Leading a Digital Transformation: The Challenges and the Promise

By February 1, 2021

Now more than ever, businesses are looking to drive successful digital transformationIn industries across Canada, leaders are being tasked with responding to competitive threats and external pressures. The most successful companies are establishing a new strategy for creating value – one fuelled by data, new technologies, and their own unique expertise and capabilities.  

 At Think Summit 2020we heard from Chantale Lemire, Vice President of Customer Experience and HR intelligence, Industrial Alliance Financial Group (iA), one of Canada’s leading group insurance and wealth management companies.  

 Working with IBMChantale and her team are spearheading a digital transformation program for iA’s 27 contact centres across Canada. Chantale is focused on aligning the client experience with the employee experience. Her HR Intelligence team ensures that the right skills, the right people, the right talents, at the right locations are ready and able to deliver that client experience. 

Tune into the Think Summit replay to hear Chantale discuss the challenges and the key factors that contribute to successful digital transformation strategy. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation: 

The Challenges 

Change management across the entire ecosystem is the biggest challenge during the transformation journey. Key questions will arise, such as: 

  • How will the business sectors be integrated?   
  • Will this interfere with their own internal projects?  
  • How will executive leadership support the transformation?  
  • Is the business case solid 
  • Will we realize the benefits that we are expecting?  

The goal is to deliver an excellent client experience model that successfully engages employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners across business sectors – not just B2C but also B2B. 

Working Virtually During COVID 

During COVID-19, iA went from working as a multi-disciplinary team on-site to a virtual world almost overnightDelivering value to the business and a seamless experience for clients while working virtually necessitated:  

  • Getting the right tools to get the work done.  
  • Focusing on delivering “small miracles. For example, capsules were built for the contact centre agents to enable them to stay empathetic to clients while dealing with exceedingly difficult interactions 
  • Trying a new approach. By taking smaller steps to deliver continuous value to business sectors, they were able to move forward in spite of the challenges 

Critical success factors  

  • Break the silos. To build holistic solutions for the future, a strong, multi-disciplinary team must be able to work not only with the business sectors, but with external partners like IBM. For iA’s contact centres, this included: technology, security, data, and infrastructure experts; trainers and coaches for the day-to-day activities in the business sectors; and contact centre operations team members for scheduling, measuring performance, and delivering value to business sectors.  
  • Understand the project’s size and scope. Ensure you have the time, budget, and people in place to deploy the project.  
  • Establish strong governance. You need an executive sponsor or group of sponsors through a governance structure that will support you and give you good advice.  

IBM can help jumpstart your digital transformation journey. To get started, visit ibm.com/services/business/digital or contact me @Rosane_Giovis

By Rosane Giovis, Partner and Leader, Digital Consulting Business, IBM Canada