I found Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie’s Spotlight article earlier this week both interesting and insightful.  I was particularly impressed with his statement that the city’s digital success “did not happen by chance, but are the results of a balanced strategy for digital transformation.”

Having been in the industry for as long as I have, the promise of every new technological breakthrough to impact not only our business but our personal lives as well is not new, especially regarding the sense of excitement and anticipation it creates. And while this new era of cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence promises to create touchpoints in virtually every area of our lives as never before, to fully leverage the promise towards achieving the optimal outcome has not changed. Specifically, the need to have a defined strategy and plan of execution.

However, getting to the point of being able to develop a strategy let alone a sound implementation plan that converts the digital promise to a tangible, meaningful outcome is not a simple task.

Like Guelph, whose multi-track or channel approach involved the region’s traditional industries, the retention and attraction of talent, and a civic tech mandate, your approach will also require a coordinated effort involving multiple stakeholders within your current infrastructure. This coordinated effort is the first and most important stage of getting your organization “digital ready.”

What does digital readiness involve?

According to one recent industry article, there is a pressing need for CEOs to “find and deploy the right technology as fast as their budgets will allow.” When they talk about deployment, it means “leveraging” the best technology whether on-site or in the cloud, “to deliver the highest levels of performance and security for today’s mobile and tech-savvy users.”

In the context of savvy users, let’s consider the healthcare industry, to which I have a particularly close connection, as it is the industry in which my wife has spent her entire career.

Digital transformation empowers consumers by providing them with better access to higher-quality information and care options, with the potential for a higher level of convenience and satisfaction overall. For example, and given our aging population, there is an increasing interest in home health care services. Technological breakthroughs in this area are some of the most exciting in the healthcare industry.

For the healthcare provider – whose main focus is elevating the level of patient care on a cost-efficient basis, they are better positioned to deliver through digital advances such as telemedicine, mobility and cloud access, wearables and IoT an optimum level of service than what was previously possible.

However, and despite the impact that these digital breakthroughs could have in the healthcare industry, there is a need for greater insight and collaboration if we hope to achieve these exciting outcomes.

With this in mind, at the ACTIVATEDIGITAL 2018 Conference on February 27th in Guelph, there will be multiple debriefing sessions set-up following each keynote. The purpose of these sessions is to respond to any questions regarding the specific keynote topics and facilitate further discussion with a focus on gaining additional insight into how attendee organizations can structure and implement a digital transformation strategy.

These sessions are open to everyone in attendance. However, I would suggest that you plan to arrive immediately following the keynote as there are a limited number of time slots open.