Digital Transformation: What Exactly am I Getting Into?

While going through my course choices in May to fill one of the five electives left to complete my part-time MBA, I felt like I had to make a major decision. How do I want to spend the last year of my time at Boston College? Should I focus on strengthening areas that I feel are my weakest points (such as finance and accounting subjects), or should this remaining time be spent in courses that will most directly benefit my career growth in the retail technology sector? With all core courses complete, these questions could not be ignored any longer. After weighing the benefits of each path for my last year here, it became clear which course path was in my best interests: the rest of my learning focus should be tailored to what I feel will best set me up for success in my professional career. And for that reason, I chose a digitally focused course, looking towards the future of how we predict companies and industries to utilize and benefit from the rapidly expanding technology sector that will inevitably affect us all.

Almost an exact re-imaging of what I look like in any Finance course

So, now that the tough decisions have been made, I could really narrow down the course offerings to identify the best options for my career growth… which immediately led me to Digital Transformation. The title alone almost sold me to take this course, as it basically outlines the core competency of my current company, OneView Commerce. As stated throughout our company’s website (oneviewcommerce.com), our primary goal is to “transform in-store and extend into digital powered by a single transaction for unified commerce”. In other words, we offer digital platforms that enable retailers (grocers, postal, boutiques, etc.) to take advantage of the unified possibilities that come with running all of your parallel business operations through OVC, while still maintaining full control over the entire process via a single transaction engine.

One of the biggest issues we hear about through potential and current clients is how difficult and risky it is for companies to take the jump from legacy systems (sometimes from the 1980s) and converting it all onto very foreign yet technologically advanced systems that are all interconnected to provide seamless business operations. This pain point of companies being technologically averse is exactly the type of issue that I hope to learn about in this course, and how other industries have overcome the challenge.

After our first class, I left BC that night feeling confident that my expectations for the course will align somewhat closely with what I am looking to achieve from completing Digital Transformation. While I believe that the course’s focuses around ensuring that business strategy aligns with goals of benefiting from digital transformation will be the most beneficial aspect for my career, gaining knowledge around how to deal with the sudden push for more drastic and rapid digital transformation due to COVID-19 is also a major topic I hope to learn more about.

COVID-19’s Impact on technology seems to be a trend that is here to stay.

Outside of the direct links to my current career path around former legacy retailers adopting technology into their strategy, I am very much so looking forward to how digital transformation is affected by Blockchain technology and Web 3.0. These are topics that I will also be exploring in my “Business Applications of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies” course this semester, so I am interested to see the parallels between the two courses covering very similar subject material. And finally, I am also very intrigued by the lessons surrounding Big Data and AI, as well as the underlying ethics of these transformations, as they are aspects of digital transformation that I am not as well-versed as I’d like to be.

Regarding the course structure, I am tentatively a big fan of the unorthodox structure to the course deliverables and class structure. I believe these blog posts along with continual engagement through the tweeting requirements will be very effective methods to keep these topics on the forefront of our minds throughout the semester. I have always found that the more steady and constant interaction with a class is much more beneficial to long term retainment than the classic “brain dump” that inevitably comes with cramming for 3-4 major exams throughout the semester.

While this course will be different and require a bit of a learning curve to understand what exactly is going on and what deliverables are due when, I am optimistic that this learning style will result in a much deeper understanding of this material. I am also very interested in the student-led presentations throughout the semester, which will provide fresh takes on the course material, unique to each student’s experience with digital transformation.

All in all, I am glad I signed up for this course and have very high expectations for my overall takeaways at the end of the semester.

Looking forward to a fun and engaging class with everyone!

Links Used:

https://financialpost.com/personal-finance/whats-wrong-with-the-personal-finance-industry

https://www.oneviewcommerce.com/

https://www.newamerica.org/oti/oti-collections/technology-policy-and-covid-19/

3 comments

  1. Hey Bryan, congrats on making it this far! I’m also in my last year at BC and faced the same decisions on what courses to take. Hopefully the company you work for is not in the same boat as the other companies with legacy systems from the 1980s :) . As a class together I’m looking forward to exploring a multitude of topics and was happy to hear from you that you’re also “tentative” on the method of learning. Lets see how it goes!

  2. hey Bryan, nice post. I empathize with the choice between trying to get better at the “numbers” classes like finance, or picking something that may be more relevant in my day-to-day, and I also went the relevance route. Cheers to hoping we made the right choice (i think we did!).
    P.S. OVC sounds like a cool company – would be curious to hear more about types of customers you work with, and if you touch their ecomm operations at all as well. I work for Pega on our FedEx account and am constantly trying to think from the perspective of retailers who ship with them.

  3. Good to have you onboard. We don’t deal a ton with how to transition from legacy systems in this class, but the open-ended format should give you ample room to explore these aspects for yourself. I also think you can bring your experience at your current company to help bring some good insights into class.

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