Packaging Innovation
August 21, 2020

Why the ‘new normal’ is the time for CEOs to accelerate their journey towards the cloud

Everything has changed. Talk of a post-pandemic world is now seen as premature, as it becomes increasingly clear that the ‘new normal’ is most likely to be one in which we learn to manage a situation, rather than eliminate it.

With today’s need for shorter lead times compounded by the increased demands caused by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, packaging converters need to understand the importance of automation and digitization to successfully cope, not just with unexpected and unprecedented spikes, but with the now daily demands put on their business. While early adopters of digitization have successfully navigated recent events, it is now increasingly vital that businesses continue their digital transformation in order to negotiate both whatever new challenges await as well as meeting the ever-evolving future demands of customers.

When global developer of integrated software solutions, Esko, launched its Digital Maturity Model for Packaging Suppliers earlier this year (DMM), a clear roadmap of strategic decisions was provided for CEOs and upper management to address process and operational efficiency and to gain long term competitive success. While world events have underlined that the digital transformation of a business is now absolutely vital, the DMM illustrates that it is also more achievable than ever, with cloud technology offering significant new freedoms and benefits to businesses. As a recent McKinsey report found, this freedom has never been more important, with the obvious example of the cloud enabling executives to make the early decision to pivot their organization and enable remote working on a massive scale.

Cloud technology brings improved connectivity, data storage and importantly access, as well as protection, not to mention savings on infrastructure and operating costs. The benefits are as obvious as they are plentiful, but as the same report goes on to state, CEOs, CIOs and CTOs will need to play further, and arguably even more critical, roles in driving digital transformation and ensuring the success of their business strategies.

It asserts that: ‘cloud computing represents a collective-action problem – one that requires a coordinated effort across the team at the top of an organization. It’s a matter of orchestration, in other words, and only CEOs can wield the baton.’


As those already negotiating their own digital transformation journey can attest, attaining buy-in from colleagues the length and breadth of the business can itself be a challenge. Driving company-wide transformation towards digital maturity is a task which needs the engagement of the entire organization if it is to reap the multitude of benefits available. That is why now is the time for business leaders to give agency to their own technology drivers and IT team leaders – empowering them to communicate the importance of – and ultimately to implement – the new technological tools that will digitize, automate and connect their business.

As the McKinsey report posits, in order to accelerate their own digital transformation journey to cloud technology, CEOs should be asking the management team exactly what support they need in order to lead the business on that journey.

It states that: ‘Chances are good that three interventions will emerge – 

  • establishing a sustainable funding model to support the investments required to get business value from the cloud
  • developing a new business-technology operating model that exploits cloud for speed, agility, and efficient scalability
  • putting in place the HR, compensation, and location policies required to attract and retain the specialized engineering talent required to operate in the cloud’

Such steps should ensure the executive team has a consistent vision of the company’s operating model and a unified approach to delivering on it as we continue to emerge from the grip of a global crisis.

While the next normal might still be taking shape, it is becoming increasingly clear that future business success may well depend on the ability of leaders to accelerate their journey towards digital transformation and the cloud.

For more on the Esko Digital Maturity Model for Packaging Suppliers, visit esko.com/en/lp/dmm/dmm-whitepaper

To read the full McKinsey article: ‘Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing’, visit www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/three-actions-ceos-can-take-to-get-value-from-cloud-computing?cid=eml-app#0