Hitting Reset: Digitisation and Technology Debt

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Business leaders pride themselves on their ability to pivot and course-correct in times of crisis and economic turmoil. But we need to get real, there isn’t a Private equity (PE), Board, CEO or management team that has experienced the cumulative health, financial and operational challenges that we faced in 2020.

As former Chairman and CEO of Cisco John Chambers used to say, “In times of market turmoil focus on the market transition.”  When a transition occurs, you focus on the transition, not the events – if you focus on the events, you’re looking backwards. Sounds easy but it’s hard to do.

Today we are in a massive market transition. Some companies are actually thriving and posting improved profits and market share. However, the majority inevitably have had to lean into these challenges by slashing costs, reducing headcount and halting investments to conserve cash.

But to thrive, companies need to make more fundamental changes and focus on the transition. That’s because if business models and mindsets don’t shift, those costs will just creep back.

put yourself in the perfect position

In this paper we continue to explore how to create and deliver new strategies by prioritising three key areas within the market transition:

Develop a new IT investment playbook: show you understand the realities of the current market and include a range of cashflow scenarios that enables meaningful comparison.

Understand and articulate tech debt: take a ‘zero-based approach’ to minimise tech debt, and create differentiation by elevating aspects of data to create group-wide efficiencies.

Deliver results at speed: manage down tech debt to open up capital for investment in innovation, and deliver short, sharp transformation projects with clear ROI.


Thanks to Martin and The CIO 4.0 community for their contribution.

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Written by
Sullivan & Stanley