Technology is constantly enabling us to rethink how we work. Over time, a number of technology eras have emerged and brought about significant changes in how organizations do business, serve customers/citizens or operate their organizations.

First, we saw the era of digitalization, where changing economics, Moore’s Law, Metcalfe’s Law, the rise of the Internet, the emergence of cloud services, and other disruptions impacted the channel and distribution sides of the business, i.e., how organizations reach and serve their customer/citizens. This then led to the era of big data.

The digitalization of channels and the customer experience generated massive amounts of data, and organizations have taken advantage of that. Now organizations are identifying micro-markets—segmenting and personalizing their products and services to meet the specific needs of smaller groups of customers/citizens.

Today, we are entering into a new era—the era of automation. There is an increase in the automation of processes, the automation of decisions using artificial intelligence, the automation of production through, for example, 3D printing, and the automation of movement, such as robots, autonomous vehicles, etc. What is happening now is the disruption of the back end of the business—activities involved in production and servicing.

This graphic explains key technology eras, including digitization, big data and automation

With technology’s disruption of traditional barriers to serving customers/citizens and managing the back office, only two original barriers remain. One is innovation—coming up with a better product or service—and, second, the ability to be agile—taking an innovation and implementing it across the enterprise at scale and pace before it’s replicated by a competitor. Organizations, therefore, should consider building their operations, not to generate economies of scale, which has been the strategy followed for the past 40 years or so, but instead to innovate, change and operate continuously, so that they can evolve and meet the demands of a fast-changing market.

This graphic illustrates three key digital success factors: innovate, change, operate.

Adopting an agile operating model moves an organization from one in which change happens through transformation and projects to one in which change is continuous and a part of the organization’s way of working, i.e., it’s ingrained in its DNA.

Our research shows that only about 5% of organizations have managed to achieve this state of operation (Source: CGI Client Global Insights 2018). Although these organizations are still in the early days, if financial numbers are any indication, they are starting to outperform the market. For example, in 2017, these leading organizations generated nearly 4% more revenue than the 5-year market average.

In my next three blogs, I’ll discuss in more detail these three success factors for rethinking how things get done—innovate, change and operate, including the what, how and why of each—to help your organization evaluate its current level of digital maturity and future course in becoming a more agile enterprise. In the meantime, learn more about the 2018 CGI Client Global Insights reports, including how to request copies, as well as how we help our clients with their digital journeys in the 2018-2019 Insights to Action report.

About this author


Craig Wallace

Vice-President, Strategic Offerings and Partnerships

As Vice-President, Strategic Offerings and Partnerships, Craig is responsible for strategic offerings, digital transformation, emerging technologies and CGI’s global partner ecosystem. With more than three decades of transformation expertise, Craig brings a wealth of experience in identifying value and driving transformational change across ...