C-Suite Insights 4th August 2021

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Unilever CIO: Digital literacy is the most important new capability to develop




Unilever CIO Alessandro Ventura has created a digital literacy curriculum to drive tech innovation. He sees a distinction between digital transformation and digitization. “After a digital transformation your business is different than it was before. Digitization, on the other hand, automates processes but does not change the substance of your business.”


For Ventura, digital transformation starts with self-reflection and asking big questions: - what should our business be in the future? How will we respond to shifts in competition and consumer behaviour? How are we changing the customer experience?


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Making transformation stick


Strategy + Business


Transformations are notoriously challenging, and most companies fail. Even those that initially succeed often don’t maintain the changes they made. According to research, almost 70% of changes that businesses implement fail to stick.


Leaders who take the following three steps, however, can solve this problem:

  • Dedicate leadership energy to sustaining the transformation
  • Make adhering to the transformation part of performance management
  • Live the new paradigm.


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Use scenario thinking to guide cloud innovation


The Wall Street Journal


Different parts of the organisation often have competing priorities for cloud innovation programs. By using scenario thinking, CIOs and other company leaders can better align business goals with technical requirements and gain economies of scale across these efforts.


Cloud technology can help modernise the business core, power computing infrastructures, drive data strategies, and enable transformation and innovation across sectors and industries.

Frequently, however, competing priorities within the organisation can make directing cloud investments a challenge. CEOs, CMOs, chief data officers, and other business leaders may all have their own plans for innovating with cloud resources, leaving CIOs in the unenviable position of having to coordinate numerous divergent needs, varied expectations, and budgeting conversations.


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