#GartnerSEC: Understand the Destination of Digital Transformation for Better Buy-In

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Security and risk leaders need to know where their plans for digital transformation are going.

Speaking in the closing keynote of the Gartner Security and Risk Virtual Summit, distinguished VP analyst Mary Mesaglio said leaders are facing four current crises in health, climate, economic and social issues, and this can lead to “transformation fatigue” as leaders are asked to accelerate digital transformation during volatile times.

“So how do we deal with this notion of fatigue with this notion that we have to double down on acceleration? The first rule is to know what we want to change into. I work with a lot of executive teams and know what they want to transform into, but that is not enough to drive the change,” Mesaglio explained.

She said the issue is the people who do the changing are led by you, and it is difficult to determine a clear and motivated endgame for them: “you’ll find the people lower down are not that clear.” Mesaglio highlighted five questions that can be asked to figure out what the transformation is, and why:

  • What are you transforming into and why?
  • Can you tell me that in under two minutes – this is a test of clarify, but are you sure what the destination is and where you’re going?
  • Can you do it using no corporate speak? Use real language and not just buzzwords
  • Can you do it in a way that would be comprehensible and motivating to the front line – to those doing the changing?
  • Would your peers say it too? Not using the same words, but with the same coherence “as you don’t want transformation schizophrenia as it leads to bad things”

She added: “It’s a high bar, but it is necessary for any change you want.” Mesaglio said that, too often, corporate messages use pictures of young, beautiful people and the message doesn’t make sense, “this is why you need a real destination and real language.

“If you are undergoing fatigue and still need to digitally accelerate, the first rule is to know what you want to transform into; this is a non-trivial exercise regardless of if you are a small or a large team,” she concluded. “Make sure you know, that there is no corporate speak as that is not going to save you and once you know that, don’t assume a big problem needs a big solution.”

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