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Why Digital Transformation Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All and How to Customize It



Why Digital Transformation Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All and How to Customize It

No two companies are exactly alike. Neither are two digital transformations.

Organizations will spend an estimated $2.3 trillion per year on digital transformations by the middle of the decade, but they will spend it in drastically different ways.

Therefore, while it can be tempting to follow the lead of others (especially into the digital unknown), doing so can easily guide digital transformation in the wrong direction.

Three Different Realities

Consider three hypothetical companies.

The first has outdated technology, so “digital transformation” means bringing the tech stack up-to-date and investing in the strong technical foundation required for a digital-first future. The second has invested in technology for years but is uncertain how to adapt its business model to leverage that technology. For this company, “digital transformation” is about finding ways to deliver and derive value in a technology-driven world. Finally, the third company has the right technology and the right business model. Still, it lacks the experience to complete the transformation, so “digital transformation” is all about turning new concepts and capabilities into a viable operational model.

The Only Option

These companies illustrate that digital transformation can look vastly different across industries and enterprises.

One size does not fit all

For a successful transformation, a custom approach is the best — and really the only — option.

The Best Strategy for the CIO

Understanding that all digital transformations are not created equal is the unfortunate reality for most CIOs. They face mounting pressure to make progress on this issue and show results.

It would help them to follow a proven playbook — but that doesn’t exist.

Instead, intrepid CIOs have to figure out what their company needs (technology, strategy, and/or experience) before building a plan around that goal.

Time and Money

To make matters more difficult, digital transformation must happen while daily operations continue running as normal. That means CIOs have to fight for funding on top of their typical budgets and they must find time to handle new responsibilities without neglecting their old ones.

Instead of turning all their attention and resources to digital transformation, CIOs must fit it in wherever possible.

A Holistic View

They must also think in terms that go beyond cost-efficiency.

It’s easy to justify digital transformation initiatives that offset their own costs, but those are just cost-neutral — and not necessarily beneficial.

A better approach takes a holistic view of ROI and prioritizes whatever initiatives deliver the highest value, even if that means spending a little more upfront.

The Necessary Evolution

Another factor to consider is the dynamic role of people and processes in digital transformation in addition to technology.

CIOs will need to consider how mature they are on each of these three fronts — and then plan upgrades accordingly.

Full transformation isn’t complete until every part of the company evolves — from the C-suite downward, and from the IT department outward.

Navigating Your Transformation

CIOs may not have a road map to follow or the ability to take inspiration from their peers when it comes to navigating a successful digital transformation. However, they can employ some best practices to make digital transformation equally effective no matter what form it takes:

1. Map stakeholder expectations.

Digital transformation may have one overarching agenda (update technology, gain experience, etc.), but it doesn’t have to be single-minded.

Speaking to different stakeholders across departments and levels of leadership can help uncover what people want (and don’t want) from digital transformation.

Recording and then mapping these expectations helps whatever strategy gets put into action have the biggest impact possible.

2. Plan long-term.

Regardless of whether a company needs to focus on technology, strategy, or experience, it will need to address all three during the course of a comprehensive digital transformation.

It’s unrealistic to think any aspect is “transformation-ready” on its own.

Furthermore, updating one affects another (adding new tech requires a rethink of the business model, for instance).

A long-term plan will identify the highest priority and dedicate resources accordingly without neglecting other areas.

3. Keep changing.

Here’s one way that digital transformation is equal across companies: It’s never complete.

From now on, companies will need to constantly evaluate their technology, strategy, and experience level for signs that things are falling behind.

Digital transformation will be a key competitive differentiator. Some companies will use it to surge ahead; others will neglect it and suffer the consequences. Once again, every company will need to evolve and adapt in different ways moving forward. That said, no company can afford to call the process complete and end there. It’s time to stop thinking of digital transformation as a shared experience that companies are going through collectively.

On the contrary, every transformation is unique in its own way.

The more that CIOs blaze their own trails, the better.

Image Credit: john schnobrich; unsplash; thank you!

Harish Dwarkanhalli

Global Head of Applications and Data business

Harish Dwarkanhalli is Global Head of Applications and Data business at Wipro Limited.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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