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Strong leadership and vision: the essentials for tackling the ever-changing digital landscape 

By PA CONSULTING GROUP

As the digital economy continues to grow, I was reminded recently of the importance of establishing strong leadership in strategic thinking for vendors and end user companies. Announcements such as Microsoft Windows 10Google Glass product changes and IBM structural changes are all aspects of the ever-changing business environment today.

The stock price performance of these companies reveals the link between technological change and business is constantly changing. Yet these poster children of the ‘cloud revolution’ are a magnifying lens highlighting a common challenge facing multinationals and smaller to medium size enterprises and their market place dynamics. 

As we have mentioned on the PA Destination Digital blog many times, digitisation changes the game, shrinks time and location through connectivity, and alters user experience. The old models of asset ownership and large scale infrastructure are changing to new business models that may alter what it means to compete in a market and the performance outcomes that can be achieved. It also transforms sourcing, supply chains, information exchange, outsourcing and offshoring; and the notion of physical distance and time are compressed through virtualisation of communications and big data collection.  

Tackling technology within enterprise

Companies need to plan their strategic direction with each new approaching technological epoch, and think about how technology and organisational structure can be used to meet customer needs. Having a vision and roadmap that identifies a clear enterprise direction and growth is an area that C-level leaders must always keep in mind. 

Everything is in motion and nothing can be taken for granted as the walls of the physical world can be often assailed in the digital world of connected workspaces and ecosystems of the digital economy. Businesses must prepare and continually adapt to protect its place in the market and create value. 

In the coming months, we’ll be exploring more about these digital challenges, and the results of PA's global Digital Barometer survey. 

Case in practice - how are these digital challenges impacting outsourcing and offshoring? 

I have lived and worked though many such changes and it was great to hear that one such change I worked through had been selected again for inclusion in a book, ‘The Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Offshoring’. The second edition of this book was cited as the leading book in the field in The Economist (January 2013 issue), in special report on outsourcing and offshoring.

The case study looks at a global pharmaceutical organisation and its development of an IT strategy for multinational medical, healthcare and FMCG products. The company could not take its leading global brand for granted and realised new technologies could be used to introduce new on-demand medical trial services and shared common services. 

In the book, it is explained how the development of a new cloud computing vision and roadmap was used to renovate existing IT infrastructures. At the same time, it introduced innovation and workloads for rapid shared services using IAAS and SAAS, and tackled the challenges of PAAS integration, cyber security and governance compliance in a highly regulated and dynamic industry.

What are your thoughts on how companies can best adapt to these changes? 

Find out more about our work in digital transformation.

Contact the digital transformation team

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