December 6, 2016

Change or die – the role of a CDO as a transformation driver

Alexandra Drevenlind

Chief Digital Officer, Tieto

Digitalization is about innovation and having the courage to change and challenge the status quo all over again. I want to drive change. That is my nature and chosen path.

I started at Tieto in the beginning of October, coming from Tele2, a completely different industry. I was attracted to Tieto due to the very interesting phase the company has entered along with the newly released strategy geared towards accelerating innovation, growth and customer value.

There might be differences between the industries, but there’s something that is common for all – digitalization and the related transformation. The word as such may be somewhat vague, but it is what it is: a complete disruption throughout business models, value chains, and mind-sets. Ignore it and die.

I’m also working on the traditional tasks that belong to a CIO, but a CDO is something else. I’m here to drive change and dare to constantly challenge and question processes and patterns. That is my nature – asking the stupid questions as well. Digitalization is not only about Technology  - it involves people, organization and process also, so my focus will be on the whole transformation. 

Many studies show that leadership and culture are the biggest obstacles in this transformation. That is also why it is so extremely important to focus on people. Working together with the leaders of the company, with HR, with communications, and fostering across functional collaboration is crucial for a role like mine.

Having sufficiently deep insight on consumer demands, having technology, data and advanced analytics, to help, to enable achieving predictability and patterns, will allow us to use the data to innovate new services for the end users, and create competitive advantage for us and our customers alike!

That is my perspective: looking at Tieto from the end users' viewpoint, from the outside in, the main aim being to create value for businesses and people. In my role both customers and our employees.

On the employee side, I see digitalization easing their daily life, too, through seamless and automated processes and tools for everyday tasks: handling travel bills, supplier invoices, time reporting etc. Smooth processes and tools allow more time and better focus for catering the needs of our customers.

From the technology development perspective there is no silver bullet related to this. We need to constantly try out new things and learn from each other, utilise our ecosystem of partners and customers, and foster co-creation opportunities across traditional industry boundaries. That is most likely the environment where the new innovations will be born. One needs to stay curious and open minded at all times!

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