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Ewan Perrin

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Ewan Perrin is an IBRS advisor focusing on strategy, business alignment, leadership and culture, and risk management. As a CIO and senior IT executive in the Australian government he delivered transformational change, including the Federal government’s first offshore hosted Cloud solution. He chaired the Australian Government CIO Forum, bringing over 50 CIOs together to collaborate on cross-agency and broader industry issues and initiatives. He has established an award-winning program management office, achieving international recognition by the Project Management Institute as an ‘Outstanding PM Organisation’. Prior to joining IBRS, he was an Executive Partner with Gartner based in Singapore, providing mentoring, coaching and strategic advice to CIOs and other IT leaders across Southeast Asia. He has worked extensively with Board and CEOs across many industries on delivery of strategic IT programs, both as an advisor and as a consultant. Ewan is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a company director in the human services sector.

Conclusion: There are two broad groups of digital strategies – bold and defensive. Companies that choose bolder strategies tend to be more successful. However, there are good reasons why certain enterprises should consider choosing more conservative defensive digital strategies as there are still benefits to be gained from this approach. Strategy selection depends on a variety of factors, including industry forces and other factors which make each enterprise unique. It is important not to be half-hearted about digital ambition – defensive strategies are not sufficient in the long run. Strong and committed leadership at the top and throughout the organisation is still crucial to the successful implementation of digital initiatives.


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Conclusion: Digital transformation is top of the agenda for most companies in 2019. Many organisations have initiated digital transformation programs and are seeing success with small-scale pilots. However, these activities do not easily scale across the enterprise or ecosystem, limiting an organisation’s capacity to fully realise the benefits of their digital transformation investment.

The biggest barrier to scaling is not technology. It is culture. The established culture in a stable and successful organisation is likely to resist disruption. Existing remuneration and recognition frameworks tend to reward existing behaviours. Individuals and groups will resist change if they do not believe the “digital vision”. A clear, compelling narrative is needed.

Effective scaling of digital initiatives must be led with a commitment from the top, intense communication at all levels and a clearly articulated vision of the future. Organisations that recognise this and can source the right capabilities to deliver large-scale digital transformations will have higher success rates than those which do not.


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