Our Digital Future

In 2022, Digital Services became the Digital & Data Group to lead CGIAR’s digital transformation. The team continued its support of CGIAR’s transition and business integration plans while developing a global strategy to deliver on CGIAR’s ambition of making the digital revolution central to its ways of working.

Meeting this ambition means digitally optimizing CGIAR’s operating model, at the same time as harnessing the power of technology to achieve impact through science and innovation. This is not just a business management change, but one that will fundamentally transform the organization’s approach.

To reflect this change in thinking we changed the name of the global group from ‘Digital Services’ to the ‘Digital and Data Group’ and revised the team structure to include dedicated units for digital and data science for research, and for innovation and product development. As a science and research delivery organization, CGIAR’s capability in data science is a significant differentiator, which can be harnessed to strategically grow, solve problems, and accelerate innovation. The team was delighted to attract internal talent from across the CGIAR Centers and filled most of its leadership roles before the end of 2022.

A key decision supported by formal research and diagnosis conducted in 2022, means that we will move forward with a program of data integration and analytics as a key priority and a critical enabler for achieving CGIAR’s strategic goals and advancing toward more integrated professional services. When data is integrated and made accessible to global, regional and Center teams, it can be leveraged to gain insights, optimize processes, improve performance, and create value. For this reason, building data integration, visualization, and analytics capabilities and platforms are among the highest priorities for this coming business cycle.

The team also continued the development of the 2030 Digital and Data Strategy for CGIAR and its roadmap for Digital Transformation, Digital Business Optimization, and building the enabling technology infrastructure. Through this process, the team collaborated closely with the CGIAR Initiative on Digital Innovation to strategically assess and analyze global and digital trends, science, technological needs, priorities and challenges, and to identify potential synergies. This included reviewing the evaluation and recommendations of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, and subsequently developing the management response to build on the platform’s work.

While progressing on strategy development, the Digital and Data team continued to support CGIAR’s transition and various teams to deliver their work and support the new portfolio of Research Initiatives. Additionally, a global security improvement program launched in early 2022 managed to drastically reduce security risks across CGIAR shared technology infrastructure.