How To Mastermind A Company’s Digital Transformation

Sanjay Verma heads up one of a roster of new digital transformation short courses at one of Australia’s leading business schools

Photography, banking, video-streaming, gaming, retail, and entertainment. All of these things have one key thing in common—they have all gone digital over the last few decades or less.

The business landscape is evolving. Consumer needs aren’t the same as they were yesterday. As technology disrupts industries, companies are looking for new ways to grow and stay relevant.

This search leads to digital transformation, a strategy that involves integrating digital technology into all areas of a business.

Digital transformation changes how businesses operate and deliver their services. According to research and advisory company Gartner, one-in-two CEOs worldwide see a revenue increase after introducing digital improvements.

At the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales Business School in Sydney, a suite of digital transformation short courses are being introduced this year to help professionals lead this change.


Why is digital transformation important?

Sanjay Verma is the program director for the digital transformation courses at AGSM. He has over fifteen years of experience in the space, previously helping to lead the collaboration and codesign team at PwC Sydney. He also runs his own boutique consultancy to support companies making digital change.

Sanjay explains that the short courses are intended to equip senior leaders with the practical knowledge they need to successfully lead digital transformation. The portfolio of courses will cover how professionals can manage digital technology, harness digital marketing tools, build and maintain platform business, and navigate future workforces.

“Digital is driven by technology, but it’s not necessarily defined by it,” says Sanjay.

“What is clear is we’re living through a time of great change. We all need to be thinking about, on both an organizational and individual level, how we stay relevant to the market and how we equip ourselves for the future.

“A big part of that is understanding how to add value for customers in new ways in order to continue to be relevant.”


How to overcome digital challenges

Sanjay explains that the first fundamental step in any digital journey is understanding and feeling comfortable in a digital context. This is a basic need when tackling the inevitable challenges that will arise.

Linking a changing market to your business, adding new value to customers, understanding your role in enabling change and collaborating with other people in order to innovate and deliver new models will all be critical.

“Digital plays out in all parts of a business,” Sanjay continues. “Everything from your value proposition, to the way you think about your assets, operations, and how you structure your people and the culture you create”.

Professionals should consider how they will structure their organizations and respond to digital giants and startups entering the market. Following this, understanding how to scale up and embed these new practices will be key.

“You can’t win in today’s market using yesterday’s rules,” explains Sanjay. “You really have to work out what new ways of working exist in the marketplace and this also means understanding how you let go of old models in order to nurture new concepts.”


More than just an academic course

Everyone who completes an AGSM Short Course receives their certification as a digital badge.

For students, the courses offer points towards the AGSM Certificate in Executive Management and Development, which can be attained by gaining 12-unit points over a maximum period of 48 months. Those who complete the certificate, gain credits towards select MBA qualifications.

AGSM’s Short Courses are focused on equipping professionals with the appropriate skills and tools to go out and apply what they have learned to the market.

The digital transformation courses will bring in top-level individuals from the private sector and the government who have had experience leading digital transformation themselves.

One partnership involves data science research organization CSIRO Data61, a company that is currently working on enhancing the role of ethics within artificial intelligence.

“What we’re trying to do with the course is really bring a real-world flavor,” says Sanjay.

“What we’re putting together isn’t so much just an academic course, as a really interesting conversation. It’s the coming together of multiple vantage points to make this really rich.

“We will all discover something new in the process.”