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What it takes to overcome digital transformation’s biggest challenge

Kareyst Lin | Nov. 23, 2016
The biggest challenge is in securing stakeholders’ support and alignment on priority of outcomes, says Joe Chiu, Vice President, Commercial Systems & Digital, Corporate IT & Technology Division, Changi Airport Group.

"The digital transformation journey is complex, and to be successful, it needs the active participation of our key stakeholders and partners," said Joe Chiu, Vice President, Commercial Systems & Digital, of the Corporate IT & Technology (CIT) Division at Changi Airport Group (CAG).

"The biggest challenge when implementing technological initiatives is not during the implementation stage, but more upstream - to secure stakeholders' support and alignment on the priority of the deliverables and outcomes to be achieved," Chiu told CIO Asia in an email interview.

In the case of CAG, it set up a Committee of Practices (COP) forum to facilitate the digital transformation journey. The committee includes their key stakeholders from various divisions such as Airport Operations, Commercial, Corporate Marketing and Communications and Corporate IT.

The aim of this forum was to discuss and formulate CAG's Digital Masterplan, to ensure synergies in the strategies and roadmap over the next one to five years.

In CAG, Chiu is responsible for working with the group's key stakeholders to strategise, plan, manage and implement the digital transformation and data-analytics-related programmes. He also drives two of CAG's Corporate IT strategic roadmap thrusts, namely "Connecting to Customers" and "Innovating with Information."

Having graduated with an electrical engineering degree, Chiu spent the first 10 years of his career leading a team of engineers to develop diagnostic firmware and test software in the manufacturing environment. To support the company's product failure analysis needs, he was given the chance to lead an IT project that made use of business intelligence tools to deliver the solution. This exposure sparked his interest and fascination, as to how data can be used to identify gaps and provide new insights to solve problems. From there, he switched to a career in IT and never looked back since.

Efforts to further digitalise CAG

Speaking of recent digital-related initiatives at CAG, Chiu mentioned the revamp of the iChangi mobile application to enhance the user experience. In addition to a new landing page, users can now personalise the app to be notified of their flight details and save their favourite information categories.

CAG also have plans to roll out indoor positioning services and intuitive terminal maps to deliver an even more personalised way-finding experience for iChangi app users next year 2017.

CAG also introduced a social media app for its employees called In.Touch. The app provides a platform for employees to share information among themselves on-the-go via their smartphones.

"We believe that information is one of the critical components towards building a sustainable high-performing organisation," Chiu explained. "This community building application helps CAG to connect and engage with our [employees], as well as to promote innovation. [It has been] well-received, with many [employees] being active with regular postings, 'likes,' or contributing comments."


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