Plain language about Digital Leadership and  Governance of Information Technology for Executives and Directors  
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Education Across the Nation, February - April 2014

EdXN is the Australian Computer Society’s Education Across the Nation program.  Having been a presenter in 2009, I’m delighted to be returning to EdXN in the first quarter of 2014, with an extended program on Digital Leadership and Governance of IT.

The primary element of this EdXN program is a briefing for ACS members and guests on the very topical issues in Digital Leadership and Digital Transformation.   The briefing will run for an hour, followed by time for questions, and is complemented by opportunities for networking.

For those seeking a deeper insight to the issues and how to deal with them, the EdXN briefing is supported by an upgraded two day class on Digital Leadership and Governance of ICT using ISO 38500.  Based on the established and proven Infonomics ISO 38500 Foundation class, this upgraded event adds new perspective focused on what is happening today, and will happen for some time to come, as organisations and whole economies undergo digital transformation.

Both the briefing and the upgraded class draw on Digital Leadership Manifesto – my new book scheduled for release at the end of January 2014.

Logistics of travel in Australia dictate that in some cities, the class will be presented before the briefing – but this does not detract from the opportunity for ICT professionals and their business leadership colleagues to gain new insight to what is happening and how to manage the increasingly rapid digital transformation of the world.

The program is locked in and ACS branches around the nation will, soon after re-opening for the new year, begin promotion and registration for their local events.  The full programme is:




Perth (WA)

24 – 25 February

25 February

Darwin (NT)

27 – 28 February

26 February

Canberra (ACT)

3 – 4 March


Adelaide (SA)

5 March

6 – 7 March

Brisbane (Qld)

10-11 March

11 March

Toowoomba (Qld)

Refer to Brisbane

12 March

Hobart (Tas)

20 - 21 March

19 March

Sydney (NSW)

31 March – 1 April

31 March

Melbourne (Vic)

3 – 4 April

2 April

Click through to the Infonomics Events pages for a detailed description of the briefing and class.  These descriptions will also soon be available on the ACS Events pages, along with registration and pricing details.

I must emphasise that these events are not just for ICT professionals.  Digital Transformation effects everybody – a fact perhaps best exemplified by the penetration of smart phones into the general population and by the turmoil in several sectors of the economy as some organisations adjust, and others fail to adjust, to the new realities of life in the digital era.  These events are entirely relevant to everybody who works in a technology-enabled or technology-dependent organisation, and I know that the ACS will welcome participation from people in many occupations.

Briefing: Digital Transformation and Digital Leadership

Today’s information technology marketplace abounds with marketing hype and buzzwords such as big data, analytics, social media, mobility, cloud, the Internet of things, BYOD and SaaS.  Individually, these concepts are significant, but they are all part of a much more fundamental change that is affecting every corner of society.   We have now clearly entering the Digital Era, in which digital information technologies are being used to fundamentally reinvent businesses and marketplaces.

Following the first wave of Digital Startups, including Amazon, Google and the social media sites, we now see established enterprises exhibiting a wide range of responses to the arrival of the Digital Era.  Some fail to recognise, or even deny the changes and become examples of Digital Failure, including once dominant brands like Kodak, HMV and Borders.  At the other end of the spectrum we see companies like Burberry and Commonwealth Bank, which have understood the opportunities and have reinvented themselves, undergoing major Digital Transformation.

Digital Transformation does not happen by accident.  Emerging research shows that Digital Transformation requires strong, persistent and highly focused Digital Leadership at the highest levels of the organisation.  It also shows that Digital Leadership doesn’t require a great deal of knowledge about how the enabling technology works.  Rather, Digital Leadership requires understanding of what organisations can achieve through intelligent use of information technology, and of the changes taking place in the broader marketplace, enabled by how others are using new and established forms of information technology.

Effective Digital Leaders use IT to redefine not just their own business, but the markets and competitive landscapes in which they operate – and this is so for government as much as for the private and not-for-profit sectors.  They see and harness the potential in IT to do business differently and to create new businesses from scratch.   Rapid emergence of the digitally transformed market drives new questions.  What are the essential skills and capabilities of a Digital Leader?  How can Digital Leaders operate effectively?  How can organisations put themselves on the front foot and be Digital Winners, rather than Digital Disasters?

In this new EdXN Programme, Mark Toomey explains the scope of Digital Transformation and builds a comprehensive picture of Digital Leadership as an essential capability of business leaders.  He connects Digital Transformation to the ISO 38500 standard for governance of IT, showing how the standard can help organisations navigate their transition to the digital era and how it guides the activities and behaviour of Digital Leaders.

Class: Digital Leadership and Governance of ICT – 2 Days of Professional Development focused on ISO 38500

As the world moves deeper into the Digital Era, it is becoming clearer that entire markets are changing because of the way individuals and organisations are using new, powerful and increasingly ubiquitous technologies.  Organisations at the front line of these changes are demonstrating that breakthrough change happens when business leaders also deliver effective Digital Leadership supported by effective Governance of ICT.  At the same time, an increasing number of governments and other organisations are looking to adopt the guidance in ISO 38500, to strengthen their arrangements for governance of ICT.

Decisions regarding the effective, efficient and acceptable use of ICT are no longer confined to the ICT leadership.  As ICT resources and capability move closer to commodity status, organisations in government and industry need digital leadership capabilities and a compact, responsive and effective approach to ensuring that all executives and managers in business and ICT roles make appropriate decisions about the use and supply of ICT.  At the same time, consultants who help organisations plan and build new capability, ICT suppliers and entrepreneurs seeking to participate in the emerging digital economy need to understand what ISO 38500 says, and how to use it.

 ISO 38500 is dense and compact.  During this class you will discover the immense depth and power of the standard, which defines principles for governance rather than rigid processes and inflexible structures.  You will see why ISO 38500 is an ideal top-level guide for business leaders in organisations that must undergo Digital Transformation.

 Forward looking organisations and governments are orienting their business strategies to new ways of engaging with the market and new ways of organising and conducting business operations, all enabled by innovative use of ICT as an enabler of transformational business change.   They require sustained high performance in delivery of ICT-enabled change.  Effective Governance of ICT is a critical capability to enable such change to be delivered.

 This newly updated class is evolved from the Infonomics ISO 38500 Foundation class first delivered in April 2009.  Guided by new research published by global research and consulting organisations and by the presenters’ new book “Digital Leadership Manifesto”, the class explains the connection between Digital Transformation, Digital Leadership and Governance of IT, building a deep appreciation of the key concepts in ISO 38500 and the behaviours and capabilities essential to effective governance and successful use of ICT.  You will acquire essential knowledge to begin applying the standard in all aspects of planning and controlling the use and delivery of ICT, and particularly in planning and delivering Digital Transformation.  You will explore in detail how the concepts presented in the ISO 38500 introduction, governance model and principles for good governance of ICT are essential in today’s fast-changing world, where ICT underpins virtually all business, government and even social activity.   You will see how to apply ISO 38500 when developing both routine and transformational aspects of business and IT strategy, preparing plans, implementing new capabilities and in routine conduct of business activities that depend on ICT.

Your new insight will help you:

  • Allocate responsibility for ICT, across both business and ICT management roles, with particular attention to Digital Leadership;
  • Align ICT to business strategy by integrating ICT into business planning, with particular attention to Digital Transformation;
  • Plan successful ICT investments by focusing on achievable business outcomes;
  • Ensure that ICT performs well by focusing it on business performance;
  • Guide behaviour and decisions with formal rules that make good business sense;
  • Understand how Human Behaviour is a key success factor;
  • Direct and control the use of ICT as a Digital Leader, without being a technology expert;
  • Design and implement an effective top-to-bottom system for governance and management of ICT and thus for Digital Transformation.

On completion you will be able to:

  • Explain the application of ISO 38500 in Digital Transformation and Digital Leadership as well as in general use of ICT;
  • Explain broad implications of six principles for good governance of ICT;
  • Describe how the principles are applied throughout the business cycle, from development of business strategy, through detailed planning and delivery of change and on to routine business use of ICT;
  • Position ISO 38500 against common ICT management frameworks such as COBIT, ITIL, ValIT, Gateway, P3M3, MSP, Prince2 and so on;
  • Identify key policies needed to underpin effective governance of ICT;
  • Use ISO 38500 as a framework for assessing current arrangements for governance of ICT.

Class Structure:

The two day class is made up of 24 modules, designed to focus discussion on the many important aspects of how organizations should govern their use of ICT. During selected modules, participants will complete an individual self-assessment of their organization’s own governance of ICT.  The self-assessment provides an initial basis for planning any work that may be necessary to form a comprehensive view of, and perhaps to improve governance of ICT in their organization.