At ITWC’s recent Technicity event held with the City of Toronto, I referenced research that suggested by 2020 three-quarters of the companies listed on the S&P 500 would be names that are unfamiliar to us today.

I watched the audience carefully. Some people nodded, but there were others who rolled their eyes, silently suggesting the buzz around digital transformation is overhyped. As companies find new ways to embrace technology, there may be incremental changes,  but not the talk of a tidal wave of transformation wiping out big names or whole sectors? Many don’t believe it’s going to happen.

That’s a lot to read into a few eye-rolls, but I’ve seen the look before. I saw it in the eyes of cab company executives before the introduction of Uber. I saw it in the gaze of my publishing colleagues ten years ago who scoffed at early online newspapers. And I saw it until recently in the furtive glances of big retailers and bank executives who thought they were so strongly rooted in the consumer psyche, that the party would go on forever.

Today I see a different look in their eyes. For some it’s fear, but for the best, it’s a look of determination. They have come to the understanding we are in an age of continuous change and survival is not based on loyalty earned over the decades, but the services and customer experience that is provided right now. Today.

Today’s challenge

We may be early in the digital transformation era, but it is today’s challenge. It has become evident to me if we are going to help the eye-rollers, the innovators and born-in-the-cloud enterprises fulfill their potential, we need more leadership and education around digital transformation.

With those goals in mind, ITWC has spent the past months consulting with academics and industry experts to create the Digital Transformation Awards program and a national conference focused exclusively on the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation for Canadian organizations.

Call for entries is open

The national award program formally announced today will recognize excellence in digital transformation by corporations, organizations and governments. There are four awards and they will be adjudicated by a panel of business and public sector leaders recognized for their own accomplishments in digital transformation.  The call for entries is open now and the awards will be presented at the close of the Digital Transformation Conference June 14, 2017 in Toronto.

We hope the conference itself will become the premier venue for sharing information, success stories and other experiences on the path toward digital transformation in Canada. There will be virtual presentations from both coasts, panels exploring digital transformation in Healthcare, FinTech and Retail with interactive storytelling endeavours that will leave the audience with plenty to think as they exit the venue.

Digital transformation repository available

In recognition of the commitment to continuous change required for successful digital transformation, ITWC has created a Digital Transformation Hub that will feature the latest digital transformation news written and curated by our writers, as well as a repository of white papers and case studies covering the digital transformation landscape.

Success breeds success. Too often, in modest Canadian fashion, we shun attention, even when it is well-deserved. And those experimenting with digital transformation need role models to understand they are not toiling away in obscurity. I urge you to look into your network and find a worthy organization and nominate them for an award today.

For those still rolling their eyes, don’t take my word for it. Consider this quote from famed naturalist Charles Darwin:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Fawn Annan is President and CMO, ITWC

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  • Fawn: Totally agree with insight and opinions in your article! We have seen the consulting sector dramatically change over the past two years and at an ever accelerating pace.

    We have adapted our services and developed automated tools and supporting analysis tools to enable our clients to more quickly acquire and select next generation technology solutions. This is particularly important for our healthcare and first responder organizations who are challenged to get the technology funding.

    I look forward to your Digital Transformation Awards, and hope that Canadians embrace the future and use our creativity and innovation to grow on a global scale!