The fact that 82 percent of the original Fortune 500 no longer exists should have executives thinking about their business strategy. This was one of the key points raised during the ‘Imagine What You Can Do’ keynote session hosted by Neil Hudspith at MOMENTUM`16 London.

There are organisations that continue to adapt and succeed, however, and in conversation with Dave Smoley, CIO, Astra Zeneca, Chris Loake, CIO, Close Brothers and Jacky Wright, VP at Microsoft IT, it became clear why the original Fortune 500 businesses fell into decline. It comes down to three main reasons:

  1. A failure to meet customer expectations
  2. Complacency with competitors
  3. Lack of technology


To avoid the same fate as the 82 percent, it’s time to rethink the way we do business. Regardless of someone’s role or the sector they work in, digital transformation will have an impact. So the challenge now for business leaders is to ask themselves, and their company, ‘what will we do differently?’

Go Paperless

Digitisation of paper processes has saved businesses up to £25 per document. In addition, the process time with digitised services is also 25 times faster than paper. Saving so much time and money means businesses can focus on what’s important – the customer.

With so much at stake, it’s vital to focus on this re-imagination of your business processes sooner, rather than later. During the session, Neil Hudspith spoke with Chris Loake, CIO of Close Brothers who emphasised the need for businesses to be ‘digital by design’ and not ‘digital by accident’.


Around 30 years ago, IT teams for businesses adopted different types of tech to improve business processes. As the years went by, the latest tech was added on top and stitched together with older models. Fast-forward and these businesses are now classed as ‘digital businesses,’ which was never their intention. It was purely by accident. However, these ‘digital by accident’ businesses will only be a force to be reckoned with if they become ‘digital by design’.

This theory goes hand in hand with improving the customer journey and understanding the customer as an individual. By looking at the process before a product is purchased, you can discover some ‘hidden gems’. Customers only want one thing – a seamless, easy and clear process. So don’t overcomplicate the situation with too much tech. Introducing a new app for the sake of it will, at worst, waste your time and at best have no impact on the way you do business. For Close Brothers, the implementation of DocuSign was a great example of moving digital by design, meaning they are now able to close deals faster and securely.

Speed Up Critical Processes

When it comes to business objectives, saving lives can’t be beaten. This is the case for Dave Smoley, CIO at AstraZeneca who drew attention to the fact that saving lives is the daily challenge for him and his colleagues. In order to continue discovering and bringing to market the life-saving drugs that can help those who need them the most, the team at AstraZeneca has to be able to find solutions and complete their work in the fastest possible time. Often, this progress can be slowed down by regulations. This is where taking processes digital can have such a significant impact.


DocuSign has provided the foundations for AstraZeneca to deliver documents efficiently and seamlessly. In the past, they may have been limited by third party intervention and endless paper trails, but now, using DocuSign to take operations digital, they can get on with the vital work they do, unhindered.

Whether organisations are trying to get critical drugs to market more quickly, or close sales, the challenge remains the same – to avoid becoming part of that 82 percent. Adopting digital technology is pivotal to business success but continuing to do so will be paramount in the long-term.