The CIO’s Recipe for Digital Transformation

Looking at the changing formula, digital transformation creates a central role for customer experience and the need to convert data to meaningful intelligence.

In this news feature by CIO Australia, Sekuro’s Chief Information Officer Karan Khosla shared his insights, alongside IDC ANZ, Verizon and BPay, on the increasing relevance of digital transformation in organisations – and what this entails for CIOs in charge of driving such a change.

For organisations, digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create or modify business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. As digitalisation becomes more significant, so does the role of CIOs in their organisation’s digital transformation. Now more than ever, there is great urgency for CIOs to find the recipe to drive digital transformation.

The Role of CIOs in Digital Transformation

As a matter of fact, how exactly have the responsibilities of CIOs changed? Whilst CIOs of the past have traditionally focused on helping their organisations navigate day-to-day operations, present and future CIOs now need to expand their scope of business to include consumers, and adopt a commercial perspective to things.

“The CIO will need to be closely aligned with the business commercial strategy and objectives to help make sense of the hordes of data, be able to provide ideas, and then help quickly deliver the solutions to see the new ideas and products through,” said Karan.

Integrating IT and OT

Another addition to a CIO’s responsibilities involves finding the perfect blend between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). While CIOs have previously used only IT systems, they now need to incorporate OT systems into their day-to-day routine. This may prove to be a challenge, since IT and OT are vastly distinct systems of operation. On the one hand, IT systems are used for data-centric computing. On the other hand, OT systems monitor physical processes and devices used in operations. Regardless of their differences, they now need to work hand in hand to help CIOs drive organisational success. This also calls for greater transparency between the various levels of the organisation.

A CIO’s role is to ensure the entire network is visible and that data from every source is actionable — whether that’s IT or OT. Today, figuring out how both interoperate within a business is critical to business growth.

Partnering the CISO

With a heavier reliance on digitalisation, organisations find themselves inevitably exposed to a plethora of security threats. This is where the expertise of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes in. Effective CISOs devise ways to strengthen their organisations’ security systems and fend off potential cyber attacks. As such, CIOs need to work closely with their CISO counterparts in designing and implementing the best system for digital transformation. 

For a successful digital transformation, it is crucial for CIOs and CISO to work together

However, as with OT and IT, there are challenges that arise with the integration of CIO and CISO.
According to Karan, CIOs are often focused on improving operational efficiency, whereas CISOs tend to be more look at strengthening operational security. As a result, there can be a disparity in objectives between the two, making it difficult to reconcile differences.

Therefore, Karan echoes the need for CIOs to unify these differences and work together with their CISO in reaching the organisation’s security goals. 

They need to be thinking about building in security from the start and using their CISO to do that rather than being at loggerheads all the time. Nowadays, a CIO always needs to understand where the risk is coming from and bake security into the organisation’s processes and products


Finding the recipe for CIOs to drive digital transformation requires them to be sure of the role they play in their organisations. If they wish to achieve success for their organisation, CIOs first need to stay updated with the latest changes in digitalisation, and proactively collaborate with other members of the team.

Karan Khosla

Chief Information Officer, Sekuro

Karan Khosla is the Chief Information Officer in Sekuro. Over the years, he has successfully built a RED practice which is a team of top-tier ethical hackers who specialise in providing technical assurance for organisations. As a passionate technologist, he provides expert information security consultation services to mid-market and enterprise companies within the Retail, Health FSI and other industry verticals. Karan himself holds many certifications, some of which includes OSCP, CISSP, ISO 27001:2013 Lead Auditor, PCI DSS QSA, as well as a Masters in Information Technology.

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