A look at today’s transformation leader.
While IT is a key driver of business transformation, we found that the most successful digital transformation leaders have a broad range of experience that provides them with a well-rounded perspective. IT teams benefit from developing their marketing and sales acumen and recruiting cross-disciplinary expertise, in addition to continuing to hone their technical skills. This is because the three core capabilities for transformation rely on a champions’ ability to do the following:
• Create and communicate an innovation vision capturing adtech, martech and experience tech
• Couple strong communication skills with a collaborative, outcome-orientated approach
• Embrace transformation objectives and translate them into solutions driving business outcomes
These skills aren’t exclusive to IT professionals. Transformation leaders from all disciplines shared that the most challenging aspect of driving transformation was “working across the enterprise” to align on desired outcomes before choosing technological solutions. Stakeholders also wanted to partner with IT leaders who could see the big picture—those who could understand the “why” for transformation—not just the “how.”
By partnering on the motivations for transformation, leaders are more likely to shape the structure and culture of their organisations. This is particularly true in digitally maturing companies, which show these qualities:
• Three times as likely to organise around cross-functional teams
• Twice as likely to be looking out five years or more
• Willing to take risks and pilot new technologies6
Even organisations that are slower to embrace change expect their IT departments to be more cross-functional and provide the following:
• Collaborative oversight to help other business areas make tech decisions that are part of a broader ecosystem
• Modernised infrastructure and cloud to develop and deploy cloud-based, mobile and AI-driven applications
• More speed to pilot and then adopt agile processes that accelerate speed to market
To raise your profile as an IT professional, explore ways to complement your core IT skills with knowledge of what makes your organisation tick. Look around for role models and mentors who can give business context within and beyond your department.