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The state of Convergence 2017

After a whirlwind Australasian tour, it’s hard to believe that Empired and Intergen Convergence is done and dusted for 2017. Three weeks; eight locations across Australia and New Zealand; 35 keynote, client and industry speakers; 28 Empired and Intergen speakers; close to 1000 attendees… And more true life stories of disruption, experimentation and transformation than you could poke a stick at (and, as a side note, hardly an Uber mention in sight – I counted three in total across the entire series of events – although Kodak did get a fair few mentions as the representative cautionary tale for our times).

If you made it along to a Convergence near you this year: thank you for joining us.

If you didn’t make it along this year: there’s always next year – we’ll be bookmarking dates for 2018 before you know it. And if next year isn’t going to come soon enough for you, you can always view the session slides here. Or drop us a line through the previous link and tell us how we can help.

Plus there will be more Convergence recaps and session write-ups featured here on the Intergen blog over the coming weeks.

And if you want to see what Convergence-goers told us about the state of their organisations’ digital transformation journeys, check out and have a play with our Power BI dashboard here.

For me, the highlight of my Tour of Convergence was without doubt having the opportunity to hear the real world stories of our clients and, as panel facilitator, to talk to them about their digital transformation experiences – from their initial ‘aha’ moments to the lessons learned throughout their journeys.

While there were lots of common themes across the eight digital transformation in action panels (more on these in the next Convergence blog instalment next week), one thing was very clear:

While as organisations we’re all faced with a pressing challenge to transform ourselves to stay relevant in the face of constant disruption, there is no single right answer to how we do this.

In the words of St Vincent de Paul’s Executive Officer, Norma Abeyasekera, in order to achieve real change, “You have to meet the business where it’s at.” Which means there’s no silver bullet or paint-by-numbers chart.

Each business leader told a story of a different journey and approach – they’ve all done it differently, but for largely the same core reasons, and each with their company’s fundamental vision and purpose front of mind.

I chatted with business leaders from various roles across enterprises of all sizes, spanning a range of industries, and it’s clear that ownership of digital transformation is bigger than a single role (whether CIO, CEO, CMO, CDO…). It’s a challenge and a responsibility that belongs to us all, wherever in the business we may sit. True digital transformation requires a shift in mindset – and often a leap of faith. It needs to be leader-led but owned by everyone. The days of IT strategy and business strategy being two mutually exclusive conversation are gone: as an enabler technology underpins all things. There is only one conversation.

In the words of Bob Smith, CEO of Public Trust: “I don’t have a digital strategy. I have a business strategy.”

And, as we saw from the stories of our client leaders, when this true convergence occurs – between IT and business – true, sustained transformation can become a reality.

Posted by: John Bessey, Empired Group Executive GM Sales & Marketing | 15 November 2017

Tags: Digital Transformation, Intergen Convergence

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