Three’s Jackie Glynn: ‘Digital transformation should be a collaborative effort’

25 May 2018

Jackie Glynn, head of the portfolio management office at Three Ireland. Image: Three

For Three Ireland’s Jackie Glynn, digital transformation is about a lot more than simply digitising the shopfront.

Jackie Glynn joined Three Ireland in June 2015 as head of the mobile operator’s portfolio management office.

She has more than 25 years of experience in technology and business, having previously worked at Virgin Media Ireland, Eir, St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and HP Ireland.

‘It should be a collaborative effort where all silos are removed to allow the data and unified digital vision to flow throughout the business’

Future Human

Glynn is a faculty member of the Institute of Project Management Ireland, lecturing on the IPMA-certified project management diploma and IPMA strategic project diploma. She also is vice-president of the Ireland Chapter of PMI.

She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (computer science) and University of Limerick (master’s in project management).

Is digital transformation a loaded term or does it mean real, tangible transformations of organisations?

Digital transformation is tangible and real. At the heart of its success, it enables a company to acquire market share, enter new markets and open up a range of new possibilities, providing a firm foundation for differentiation and growth.

Can you cite examples of organisations where successful digital transformation projects have been embarked upon?

Digital technology is driving diversification and the opening up of new markets.

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and rapidly diversified into a host of other product categories.

GE brands itself as ‘the world’s premier digital industrial company’. At the core of its transformation is the recognition that, in the future, it is the intelligent use of data through all stages of asset life – from anticipating a need, to design, to manufacture and test, to install, use and maintain, to retire – that will drive the company. Predictive maintenance is the key and it has built an immensely powerful, analytical platform to achieve this.

What are the core tenets of what digital transformation actually means, in your opinion?

For me, digital transformation is about more than just digitising the shopfront. It needs to also encompass elements of the following:

  • changing how companies reach customers
  • using technology to drive operational efficiency
  • using technology to reduce cost and overheads
  • implementing big-data solutions to enable the digital business

All of the above will drive a fundamental change to the current business model that impacts every function of the company, and will result in changes to organisation structure, skills and capabilities, processes, and culture.

Who should lead a digital transformation strategy? The CEO, the CIO or a cross-section team from the organisation?

A digital transformation strategy should be driven by senior management, underpinned with a cross-functional team that executes the strategy, and enabled and informed by technology leadership.

It should be a collaborative effort where all silos are removed to allow the data and unified digital vision to flow throughout the business.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years