Lessons from PCL’s Digital Transformation story

When Mark Bryant joined PCL in 2013, he faced a daunting task. As the first CIO of the employee-owned group of construction companies headquartered in Edmonton, he walked into a 95-year-old organization where the IT department was mired in a status quo approach.

The 150 + team of IT specialists was both talented and dedicated, but they were focused on “keeping the lights on” rather than looking toward innovative solutions focused on operational excellence, field productivity, and client value.

Today with a new focus on cloud computing, field mobility, enterprise integration and analytics, the company is a leader in its sector and a model that other turn to when looking for models for their own digital transformation.

In the October 24th webinar, A Roadmap for Digital Transformation, sponsored by Dell EMC, Bryant shares some of the approaches to digital transformation that he has embraced for success.

It begins with the customer
The customer experience is at the core of transformation, he said.

“If your customers are expecting you to change, your organization must change or become obsolete,” he said. “And this is not restricted to one vertical. You can see it happening in every industry. Construction, my industry, has been one of the later industries to undergo digital transformation. But it is happening.”

Dell EMC Director of Marketing Adeel Omer said it is important to cut through the DX hype and jargon. He said  DX is simply the use of technology to create new business streams, new value chains, disrupt existing value chains — to improve the customer experience.”

“When we talk about transforming IT for our customers’ sakes, it’s not just at the box level,” he says. “The most critical aspect is changing the culture — hiring a different kind of person, instilling a belief within your teams that they now have to skill up to a different skill level.”

DX, then, should involve every single person in a company, each of whom can and must become a change and thought leader at their own level.

Customer-driven cultural change
Omer speaks of three “muscles” when it comes to DX:

  • New applications and smart devices – the “Transform the Business” muscle, which involves the growing use of smarter apps and devices to better serve customers and derive better intelligence about what’s working and what isn’t
  • Data analytics – the “Deliver New Insights” muscle, which involves gathering data, analyzing it, and coming up with actionable insights
  • Agile development with continuous delivery – the “Accelerates Improvement” muscle of software-based updates for progressively smarter and smarter products

Opportunity to grow
Customer benefits aside, Bryant said DX has presented IT with an opportunity to evolve from a zero-revenue cost centre, or an updater or products and services, into a nimble driver of new streams of revenue. The advance of technology in recent years, says Bryant, has helped PCL’s IT group to grow and change.

View “A Roadmap for Digital Transformation” on demand

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Glenn Weir
Glenn Weir
Content writer at IT World Canada. Book lover. Futurist. Sports nut. Once and future author. Would-be intellect. Irish-born, Canadian-raised.

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