CIO Influence
IT and DevOps

What are the Top Skills Needed for Digital Transformation?

What are the Top Skills Needed for Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a primary focus for 74% of organizations, according to Flexera. The number of IT leaders prioritizing this initiative has significantly increased, with nearly three-quarters stating their companies now emphasize digital transformation, up from 56% in 2021. Effective cybersecurity (73%) and cloud implementation (65%), digital transformation has been considered a top priority.

However, IT leaders often face challenges in advancing crucial transformation efforts due to technological, leadership, and digital transformation skill gaps. Gartner’s Board of Directors 2023 Survey underscores the significance of digital business, with 89% of enterprises identifying it as essential for growth.

Despite this, only 35% of these enterprises have achieved or are on track to achieve their digital goals. Digital transformation encompasses various aspects, such as process automation, website enhancement, user experience improvement, or cloud migration. The question remains: What skills are necessary for successful digital transformation?

Understanding Digital Transformation

Deloitte explains digital transformation as the digital experience of an organization using technology to evolve all aspects of its business models constantly. With technological evolution, businesses must also evolve; this is about deciding how to transform rather than choosing to transform.

In simple terms, digital transformation is about growing a business by experimenting with the latest technological innovations and reimagining the current business approach to address common issues.

The digital transformation uses digital technologies to innovate or adapt business processes, culture, and customer experiences when business needs and market dynamics call for it. This modernization of business practices is what defines digital transformation.

It goes beyond conventional functions like sales, marketing, and customer service—customer-centricity. This opens a window to transform how things are done in business operations and engage customers, shifting from traditional paper-based applications to more sophisticated tools, like smart applications, enabled by digital technology.

Three Main Areas of Enterprise Digital Transformation
  1. Customer Experience: understanding customers in detail, using technology to improve customer growth, and creating more customer touch points.
  2. Operational Processes: Leveraging digitization and automation to boost internal processes. Allowing employees to use digital tools to monitor data performance and make strategic decisions.
  3. Business Models: the transformation of models involves enhancing physical offerings with digital tools and services, introducing digital products, and leveraging technology to deliver global shared services.

Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer, and I can see that in the minds of every CEO I talk to.”- MARC BENIOFF, CHAIRMAN AND CO-CEO, SALESFORCE

Digital Transformation Technologies

Cloud computing forms the basis of digital transformation and enables organizations to use the latest IT technologies, work more effectively, and scale according to needs at a reasonable cost. A hybrid cloud enables coordinated public and private cloud resources from different vendors to provide the application portability, vendor adaptability, and IT flexibility required to sustain success in digital transformation.

Mobile technology has been a driver for most preliminary efforts of digital transformation, changing existing business models—for example, mobile tickets and wallets—completely, and creating all-new ones—for instance, Uber. Now, the customer expects more engagement through mobile apps, whether it is ordering food from favorite restaurants or managing their financial lives.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning provide computers or machines with the ability to replicate human cognitive capabilities. It learns from data, identifies patterns, makes decisions, and handles extensive tasks efficiently. Generative AI applications automatize tasks like customer service inquiries and content delivery, reducing the need for human intervention. It also allows employees to pay attention to more strategic activities. Moreover, AI drives scalable personalization across various domains of businesses: marketing, customer service, and sales.
IoT is the network of devices embedded with sensors that gather data and send it over the internet. It bridges the gap between digital technologies and the physical world. IoT, coupled with autonomous vehicles and supply chain logistics, leads to the generation of real-time data, which is later processed using AI and big data analytics to fuel automation and decision-making processes.
Digitization refers to the process of turning information on paper into digital data. It is a core component in transformational initiatives across industries, including healthcare—electronic medical records—and government, to name a few, in initiatives such as making public records more accessible and facilitating citizen online requests for services.
Blockchain acts as a decentralized, immutable, and unalterable ledger of electronic transactions. It provides absolute transaction transparency to the permitted users but remains inaccessible to unauthorized use. Organizations are using blockchain as the fundamental structure for highly resilient supply chains and revolutionary transformation in cross-border financial services.

DevOps speeds delivery of higher-quality software by combining and automating work between software development and IT operations teams. DevSecOps weaves security into every part of the DevOps lifecycle—continuing security from planning through feedback loops and back to planning again. Together, they provide the basis for an agile development approach so organizations can more quickly adapt to changing markets and keep software products up to date.

 

Key Success Components of Enterprise Digital Transformation

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Digital transformation needs to be customer-centric. At the core of efforts lies delivering seamless and positive customer experiences. Be sensitive to the need to understand customers’ needs and the use of technology to personalize interactions and deliver superior service at every touchpoint.
  • Technical Implementation: The correct selection and implementation of suitable digital technologies will lead to the desired outcomes. The use of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation tools, data analytics platforms, and many more may be considered. The right tech stack provides efficiency and scalability.
  • Process Optimization: Re-assess and optimize current business processes in a digital environment. Transform workflows that will optimally leverage technology in organizing tasks and improving overall operational efficiency.
  • Data Culture and Governance: Data is the fuel of digital transformation. Strong capabilities in data collection, storage, and analysis are required for making informed decisions. A data-driven culture and good data governance practices are crucial for success.
  • Team Structure and Development: Equipping the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge for dealing with digital environments is imperative. This may involve training programs, upskilling initiatives, and potential team restructuring to leverage digital expertise.
  • Technology Partners: Collaboration with external technology providers may offer expertise, support, and assistance in implementing complex digital solutions. The right choice of software development partners can significantly enhance the transformation journey.
  • Measure Results and KPIs: Digital transformation is a continuous journey. Establishing clear key performance indicators to track progress, measure impact, and identify areas for improvement is critical. This enables the adoption of new strategies and adjustments to move toward desired goals.

Essential Skills for Digital Transformation

Clear communication strategies ensure that all stakeholders understand the transformation’s objectives, benefits, and what it entails since poor communication or failure in change management can be received with confusion, resistance, or failure.

Organizations need individuals, especially those with leadership positions, to have a wide array of skills to navigate the digital transformation. Understanding of the technology at hand is not sufficient.

Some employees have a little problem embracing the move towards digital, while others resist and view digital tools as complicated and time-consuming to learn. Resisting is mostly portrayed due to fears over losing their jobs, and as human beings, some are afraid that the new technologies will replace them altogether.

Leadership Skills

Digital transformation requires solid endorsement and commitment from senior management to drive cultural changes and innovation. The absence of the senior leadership’s support makes digital initiatives lack clear direction, resources, and momentum. Great leaders define clear strategies, digitally-driven initiatives are aligned with the company’s business objectives, and inspire the teams to embrace change.

Leaders are responsible for leading their teams through the digital transformation process and encouraging the adoption of new technologies. They also have to overcome any resistance by applying communication skills to explain the purpose of technology adoption within the organization.

Leadership skill is required to harmonize the technology and business strategy and make teams embrace the change. Leaders can continue holding workshops further to increase their knowledge of digitalization trends. Additionally, implementing mentorship programs pairing senior leaders with digital natives may increase this knowledge.

Digital Adoption Platforms Training

Training on DAPs becomes increasingly important for both businesses and staff going through digital transformation. They are the backbone for executing successful digital evolvement that drives efficiency, productivity, and general business performance.

DAPs make onboarding easy and improve user experiences through bespoke learning pathways and real-time support. This reduces much of the learning curve associated with new technologies, thus allowing staff to use digital tools more effectively and spend more time focused on their true roles.

In addition, DAPs provide insights into user behavior, which, in turn, will enable businesses to identify the knowledge gap and act fast. This is how a culture of digital prowess is being created among employees, given the competencies they need to thrive in the Digital Age.

Business Process Optimization

Business Process Optimization (BPO) enables an organization to utilize state-of-the-art technology and methodologies for higher efficiency, cost reduction, and greater customer satisfaction. By identifying areas for streamlining or improvement, BPO makes it easier to construct more effective workflows and improve service quality.

With all the dynamics in the market, businesses must improve themselves continuously. With BPO techniques, managers can gain insight into opportunities for enhancement while minimizing waste and amplifying productivity. For example, they might locate opportunities for the integration or automation of new technologies to smooth out operations and speed up decision-making.

Mobility Management

Isn’t it rare nowadays to see someone without a phone in hand? Well, the world just fits in those 7-inch screens, and so do your potential customers. According to Adweek, the average consumer spends 25% of their day on mobile phones. Therefore, understanding mobility management is crucial to speed up your organization’s digital transformation journey.

Mobility management is a fundamental function in GSM or UMTS networks, which allows the use of mobile phones. Its main objective is to track where the subscribers are so that calls, SMS, and other mobile services can be forwarded to them easily. As a Digital Transformation Officer with goals to shake and make waves in the digital space, mastering mobility management becomes tantamount to being indispensable.

Digital Literacy 

Digital literacy refers to a deep understanding and competence in handling digital technologies, including technical expertise in areas such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. It is also related to skills involved in digital transformation.
These competencies are very important for competently surfing and using complicated digital platforms and tools. For example, data literacy is important in interpreting and analyzing huge volumes of digital data. Understanding AI and ML allows the automation of tasks, hence efficiency and productivity.

A recent study from the National Skills Coalition showed that a third of the United States workforce lacks fundamental digital skills. Specifically, 13 percent lack any digital skills, while 18 percent possess only minimal proficiency. That highlights an urgent need to upgrade digital literacy at a national level to provide people with the right skills for success in our increasingly digital world.

Moreover, digital literacy entails skills in using digital communication and collaboration tools, which are very important for remote and hybrid work models. Understanding cybersecurity principles is also important in safeguarding sensitive data within digital interactions.

Enterprise Mobility Management 

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is the new force in digital transformation. As businesses increasingly use mobile solutions, demand for skilled EMM professionals is growing.

EMM includes a set of policies and tools that secure enterprise data on employees’ mobile devices. It involves mobile device management, mobile application management, and mobile content management. In the remote work world, EMM is vital to empower employees to work from anywhere and be more productive while remaining safeguarded. Furthermore, EMM facilitates ease of mobility operations, saves money, and increases efficiency.

In the age of digitalization, it is imperative to master EMM skills for effective and efficient risk management and opportunity capitalization in a mobile-centric environment. EMM is an imperative skill for digital transformation, a key business imperative in the dynamic landscape.

Benefits of Digital Transformation Skills for Enterprise

Increased Efficiency and Agility

Digital transformation radicalizes processes through automation of tasks and system integration. The process reduces manual efforts and decreases the chances of error, allowing employees to focus on higher-value tasks. It also increases your organization’s adaptability to the changing demands of the market.

Better Customer Experience

Today’s customers expect a seamless, personalized experience across all touchpoints. Digital transformation enables organizations to collect customer data and personalize all interactions, provide the facility for self-service, and respond faster.

Data-Driven Decision Making

If done correctly, digital transformation provides huge amounts of data through various channels. Using analytics tools, organizations can derive insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational performance. These insights have the power to make data-driven decisions to optimize strategy.

Innovation and Competitiveness

Digital transformation fosters a culture of innovation by providing tools and technologies for experimenting with new ideas. Innovation might lead to new products, services, or business models, which in turn increases competitiveness in the market.

Boost Productivity and Engagement of Employees

Digital tools automate mundane tasks and facilitate team collaboration, allowing employees to become more productive and focus on solving creative problems. A culture of digital transformation brings innovation and engagement among employees.

Better Resource Management

Centralizing and consolidating information and resources through digital transformation removes duplication and inefficiency, leads to better resource allocation, and reduces costs associated with maintaining different systems.

Conclusion 

There is a shift in the business environment due to ongoing technological developments. Adopting the moving change is imperative for success. An effective transformation depends on strong leadership, adaptability and resilience. Adapting to continuous learning is the most important key to success in digital transformation.

The increasing resilience of digital platforms has increased cybersecurity risks. Therefore, cybersecurity, data privacy and compliance skills are crucial to protect sensitive business data against threats. The digital transformation skills allow enterprises to deliver seamless, personalized experiences across various digital touchpoints.

FAQs

1. What are some of the major challenges of digital transformation?

  • Lack of a clear vision or strategy
  • Choosing the right technologies
  • Integrating new technologies with existing systems
  • Measuring the success of your transformation efforts
  • Resistance to change from employees

2. What are the must-haves to kick-start Digital Transformation?

Getting started with Digital Transformation is overwhelming, but it begins with developing an innovative culture. Organizations should start by developing a communication plan that outlines the intentions and objectives for Digital Transformation. This plan needs to include how the organization is going to enable and support this extreme change, including its importance, implications for the organization and the individual, and leadership’s commitment to promoting and supporting the initiative.

3. What sets apart digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation?

Digitization involves converting physical items into digital form. Digitalization, on the other hand, involves using digital technologies and digitized data to enhance or enable processes. While digitization focuses on converting and recording data, digitalization revolves around refining processes and altering workflows to enhance manual systems.

Digital transformation, closely associated with digitization and digitalization, aims to infuse technology into nearly all business functions. It entails integrating digital technology across all aspects of business to fundamentally enhance workflow efficiency and deliver value to customers.

4. Who drives digital transformation forward?

The responsibility for propelling digital transformation can differ based on the organization and its transformation goals. Typically, senior executives like the CEO, CIO, or CTO take charge, offering vision and strategic guidance. They secure resources for implementation and ensure alignment with the organization’s overarching strategic objectives.

[To share your insights with us as part of editorial or sponsored content, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

Related posts

JupiterOne Integrations Increase Value and Context for Cyber Assets

CIO Influence News Desk

Apollo GraphQL Announces $130 Million Series D Investment to Power the Future of Graph and Application Development

NinjaOne Hires Former Head of Security at Splunk, Guardant Health as Chief Trust Officer

CIO Influence News Desk