What Are the Top Skills Needed for Digital Transformation?
November 14th, 2019 (Updated 03/23/2021) | 6 min. read
By Duncan Hendy
The Top Skills You Need to Lead Digital Transformation
Digital transformation, put simply, is the integration of digital technology throughout all areas of a business.
The goals of digital transformation are to launch or further push the business into the digital age, to alter processes to drastically improve performance, and to rejuvenate the business. However, as vital as digital transformation may be for your business, it is a huge undertaking that requires a large investment of money and time as well as a strong team to guide the business through this process.
Whilst the benefits are numerous, digital transformation must be managed in the most efficient and careful way in order to maintain profitability. In this article, I will list the top skills required for digital transformation and how best to implement them into a business in preparation for this new era.
Communication, a vital skill within any business, is absolutely at the top of the list when it comes to digital transformation technology skills. The process of digital transformation, as with any period of change, brings about numerous discussions on how best to proceed – whether the change is too risky or expensive for the business and many other valid opinions. Communication is a necessity in guiding a business through digital transformation in order to keep employees up to date on what is happening so that they can really understand the reasons why the investment is taking place. The long–term effects of communication can allow a business to safely transition through this period of change by ensuring that all employees buy into the idea and are on hand to see it through.
Following directly on from the benefits of communication in digital leadership skills, collaboration is an incredibly important part of digital transformation. Within each team, department, and the business as a whole, everyone must work together in order to guarantee digital transformation’s successful implementation. This is never truer than with those in charge of the digital transformation itself. They must listen to employees and aid them in understanding their roles, effectively communicate through to the business the steps that are being taken, and, as such, act in a way that best benefits the business.
The natural progression of communication and collaboration comes from leadership. As a truly vital skill for any manager at any time, the same applies to those who are leading a digital transformation process. In regards to digital transformation roles and responsibilities, the figures who are leading the process have the most important tasks of all. A critical and analytical mindset will guide any leader in making decisions throughout digital transformation that will shape the business for the better – not only throughout the process but also in the long run. Just as much as it will allow those in charge to assess employees who have the necessary skills and mindsets to aid the leadership throughout digital transformation. It is highly advisable for any leadership to surround themselves with capable and dedicated people during the integration and to ensure that they are at the forefront.
4. Critical Thinking
One of the top skills required for digital transformation is the ability to think critically. The process of digital transformation and the way in which it is implemented can be different for every business. Meaning that there will always be issues and problems that arise despite the best preparation and planning, all of which require a critical mind to assess and create plans of action in quick response to mitigate loss of time and resources. The ability to make decisions quickly and execute them promptly is a highly important skill for digital transformation.
5. Creative Thinking
A direct continuation of critical thinking, creative thinking is also mandatory when undergoing digital transformation. It is not enough to be able to analyze and act based on information, especially when it comes to digital transformation and the period of rapid change it involves. A strong leader throughout this time must be able to think outside the box and create solutions which are both bespoke for the business and the digital implementations chosen. As with many of the other top skills required for digital transformation, creative thinking is one which all of those close to the process should have. After all, digital transformation is typically implemented in order to reassess processes and improve performances. By utilizing a team that is able to think of new ways to solve problems and create unique solutions, a precedent is set for a flexible and modern business.
During digital transformation, a period of change throughout a business where old processes are looked at closely, it is highly important that those leading the process are flexible in both their actions and their mindset. Truly, the business as a whole must be flexible in order for digital transformation to take hold and create a lasting culture of flexibility and innovative thinking. As mentioned earlier, the leaders of the digital transformation are there to set an example for others throughout the business and to explain and show them not only why change is necessary but to encourage them to buy into the idea. When it comes to many businesses, processes and systems have been used for a long time and things are done ‘the way they always are’. Leaders of the digital transformation process should aim to spread their flexible mindsets throughout the business to achieve the greatest results.
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