As a continuation of our thought-leader series, Mavim sat down with the Managing Director of Microsoft Netherlands to discuss the issues facing CIOs and to learn from a CEO what is so difficult about digital transformation. On the challenges of CIOs: “It is the ultimate question of doing more with less. Budgets aren’t increasing, but expectations are growing all the time. That causes friction. My advice to CIOs would be to think about partners as platforms. Make platform decisions instead of best of breed.” On the changing role of the CIO: “For me, the CIOs role is changing significantly. And I would urge them to team up with CMOs to go hand in hand, to become the next marriage within the company, teaming up on how to use technology to find new customers and go to market in different ways, which is what digital transformation is all about.” On the need for transformation: “Is it an option not to transform? It is an option to not transform, but that is the same as deciding to go out of business.” On how to start your transformation: “I think it is important to start with the top line. So how can we find new customers? Working for Microsoft, how can I help ING identify new audiences? How can I allow Akzo Nobel to sell more paint? That is where I always start, and its what I want each person at Microsoft to engage with their customers. And looking from an IT perspective, historically, that is not where we used to start.” On how transformation has changed over the past decade: “What is different today, compared to a decade ago, is speed. In the past, we could afford to have a two year project based on the assumption that the world would look the same two years out. But the reality is that the world is going to look very different two years from now, so we can’t afford to have those projects anymore. Therefore, we have to make platform decisions—strategic platform decisions—and then to iterate functional domains and applications on top of that in short cycles.” On where transformation can go wrong: Digital transformation is all about upside. Yet many people consider transformation as a glass half empty. What’s going to happen with jobs? What’s going to happen with robots? What’s going to happen with education? It causes a lot of uncertainty, a lot of doubt, a lot of fuss. And that is one way of looking at it. The Microsoft & Mavim Alliance: The Mavim & Microsoft alliance unites Mavim's innovative solutions with Microsoft’s comprehensive digital technologies – including Microsoft Visio, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, SharePoint, Project PPM, Power BI, and Office 365 – to help you turn your digital enterprise vision into action. Mavim has built a repository under Microsoft Office that extends and expands upon the universal standard, Microsoft productivity suite. Due to the integration with Office 365 and Visio, our easy-to-use software enables you to leverage upon data stored in your existing Microsoft applications.