you that additional skill sets and expertise from outside the organization may be required to successfully implement the business’ digital transformation. Your IT department only has enough resources to maintain the operational work, not to do that and a digital transformation on top of that, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. They. Will. Need. Help. This help could take the form of:

  • The creation of an internal innovation or digital transformation group, to help foster innovation within the company;
  • The use of a 3rd party vendor or consultant, like Rextead Consulting, who can provide knowledge and expertise to the changes going on within your industry and outside it, and guide how to shape your digital transformation strategy to meet and deal with those industry changes.


You need to determine the desired outcomes

There are some outcomes that you will need to determine to get the ball rolling on a digital transformation. A strong project management office (PMO), through prioritization, benefits realization, and portfolio management, can be used to develop an implementation roadmap to determine:

  1. The desired business outcomes;
  2. The digital transformation initiatives and projects that align with those business outcomes;
  3. The desired impact of project implementation on the business outcomes;
  4. A prioritized list of projects with realistic timelines.

A strong PMO can also be used for bringing a renewed focus on measurement throughout the organization via benefits realization.

Hopefully, this blog post doesn’t present itself as a simple rant, but if it does, please understand that I’m merely emphasizing that you, as a CEO, must appreciate the importance of a strong, clear digital transformation vision, a robust change management program, knowing when you need help and getting it, and the focus on business outcomes.

If you have any questions about this, please email me at marc@rexteadconsultingcom or contact me at

High Level Outcomes for a Digital Transformation


High Level Outcomes for a Digital Transformation

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

In my last post, I talked about the thought behind visioning for a business or digital transformation. Part of that process involves determining outcomes; those results that you are hoping for once you’ve done your transformation. In this post, we’ll take a look at some digital transformation outcomes that touch on internal processes, data, and customer satisfaction.

Increased Efficiencies by Decreasing Duplication and Increasing Automation

Every organization that undergoes digital transformation is looking to increase their internal efficiencies through decreased duplication and increased automation of their processes. When undergoing your digital transformation, some outcomes to look for are:

  • Decreasing administrative time using multiple systems, data input and entry;
  • Increasing the efficiency of your sites from an end to end customer experience;
  • Eliminating paper records;
  • Linking to other systems along the value chain;
  • Adapting quickly as customer/ministry/program requirements change;
  • Eliminating double work in office processes through an online scheduling system;
  • Implementing an efficient online booking system for customers and partners to use for appointments and cancellations

Increased Focus on Data Management and Reporting

Digital transformation brings with it data…lots of data. So much data, you’ll quickly realize that your organization is changing from one driven by paper and manual processes into one driven by data. To take advantage of this, here are some outcomes you should strive for:

  • To be able to run reports/obtain necessary data from one system to inform program decisions and customer services;
  • To gather correct and complete information for program planning, delivery, evaluation, budget, ministry reporting, etc.;
  • To increase access to customer data by staff regardless of location while being respectful of privacy and confidentiality;
  • To improve customer care and outcomes due to staff who have greater access to data and information

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Last, but not least, is increasing customer satisfaction. This should be the holy grail of your digital transformation. To sip from that grail, consider attaining the following outcomes:

  • Improving customer satisfaction through integrated services;
  • Using current technology at all sites to create a seamless customer experience;
  • Increasing customer and staff satisfaction in your organization’s services;
  • Enhancing the customer’s experience;
  • Enhancing your staff’s experience

Some Concluding Thoughts About High Level Outcomes for Digital Transformation

In summary, there are certain outcomes that you should consider when planning a business or digital transformation:

  • To improve the overall user experience;
  • To better inform decision making through electronic reporting;
  • To improve clinical efficiencies through the elimination of duplicate and manual processes, and;
  • To improve integration

By no means is this list comprehensive but it should give you a start in thinking about how to approach your digital transformation. If you have any questions about this, please email me at marc@rexteadconsultingcom or contact me at

A Future Vision for Digitally Transformed Healthcare

A Future Vision for Digitally Transformed Healthcare

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

While I wouldn’t call them laggards, many healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt digital transformation. However, if they do adopt transformation, it will often be in the form of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation. Implementing EMRs can be a complex, difficult, and expensive operation. It’s almost like dental work; you don’t really look forward to the pain but you know that the results will be beneficial to you. The best way to manage this pain is to establish future vision of what that digitally transformed healthcare will look like, specifying what will change and who will conduct this change. To help with this, you must:

  1. Look at the way you interact with your client and figure out how that will change;
  2. Look at how your organization will change internally.

How to Improve Your Client’s Experience

When implementing a digital transformation, you should envision a point somewhere in the future where:

  • There is one unified client record where data can be used for client care and programming purposes;
  • The client has access to online self-serve booking and registration;
  • The client is able to provide electronic consent;
  • The client’s privacy is secured with access and security controls in place;
  • The client has access to electronic devices at clinics when needed.

How Your Internal Processes Will Change with Digital Transformation

Now you have an idea of what future client interactions will look like once you have transformed your business. You can now start to develop an internal vision that will complement the external environment and pivot along with it when needed. Your future vision of your internal processes can include:

  • One integrated system, or fewer systems that are integrated with one another;
  • One client record where data can be used for client care and programming purposes;
  • Records that are accessible to other health staff;
  • Reduced administrative costs where the savings are reinvested into the client;
  • Integrated statistical systems (where all client and demographic information is stored, documents are pre-populated to meet ministry reporting requirements, inventory management that tracks inventory, usage and billings in one system);
  • Clinical information about the client that is available throughout the clinics, where systems are speaking to each other;
  • Better use of storage areas for electronic records;
  • Electronic devices for staff, e.g. tablets;
  • Faster systems.

Two Areas of Focus When Creating a Digital Transformation Vision

Creating a vision enables you to create a pathway to achieve your desired digital transformation results. To accomplish this, you need to focus on two areas:

  1. You must have an understanding of your clients and how technology will change their interaction with you;
  2. You must then change your internal processes to adapt to your clients.

If you have any questions about this, please email me at or contact me at

Some Data Management Questions You Should Be Asking

Some Data Management Questions You Should Be Asking

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Here is an interesting article by Eric D. Brown describing how important data is to digital transformation. Specifically, there are three questions organizations should ask themselves when managing their data:

  1. What types of data are you collecting?
  2. Where is it stored?
  3. What are you doing with it?

Mr. Brown accurately states that while transactional data (sales, financial, etc.) will get the bulk of the attention during the initial throes of a digital transformation, these three questions will play a pivotal role in your digital transformation, especially when you start to deal with the new generation of machine- or sensor-generated data, which will grow at a far faster rate than transactional data.

One think I would like you get from this is that while these questions are a great start, they’re not the entire spectrum of things to consider. Assessing the true value of your data can be more complicated and will require as much governance as any other strategic asset.

How is it for you? Are you asking these questions about your data?

8 Lessons Learned for Public Sector CIOs Implementing Digital Transformation

8 Lessons Learned for Public Sector CIOs Implementing Digital Transformation

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

As a CIO, one of, if not the, most important things you can do is to successfully implement digital transformation within your organization. Doing so would mean that you exerted a greater positive impact than almost everyone else in the organization, with the possible exception of the CEO. As awareness of the importance of digital transformation becomes apparent, so will the challenges of implementing it within your organization.

Any digital transformation blog will tell you how important the customer is, but here, we are going to broaden the definition of customer and focus on the CIO’s customers; namely the internal departments, divisions, and staff of the organization that will directly use and be affected by the services that the CIO will provide through her/his department.

In my professional life, I have seen a number of CIOs try to implement digital transformation within the public sector, some doing relatively well, others not so much. CIOs from both sides of the spectrum have made mistakes and what I have found is that these mistakes have led to lessons can be grouped in the following ways:

  1. Embrace a multi-cloud future

    • Some vendors (in fact, all of them should at some point) provide cloud versions of their applications that may be better than anything you can build yourself within a platform, such as, Salesforce
    • What you’ll want to do is to evaluate the internal program and the program-specific services they provide. If there is a current online app that handles at least 80% of those services, then go with that. If not, THEN consider putting it on a platform
    • You probably don’t have the resources or skills in-house to build the apps and the costs to have someone else do it may be prohibitive
    • Use open APIs with a developer network – carefully open up valuable business data strategically through APIs both internally, as well as outside to business partners and entrepreneurs. Then build out a developer network that makes the API attractive and something that 3rd parties will invest in

2. Begin with the end in mind

  • Through digital transformation, you are ultimately building a digital company. Are you ready for that? Is your CEO/CAO ready for that? Is everyone else in the organization ready for that?
  • Have a clear vision
  • In order to get to your desired future state, achieve small, quick wins

3. Get buy-in or get out

  • Focus on the strategic risks – you’ll want to make sure that you are taking enough risks and not be too conservative – communicate the risks of staying still
  • Do roadshows and get the CAO involved
  • Buy-in is extremely limited among employees who lack any opportunity to make changes or improvements. Instead, they simply throw up their hands and go along – without the passionate energy that underlies every successful digital business
  • Create digital transformation committees that features representatives from each department – create digital transformation champions
  • Focus on the business outcomes; as your clients are shifting to an outcomes-based business model,, you, as the CIO, need to understand this, know what those outcomes are, and gear your transformation to address them
  • Beware…change management will be a beast and getting buy in will ultimately depend upon how well this piece is executed

4. Follow a proper procurement process

  • Don’t fall in love with the first platform you see – always conduct a full-scale RFP process in selecting an IT technology partner/vendor. If your company has business units that provide IT services, stand firm and participate in the RFP process just like an external organization
  • Ensure that a clear, detailed understanding exists between your company and the IT sourcing provider on the responsibilities of each party. Ensure the rest and assigned in the forthcoming legal agreement governing the outsourcing relationship. There should be no surprises!

5. Know what you’re talking about

  • Don’t take your staff for granted; they’re smart and they can smell your B.S.. Know what you are talking about and always strive to further understand the organization
  • If you’re going to implement something like Agile or Business Process Management, make sure you understand what it is – training for this tends to require more intense use of resources than originally planned – everyone may need to be trained
  • Focus on business analysis – you need business analysts to help with the understanding of the business problems. Without this understanding, you will not succeed
  • Be willing to take risks but quickly learn from your mistakes
  • Analytics is a hot and trendy topic but it is less important when you’re still swimming in paper;digitize everything (or as much as possible)!

6. Consider the C-Suite

  • What is your governance structure like? Who do you have to convince/persuade to get things done?
  • Do you need a Chief Digital Officer? If your organization is large enough, you might need help with leading the digital transformation initiative

7. Neglect the operational and kiss your job goodbye

  • There is a major disconnect between user expectations and what IT can deliver, and it is hindering innovation
  • CIOs are responsible for BOTH operational AND strategic work
  • Your main goal as CIO is to keep the lights running, so to speak. If you try to implement without considering this, your clients (the rest of the organization) will soon revolt against you
  • See point #6 re: chief digital officer; here is where a CDO may help with the strategic work and the CIO could focus on the operational

8. You need help, you can’t do it alone

  • Consider democratizing your IT strategy. There may be a number of functions within your organization that are IT-related that you as a CIO do not have control of. Before absorbing everything into your group, pause. Do you have the resources to do everything that’s required? If you’re in the public sector, chances are, you don’t, so this approach is fraught with risk. Instead, develop techniques to solicit input from the wider circle of employees and make the strategy one that’s created owned, and understood by the entire team. This helps with buy-in and may allow for greater recognition of potential threats and opportunities.
  • Outsource as much of the implementation as possible. Technology implementation, in some cases, is a commodity so putting your scarce resources into this work is not putting them to their optimal use. Use your staff to assist in areas, such as, strategic planning, business analysis, or change management

Implementing a digital transformation is not easy in the most technologically advanced companies, let alone public sector organizations. It can be so difficult and so massive to undertake that one can easily become overwhelmed as it is all important and all of it needs to be done now. A common thread throughout this post is the importance of people; digital transformation is not so much a transformation of technology as it is a transformation of people and culture. Focus on people, culture, and use tools, such as the Digital Transformation Pathway, to help you avoid the mistakes of CIOs-past and ensure your digital transformation is as effective as possible.


A Review of the UK’s Government Transformation Strategy

A Review of the UK’s Government Transformation Strategy

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Once realizing that they need to undergo a digital transformation, many organizations, including yours, may feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to start, especially how to draft a strategic plan to move forward with innovation. Well, the government of the UK has released such a strategy that may help provide guidance in your attempt at drafting your company’s future.

Earlier this year, the UK government released their Government Transformation Strategy, which attempts to explain what transformation in government means and how this work will be done. This is important because government, more than perhaps other organizations, are big and slow and, hence, are at an extreme disadvantage when trying to implement digital transformation on such a massive scale.

I find that this strategy from the UK government is a well thought out one whose scope touches on three broad components:

1. Transforming whole citizen-facing services – to continue to improve the experience for citizens, businesses and users within the public sector
2. Full department transformation – affecting complete organizations to deliver policy objectives in a flexible way, improve citizen service across channels and improve efficiency
3. Internal government transformation, which might not directly change policy outcomes or citizen-facing services but which is vital if government is to collaborate better and deliver digitally-enabled change more effectively

Like any proper strategy, the Government Transformation Strategy has a vision, one that any organization can apply for themselves as well. The three main points of that vision are:

1. Better understand what citizens (or customers) need
2. Assemble services more quickly and at lower cost
3. Continuously improve services based on data and evidence

Think about it; all of us need to understand our clients better, the availability of new technology can allow us to customize the services we provide to increase customer satisfaction, and that same new tech allows us to gather more data and evidence to further fuel points 1 and 2.

Another point in the strategy that caught my attention was that not only do you need to understand the needs of your customers, but you need to understand the needs of your staff, vendors, and anyone else you work with. All of a sudden, this digital transformation stuff gets more complicated, doesn’t it?

One final thing I wanted to touch on regarding this strategy was the recognition of the need for a Chief Data Officer. Obviously, this will apply to those belonging to organizations large enough to require a C-suite. The CDO must lead the organization in its use of data and be the digital transformation champion for the business. Do you have one in your organization?

It will be interesting to observe how the UK government will progress in implementing this strategy, especially since digital transformation will be an iterative, never-ending process. It’s important to remember that all of this is for making your organization more flexible and nimble so that the needs and expectations of our clients/customers are met to their expectations and satisfaction. What do you think? How close is your transformation strategy to the UK’s? Do you even have a transformation strategy? If not, there’s no better time than the present to start drafting one.

Let’s go!




By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Tired of dealing with content chaos? I write this post to share some exciting news about my company, Rextead Consulting, which I hope will be of interest to those who wish to move their organizations forward as they wrestle with their information and  file management processes.

As I alluded to in a previous post, digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of your business and it means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in your organization, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.

That’s a mouthful isn’t it?

In fact, I can imagine that digital transformation may seem a bit intimidating to some. Who has time to worry about that when you have clients to service, bills to pay, and staff to manage? Believe me, I understand.

It has become clear to me that something, perhaps a product or service, is required; a product that can quickly get to the heart of your business’ pain points and effectively resolve them so that you can move forward with growing your business.

I would like to introduce to you Rextead Consulting’s new product, the Digital Transformation Pathway:


The Digital Transformation Pathway advances the view that the future of your business cannot be assured solely on proceed with “business-as-usual” practices; rather, adapting your enterprise to the changing world around you must ideally become your organization’s default mode of operation. It includes:

  • Strategic Planning & Risk Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Business Process Mapping
  • Project Management
  • Information Management
  • Benefits Realization
  • Change Management

What could a solution using the Digital Transformation Pathway look like? It could be a reduction of all of the paper that you use. Imagine saying goodbye to those expensive cabinets in the hallway taking up valuable real estate. Or perhaps you want to beef up your privacy measures to make certain that breaches won’t happen in your business. Or maybe you simply can’t find your documents when you most need them and as a result, you have both you and your staff wasting time and money looking for business-critical information that should be at your fingertips.

That being said, typically, any organization that participates in digital transformation is more focused on increasing revenue than on cutting costs. That means they care more about growth than margin. Or they are more customer-focused and emphasize making every interaction with their customers as enjoyable, or as painless, as possible. Executives are looking to information professionals to deliver tangible value to their businesses through improved processes and enablement of information assets.

That may be you, but it might not be. The important thing is that your pain points are being addressed.

If you’re interested in having a discussion, please feel free to contact me at or at

Paper Sucks: Why Document Management is Vital for Digital Information


Paper Sucks: Why Document Management is Vital for Digital Information

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Sometimes, it feels like paper is the cockroach of business; it refuses to die.

Chances are you’re dealing with a lot of paper within your organization. Printing, scanning, archiving…all of this leads to the generation of paper, paper, and more paper.

Let me tell you about my experiences. I admittedly used to print out reams of paper to help me work. Any interesting articles I found that was relevant to my job would end up as piles of paper on my desk.

Any project management documents that I was working on? Same thing.

Have you ever tried to clear your desk? How do you feel? Clear-headed? Calmer? More focused? Your organization will be the same way once you do this on an enterprise-scale. Stop dealing with paper stacks and deal with transforming your business into the powerhouse it could be.

Some of the problems you face when trying to manage paper:

  • Cost per invoice is high
  • You may feel that you have too many staff or that you are not using staff efficiently
  • The time to correct an invoice error is long
  • Processes are complex and out-dated
  • Reporting on your information is painful and expensive as e-Discovery is a real problem for you

You can try to outsource much of this but the anchor of old manual process will still weigh you down.

We at Rextead Consulting feel that taking action on digital transformation initiatives and projects is important for you to really get a handle on these challenges. Here are some things you can do to better manage your documents:

  1. Capture your documents as close to the source as possible. This means try to catalogue and process them as soon as they enter your organization. This helps ensure high data quality throughout your business processes.
  2. Convert your current analog sources of documents to digital. Faxes, mail, etc. should all be received electronically. This doesn’t mean that you should go to your giant cabinets that are blocking the hallways and start scanning reams of documents. DON’T DO THIS! It’s a waste of time. Cut your losses and move forward. Instead, try to ensure that the paper documents that you do have are records that are of vital importance to the business and that all duplicates and the redundant, obsolete, and trivial stuff (ROT) is destroyed.
  3. The metadata and taxonomy structure for your digital documents is important so that you can find whatever you’re looking for. The amount of information we generate increases exponentially, so the ability to find your documents when you need them will provide dramatic savings in costs and time spent.
  4. Automate the document management processes as much as you can. Free up your intelligent and capable staff from doing monotonous work and get them working on things that will help your business meet its goals.

How are you dealing with your paper issues? Have you made any progress that you would like to share? Let me know!