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Lessons in digital transformation with Tony Moroney of Beta Digital

By: Alan Drumm | Posted on: 15 Oct 2019

Lessons in digital transformation with Tony Moroney of Beta Digital

There was a touch of serendipity about Tony Moroney’s recent guest lecture at Cork University Business School.

An expert in digital transformation and organisational change, Tony spoke to students from the MSc Design and Development of Digital Business and the MSc Information Systems for Business Performance just days after the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The travel operator, which had been in business since 1841, struggled to adapt its business model to compete in an age where nimble competitors were able to respond to the evolving demands of customers.

With Thomas Cook you had a business model that was broken, lumbered with debt, and didn’t anticipate changes in consumer preferences with the emergence of low cost airlines and platforms like AirBnB.

Instead of package holidays, people wanted city breaks, and Thomas Cook didn’t recognise the confluence of these factors in time.

Tony’s timely insight, where he leaned on his international experience to provide relatable examples, fostered a sense of curiosity among students who engaged throughout his presentation.

With great clarity, the Managing Partner at Beta Digital, described how some organisations continue to operate with two distinct strategies, core and digital, without really appreciating how technology can support and improve the customer experience.

Some organisations seem to consider digital transformation to be an IT issue. It’s much more fundamental than that - it’s a business model issue.

In recent years, the companies that have instigated the greatest amount of disruption have recognised the level of disconnect between what established organisations are doing and what customers are trying to do.

Some companies have been guilty of rushing into developing websites, apps, or even CRM systems without really asking why they need them.

In essence, what they are doing is imposing a digital veneer on an analogue business without considering what the customer wants.

Consequently, by working in partnership with DigJourney, Tony and the team at Beta Digital assist firms complete their digital transformation by encouraging them to think from the customer’s perspective.

In turn, organisations begin appreciate and understand exactly what they are trying to achieve, which results in those companies undertaking a digital transformation that is line with their unique culture and strategy.

Tony’s lecture resonated with the practical elements of the MSc Design and Development of Digital Business and the MSc Information Systems for Business Performance.

Targeted at creatively minded students from non-technical backgrounds, both programmes introduce graduates from a range of disciplines to the world of E-Business by providing graduates with the core skills and competencies necessary to take up IT positions within organisations or even start their own digital business.

Driven by engaging lecturers, both programmes include guest lectures from industry experts  and successful entrepreneurs who offer their expertise and impart their knowledge among the students.

Speaking after the lecture, Jeremy Hayes, lecturer in the Department of Business Information Systems at CUBS said that is fantastic to have someone of Tony’s calibre and experience give up his valuable time to talk to our MSc students. This year, the students taking the MSc will undertake an applied project for Tony and Beta Digital that will allow them utilise the skills they develop on the programme in a real world context.