With rapid technology advancement comes the need to digitally transform businesses parallel to this rapid rate of change. Dan Ritch, the CIO at NorthMarq, has been a part of some iconic and top-notch companies like Dell, IBM, Honeywell, working to drive digital transformation. He joins Spekit CEO, Melanie Fellay, to discuss the most innovative strategies and tactics a business needs to drive transformation across various sectors including Operations, Sales Enablement, Information Technology and beyond.
Here’s our interview with NorthMarq CIO, Dan Ritch.
The three pillars of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation for NorthMarq has been centered on three pillars being growth, talent and innovation. Working in close connection with enabling internal teams as to how they can better serve customers.
- Growth: Focus decisions on technology to grow the business faster than ever before
- Talent: Integrate the best tools and technology to attract the right talent
- Innovation: Blend innovation to the extent where internal team ideas can be brought together and the best are implemented.
Dan Ritch emphasized that businesses must look for champions, people who are experts in their field and who want to bring about change for continuous improvement. These individuals help cascade the message positively throughout the organization, promote buy-in and establish credibility. Involving them in every aspect of the business and using their insights and feedback helps to construct the strategies that lead to success.
Melanie added on by highlighting the differences of focus between the business and the IT teams and how the business champions here prevent friction between them. She appreciated how NorthMarq has been super active about building those champions, whom the business can rely on, as they have influence over various levels in the organization. Furthermore, praised Dan for implying the distinction that not only leaders/managers bring improvement, but also those champions who care and sincerely work towards growth.
Before COVID, employees could just swivel their chair when they had a question over to the Salesforce team and they’d have help. When they’re working from home, how do they do that? That’s what Spekit has become for us. The swivel chair to quickly get answers while remote.
Dan also commented on how choosing the right partners can be a game-changer to assist in driving the business forward and achieving the goals set. NorthMarq has partnered with Sense Corp, Salesforce and Spekit who understand their model and help to drive it.
NorthMarq’s leadership had set priorities to be followed up on a monthly basis and no matter what these had to be maintained. This helped the company stay in focus throughout, with have-to-do tasks assigned and followed through. This became more of an internal competition considering who brings the business the most value.
Melanie later shared a perspective she got from various company leaders that no matter how much you innovate at the rate your technology team can, but if the end-users or your business are unable to consume that innovation, or learn from it, then the company will face roadblocks. Stressing why digital transformation needs to be parallel with digital adoption.
Regular communication: A game changer
Winding up, Dan stressed on the importance of regular communication in the form of small digital bites. Having weekly meetings, where the leadership of each department specifies and briefs on what is next, what all has been achieved, what is about to change, what is about to impact a specific department, etc. And, once communicated verbally, these are embedded into training with the help of Spekit. This empowers end users and helps them make decisions.
He also shared an interesting perspective of their employee about Spekit, that pre-COVID he could swivel his chair and get answers or help from the team. But as COVID enforced working remotely, this was not easily possible, hence Spekit became their swivel chair and provided answers to all queries, one click away.
The value in wise partnerships
Regarding partners, Dan emphasizes choosing them wisely. Partner with those who are able to understand the business model well and know the strategies. When everyone is on the same page, leadership is clear on the direction and partners are able to fully decipher strategies and goals, then they are able to recommend changes that may give a sudden boost and drive the business to the next level.
Adopting and adapting to digital transformation aligned with innovation and technology advancements can really be a turning point for businesses today. Digital transformation assists in modifying customer experience, uplifting collaboration between teams, escalating agility and innovation, renovating skills and cultivating a digital culture boosting productivity.
Opting to stay away from digital transformation is no longer a choice, like in the past. As of today, it’s the businesses that fully adopt digital transformation that will be the ones who prosper.