Being in the digital age you may think that all companies are already completely tech savvy and that they have long before completed the transition to digital. But this isn’t always the case – especially in non-digital native sectors, like insurance or transportation for example. There are many companies still in the dark ages of the digital transformation and that strongly need to update their processes and infrastructures to today’s working style.
But what is today’s working style? And what do we mean by digital transformation?
By this we mean replacing old and out-of-date technology with newer digital technology. The adoption of this new digital technology can then transform the business and its services, by streamlining processes and removing manual tasks.
How can “old style” companies take on this important challenge and successfully adapt to the changed ecosystem? This is exactly the mission of the digital transformation manager, a person who is in charge of helping the organisation to make all the necessary changes to step into the digital age.
Who is the digital transformation manager
The digital transformation manager must have solid project management skills but also a solid understanding of how modern companies are structured and of course competencies in change management. It is a complex role which must combine many skills and diverse expertises. They must possess not only technical competencies but also soft skills: be able to communicate and motivate, to build a cooperative work environment and to understand and analyze company processes. They must be resilient but also be able to interpret the business environment and take advantage of change signals. Finally they should be goal focused and strong in meeting the objectives.
The digital transformation manager usually comes from the ICT department (maybe working as CTO or CDO) but can also come from consulting or from marketing or business development, as it is not merely a technical role. Of course they must be able to read and decipher the latest developments in technological evolutions (like big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet of things, cyber security) as well as connecting them to the actual processes, cultural models and infrastructures of the company.
If this role is appealing to you but you don’t have all the necessary skills you could consider taking a course. The digital transformation master by Talent Garden is specifically designed to let professionals with experience but coming from different areas (IT managers, junior and middle managers, project managers, consultants, digital strategists, advisors…) acquire all the competencies they need to apply for this exciting albeit challenging role.
The role of the digital transformation manager
But what exactly should a digital transformation manager do? Firstly a digital transformation manager must acquire a global vision of the company as a whole and of all its elements and functions (stakeholders, management, employees, clients). They must understand the current status of the digitalisation as well as the eventual resistances they may come up against, considering the entire company ecosystem.
They should audit the level of the digital efficiency among the organisation’s components but also the technological and digital infrastructures and facilities. Then she must define the desirable objectives and set up a digital transformation plan to reach them. The objectives don’t necessarily have to be gigantic. They could be a simple improvement of the communication channels for example, or an automatisation of the repetitive, time wasting processes. Or, thinking bigger, they could be the development of artificial intelligent systems to support marketing decisions. Of course the digital transformation manager must also allocate the budget, coordinate the teams involved, communicate and advocate to the management, etc. And of course she must evaluate and audit the innovation processes through their entire lifecycle. A truly crucial and exciting role in this time of continuous changes!