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Learning to lead: digital transformation in practice


Posted in: GBST Digital, Wealth Management Administration
Published: 16/04/2020

Stuart Heriot, Executive Manager – Enterprise Architecture, reflects on GBST’s approach to ongoing digital transformation and continuous business improvement and what we’ve learned as we move to an ecosystems future.


  • Tech like microservices, APIs and AI must integrate across products and platforms
  • People, skills and innovation are key ingredients in digital transformation
  • What GBST is learning on our own digital transformation journey

GBST is on the same digital transformation journey as our clients — staying a step ahead to make sure our products integrate smoothly across evolving platforms. We’re setting up our products now to play well in an ecosystem environment — including integrating microservices, APIs and AI — and keeping data accessible and available.

IT ecosystems are a network of data interactions within a specific domain. McKinsey predicts new ecosystems to emerge in place of traditional industries as soon as 2025. It’s crucial for CIOs to be working with the right vendors to build this into existing digital transformation projects.

How our GBST teams work on internal and client projects behind the scenes is key to how we lead your business through challenges like the emergence of IT ecosystems.

How we’re adapting to digital challenges to lead our clients

Businesses are trying to manage rapid change. Here are some of the ways we’re keeping our people and our products prepared for evolving IT:

  • Building skilled teams with hands-on digital technology experience
  • Investing in platforms built for a landscape of shared data assets
  • API first strategy — built on a microservices architecture with separate, distinct and reusable modular components
  • Implementing devops automation processes to support continuous business improvement
  • Aligning delivery models with agile development teams

What the development of IT ecosystems means for your business

Ecosystems support continuous change in business models and increased opportunities to explore new services and emerging markets. Embracing the three ecosystem principles of decoupling, real time data sharing and microservices can lead to:

  • Reducing the cost of change
  • Faster reaction to market changes
  • Leading your industry with innovation and new services

Learning through experience

We’re learning more about an ecosystems future everyday and how to manage planning, people and processes.

Our experiences have shown the best results come from a problem-solving approach — define the problem and landscape before you invest. AI and ML projects are tempting, but if a simple report can meet your needs, go with what works and save your budget.

When you find the best-fit tech to solve your problem, you may need to fast track innovation to a new system instead of struggling to adapt old technology. And watch out for boundary and scope creep that rears its head with possibilities — govern the creation and alignment to the domain model that underpins the microservices architecture.

People are more important than ever in this era of transformation. Take them on the journey with you — consult with them on the problems that need solving and the tools they need to do their job. Look for digital natives and seed your teams with continuous learners and those who embrace new ways.

Our biggest learning so far? Plan before you jump and take an evergreen approach to your technology; popular tech may trend for 12-18 months and then be obsolete.

Transformation in 2020

The start of 2020 has given all businesses pause to consider their digital transformation approach and how they’ll navigate shifting industry boundaries. The challenge for the C-Suite is to choose and implement the right technologies to survive, adapt and thrive across evolving business platforms.

We’ll keep you updated on our digital transformation journey, so we can lead you through yours.

Are you at a crossroads in your digital transformation journey? Talk to our team about what to prioritise on your to-do list.

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