Conagra CIO: Segmented digital transformation key to discovering 'friction'
CIO Mindy Simon of Conagra Foods, an international food manufacturer, said the company needs to be "on the digital shelf and meet customers wherever they are" to maintain relevance, in an interview with CIO.com. Staying relevant is a key factor in cutting costs and then driving growth, according to Simon.
Conagra's digital transformation began with a "cloud-enabled variable model," which led the company to ask where its infrastructure could be "variablize[d]." Using this type of model allows Conagra to address shortcomings in the infrastructure compared to a "fixed infrastructure" that is too restricted in its ability to adjust capacity, said Simon.
In terms of creating a living infrastructure, Simon advises companies to not overbuild because it could quickly render itself useless. Long-term contracts and "capitalizing everything" is not a factor in IT anymore as technology continues to evolve.
Simon noted that recognizing "friction" in the digitization process is key to understanding where and how the company's goods, services and development processes can be optimized.
For some companies, implementing sensors and maintaining bandwidth is too much of a cost for certain areas of the business model. However, as adaptability becomes more commonplace, those tools' prices inevitably decrease, making adoption more likely.
Companies like Microsoft and Amazon are lowering costs to better accommodate "digital laggards" and financial shortcomings. The cloud is the foundation for digital transformation, but without proper governance, the cloud migration can add cost and headache.
But to Simon's point, a slow and segmented transition is key to offsetting too much cost all at once. Ultimately, creating a technical infrastructure versatile enough to withstand the ever-changing landscape of technology is the key to relevancy.
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