Jag Tailor is one of the many high-caliber IT Executives who will be a facilitator at NCS Madison’s 2019 Miami CIO Strategy Meeting on December 12, 2019.

Jag Tailor has been with Sony Pictures Technology for more than two decades. He currently holds the title of Senior Vice President, Global Information Systems, with responsibility for all application development and maintenance for North America, Latin America, and the Europe regions. Jag will be leading our discussion group on Digital Transformation in Miami, continue reading for a preview of his upcoming session.

“There’s a lot of clutter out there and therefore, if your company is embarking on this journey, start with the end goal in mind – Define Strategy before Technology roadmap.”

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation (DX) is a term that is already heavily used, but the definition may not be so obvious. Perhaps one way to describe it is as a disruption. For companies such as Uber, they were born digital and there is no transformation. However, most established companies are trying to reinvent themselves (“digitize”) with the burden of legacy systems, processes and mindset.


What does it mean to be a digital business? What are the factors you would consider critical to creating your digital organization?

Once again, the answer depends on who you talk to. For example, those companies at the beginning of their journey may consider moving legacy applications to the cloud as digital transformation. On the other hand, companies more advanced are reinventing products, services, or customer acquisition processes.

Various studies point to critical roadblocks when it comes to initiating the digital journey. Some challenges are organizational (silo departments, lack of collaboration), Cultural (risk aversion), and even leadership related (lack of clear strategy, “leave it to the IT guy” mindset, etc.). Who drives the digitalization is probably one of the most important factors – it should start at the top. If it originates (or is pushed from) within the IS/IT department, the CIO will have a tough job as she will need to drive the change management in addition to the technology considerations.


What are the opportunities and potential risks of digital transformation in the era of digitalization?

Opportunities are endless. Okay, that was easy and maybe not the best answer. Perhaps we need to reframe the question: What if we are late to initiate the digital journey? The answer is that your competition (existing as well as new) may leave you in the dust. As I mentioned before, it is a disruption – from history, we know that disruption brings some winners and many losers.

In terms of transformation risks, the failure to realize value from an investment is high unless the roadblocks are addressed at the beginning. There has to be a clear mandate/investment from the top, driven by product or customer strategies, and a change management champion.


How does digital transformation change the way an organization creates value for its customers and business partners?

An organization may create new digital services that can augment current services or create new markets working with partners across industries. One typical strategy that is often embraced is to leverage DX to get “closer” to the customer. This may be achieved through improved agility allowing response to customer’s needs (almost) in real-time.


What example(s) can you give of a successful digital transformation?

I can mention one small example. My team was able to combine website log data without PI, which was previously used only for troubleshooting, with partner’s data (a credit agency) to create a rich visual map of website visitors. The map highlighted customer location, household data including income, their capability to purchase premium products, competing brands being considered, etc. This type of data enrichment can effectively lead to marketing process innovation. One important lesson we learned is that we need to broaden the definition of Customer and Partner beyond the traditional view.


What is one thing you would like attendees of your discussion group to leave knowing about digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a journey, but the path is anything but clear. There’s a lot of clutter out there and therefore, if your company is embarking on this journey, start with the end goal in mind – Define Strategy before Technology roadmap.


Register for our upcoming 2019 Miami CIO Strategy Meeting or one of our 2020 Strategy Meetings now to participate in thought-provoking discussion groups such as this one.