Real Stories from Digital Trailblazers: Nonprofit and Manufacturing CIO

Earlier this summer, I rebranded my YouTube channel from 5 Minutes with @NYIke to the Driving Digital Standup

The change reflects a broader mission that includes sharing insights from CIOs, CDOs, and other digital transformation leaders. The Real Stories from Digital Trailblazers will supplement my Driving Digital best practice videos and other formats that I will introduce. You can learn more in the Driving Digital Standup intro video, and please consider subscribing to the channel.

I'm interviewing leaders that exemplify what it means to be a Digital Trailblazer. They are lifelong learners, challenge the status quo, and are collaborative, inclusive, and agile leaders. They are experts in their fields and share both their triumphs and hard lessons learned. I am certain you can learn a lot from them, even if you work in different industries or focus areas.

Digital Trailblazer CIO in Nonprofit and Manufacturing

My first two Digital Trailblazer interviews are with Helen Knight, a nonprofit CIO, and Martin Davis, a manufacturing industry CIO. There's much to learn from them, even if you don't work in these industries.

Using the right tech to drive impact in nonprofits

"When you put in a world-class system, it magnifies the output of the mission," says Helen. She tells the story of how with a $200K IT investment, they were able to raise $5M in new donations. But even more important was the impact on employees. "The social workers suddenly had the funding and the staffing to focus on their area of expertise. They housed 42% more people the following year."

Helen's key message to Digital Trailblazers is, "Senior IT leaders should get involved with nonprofit governance boards. It's great for your career, and you make great contacts. These governance boards for nonprofits, they need technical experts."

Tune into the episodes for more insights!

Jargon-busting industry 4.0 and digital transformation in manufacturing

While it's important to know the latest technology trends and terms, Digital Trailblazers know that their roles are to simplify the jargon and explain how to use specific technologies to business advantage. 

Martin illustrates this in his episode of real stories from Digital Trailblazers, starting with this simple way of defining industry 4.0 and digital transformation in manufacturing. "Industry 4.0 is really about data. And how do you use data to better drive your manufacturing and deliver value through that use of data and automation." 

And then he says, "Digital transformation is about focus on the customer, how you deliver value for the customer, and how does that then drive you to do different things in your business."

While that sounds simple in concept, it's a significant challenge for manufacturers that may be two or three steps removed from their products' end-users. Watch the episode because Martin shares key advice on being customer and data-driven.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.