Analysts from McKinsey, Gartner, and Deloitte agree that successful digital transformations start at the top. Positive outcomes happen when company executives are committed to the transformation process. That doesn't mean that CEOs need to be digital transformation specialists, but they do need a specialist to champion the process.
A digital transformation specialist identifies areas that can improve overall business performance through digitization. Specialists have experience and education in areas such as data analytics, project management, and process improvement. With their leadership skills, they can get stakeholder buy-in, which is essential to transformation success.
A digital transformation specialist has skills that address the reasons why 73% of transformations fail. Let's look at five skills that a digital transformation specialist should have to ensure a successful transformation.
Companies often lack the expertise to achieve a digital transformation. They are unsure of how to marry technology and strategy, even though they understand they need digital change. Some organizations do not plan for resistance or consider how to introduce change. They lack a plan that outlines the strategy and the technologies to be deployed to execute the strategy.
Experienced specialists know the importance of the human side of a transformation. They are willing to accept adjustments to ensure acceptance. They also understand that successful transformations maintain a balance between digitizing changes and employee acceptance.
Successful transformations are based on data. Specialists identify opportunities that would improve business performance. They collect and analyze data to determine which opportunities will have the best return on investment and fit within the transformational strategy. Once the process is underway, digital specialists continue to look at the data to ensure the project is on track.
During process testing, specialists review test data to determine if the digitizing effort needs adjusting. Making changes before deployment reduces costs and minimizes disruptions to existing processes. After implementation, transformation specialists continue to analyze data because part of a transformation is continual improvement.
Digital transformation isn't one large project. It's a series of small projects that have been defined as part of the overall strategy. Without strong project management skills, a project manager can quickly lose control. That's why digital transformation specialists need project management experience. They need experience setting up projects and using technology to monitor the activity to ensure projects will be on time and on budget.
If an organization lacks project management software, that may be one of the first deliverables on the road to digitization. If creating an agile work environment is part of the strategy, digital specialists may look at agile project management solutions to help build a digital mindset.
Digital specialists understand how to evaluate operational processes. Whether it is onboarding customers or employees, specialists can use their data analytics skills to determine the process's effectiveness. For example, how much of the process is manual? How much requires data re-entry? What percentage of employees or customers need special consideration?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) might be the perfect technology to remove manual processes and eliminate the need to re-enter the data into another system. If most employees and customers can be processed with little human intervention, then RPA can improve the process, providing a better experience for everyone.
Leadership skills encompass how to manage projects, lead the transformation process, and develop buy-in from stakeholders. It requires excellent communication skills to ensure that all stakeholders remain current on the transformation project. Digital specialists are also problem-solvers because no project completed as planned.
Successful digital transformations require a unique skill set to ensure that projects support the digital strategy. Since transformations do not happen overnight, companies need digital specialists to help select the processes that move organizations closer to their transformational goals. No matter where your organization is on its transformational journey, our digital transformation specialists are ready to move you closer to your final goal.
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