Executive Buy-in for Successful Digital Transformation
Digital Advertising 09.19.2022

Executive Buy-in for Successful Digital Transformation

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With all the technology and tools available at our disposal, companies should consider ways to transform digitally to keep up with the times. How do we promote and execute this journey for organizations? Sandesh de Silva discusses how executive buy-in is necessary for a successful digital transformation. He provides advice on setting goals, coming up with a strategy, and attracting and retaining stakeholders with the right mindset. He stresses the importance of asking questions to get the right answers and advises leaders to do their homework before embarking on a digital transformation journey.

About the Guest

Sandesh de Silva is a bilingual (native in English and German) product and analytics strategist with vast experience in tech, logistics, supply chain, and retail industries. 

He holds a double masters in MBA + MSIS and specializes in product strategy, technology delivery, finance, strategic planning, and analytics. Originally from Vienna, Austria, now residing in Atlanta, GA. He has previously worked with VMWare, PGI, UPS, and Home Depot. He is currently working as a technical product owner supporting customer success and digital transformation at Splunk.

Connect with Sandesh de Silva

Key Takeaways

  • Data storytelling is the ability to effectively communicate insights from a data set using narratives and visualizations or a combination of both.
  • The key is to understand what it is that your client is looking for.
  • Executive buy-in is necessary for a successful digital transformation. Leadership needs to be open, disrupted, and innovative to gain buy-in.


“It takes a collective mindset to execute on the vision. Everyone needs to be on the same page. And most importantly, this is not only for the teams but especially for the leaders. Be open, be disrupted, be innovative.” – Sandesh de Silva

Highlights from the Episode

Can you share a little bit about your background & how you came to help organizations in their digital transformation journey?

Sandesh started in the finance sector and worked in tech upon graduation. He took on technical finance roles mainly with Fortune 25 for the past 12 years with their digital transformation journey. This means that these companies use digital technologies to create or modify business processes, culture, and/or customer experiences. Some initiatives in his career involve big data analytics, effective analytics and intelligence, and the ongoing journey to the “cloud”.

How do you tell a story with data, especially to a non-technical person, who can digest that information and gain clarity?

Leverage the opportunities that reflect the four P’s – purposes, players, partnerships, and processes. The key is to understand what your client is looking for. For example, are we trying to get granular or get a bird’s eye summary? To make a non-technical person absorb the information, simplicity and intuitiveness are keys.

Executive buy-in is necessary for a successful digital transformation program. How do you get that buy-in early on?

Not starting transformation right now means being dinosaurs in the next three years. This may sound like an exaggerated statement, but fast forward to today, and it is highly undeniable. Dangers come when companies become complacent with how they have always done their processes. Executing the vision requires a collective mindset of openness and innovation.

The importance of asking the right questions. What is the goal? What is not working for you currently?

To navigate the complexities in the digital transformation journey, organizations must understand the environment they are operating. The goal is to keep the journey iterative – questions must be asked continuously and stakeholders involved in achieving milestones. Also, in this journey, stakeholders must keep an open mind and have a listening ear.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


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