Dawn-Marie Elder: What I Learned About Digital Transformation Biking Through Laos and Cambodia

As corporate citizens ‘Digital Transformation’ is part of our daily lexicon. But what does it mean? Who does it benefit and how? A recent sabbatical to Southeast Asia made me question the approach I, and many others, take to tackling large scale digital transformation projects. I biked, hiked and kayaked my way around Laos and Cambodia with my PC locked away in the hotel safe. Ironically rather than lifting the veil of technology dependence, my digital detox plunged me into the world of digital innovation. Innovation enabled by technology but born out of necessity. It was the purest and most successful digital transformation I’d witnessed.

At the Women in Cloud Summit 2020 I’d like to share with others the insights and best practice I learned from that trip. I left Asia understanding that large digital transformation projects often miss a key component in their planning – understanding individual-level motivation. I’ll use my time at the Summit to open a dialogue about:

  • The power of human motivation to achieve successful Digital Transformations
  • How to harness digital transformation to improve lives

I would like attendees of my session to leave with the understanding that Digital Transformation is simply the continued evolution of life. It’s our job as leaders to make sure that the digital transformation projects we initiate are used to understand and empower. Whether that is end-user empowerment, employee empowerment, female empowerment or economic empowerment, is for the individual to decide. As the current leaders in the ongoing technology evolution, history will not judge us kindly if we forget the human. Not only is human buy-in essential to make any digital transformations work, but we have a moral obligation as innovators to use tech for good. 

Collective action is the first step to ensuring empowerment in any form. It means harnessing the power of a group of like-minded individuals to benefit the majority; creating opportunities for the individuals within that group to benefit the collective. Most importantly it means understanding the base motivation of individuals to create greater opportunity and success for all by ensuring root level buy-in.

This January, I’m looking forward to connecting with powerful leaders and entrepreneurs who recognize the change is an evolution – not an event or demand – which drives technology innovation, adoption and sales. I’m looking forward to meeting innovators who are challenging the status quo, and delegates and speakers who challenge my own thinking.

Purchase tickets for the summit and experience the best of technology through a community that is changing the idea of women empowerment. 

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