Executive Q&A
The Path to Becoming a Digitally Enabled Company


October 30, 2017: Organizations are using powerful cloud technologies to transform how they operate and deliver on rising customer expectations. But many still struggle to realize the benefits of those tools, in great part due to low levels of digital adoption. Following the completing of the CAMSS Canada East 2017 conference, we spoke with Philip Grosch, Partner & Digital Services Lead at PwC Canada, to discuss pragmatic and proven adoption techniques that are helping drive digital transformation in large well-established organizations.

1. Organizations are using powerful technologies to transform how they operate and deliver on rising customer expectations. But many still struggle to realize the benefits of those tools. What can this be attributed to?

The cloud has unlocked the opportunity for organizations to deliver new technology-enabled capabilities with amazing speed—and the reality of the modern workforce is that we have a broad range of digital acumen that’s constantly challenging organizations to embrace these new tech-driven ways of working. The accelerated rate and amount of change is making it hard for organizations and individuals who aren’t naturally adept at embracing change.

2. What are some of the pragmatic and proven adoption techniques that are helping drive digital transformation in large well-established organizations?

It starts with understanding human behaviour, utilizing user experience design to build the solution as well as adaptable ways to digital adoption. It’s really about reimagining traditional approaches to training and providing support that’s flexible and adapts to the reality of where each individual stands on the digital acumen scale—considering their propensity to embrace change.

3. When you hear the term "Digitally Enabled Company", what does that mean to you?

This is a pretty broad term that may have different meanings depending on the business opportunity the organizations is focused on. At a high level, I would define it as a company embracing new skills powered by enabling digital capabilities to fundamentally change the way we work—from how organizations service customers, design products, to how they manage supply chain and close the books.

4. Are some industries walking the digital path better than others? Why would certain industries potentially struggle with digital transformation?

I think there are good examples in many industries—from financial services to mining and retail.  Newer enterprises that build their business from scratch, leveraging the modern realities are always touted as the go-to examples. While well-established large enterprises typically struggle with moving from functional or add-on digital innovation to end-to-end enterprise scale digital enablement.

5. In your professional opinion, what risks do companies run if they have not already begun embarking on the digital journey?

I’m not sure there are many organizations, if any, that would fit into this grouping. Digital means many things and there can be a great deal of starting points. In the broadest definition, digital is the way organizations consume technology, accelerating speed to market and realizing more value by helping change the fabric of how organizations work. Ignoring this is not a long-term approach.