In Deloitte’s Digital Disruption Index Jan 2019, 72% of business leaders said they did not believe their workforce has sufficient knowledge and expertise to execute the digital strategy. But how can businesses overcome this massive hurdle, implement digital transformation and empower their employees to embrace the change?
Your internal team
Digital transformation needs to be embedded into everything the company does and represent the way people work and departments operate. I find successful businesses recruit an internal cross-departmental team invested in developing the project, ensuring it is part of their personal targets and represents all layers of the organisation.
The drive needs to come from the bottom as much as from the top. It’s important to understand the overall business objectives, identify problem areas, and work with employees to understand their frustrations and challenges.
Although we expect HR to foster collaboration and breakdown departmental silos this is more challenging with an increasingly dispersed workforce, and when working on specific time-sensitive projects that have a lifespan from development to implementation, through to adoption.
Simultaneously IT knowledge needs to be communicated to enable departments to understand, engage and interact with the new system’s development. You need a leader that can convert numeric and raw technology data into clearly labelled visual diagrams that wider company teams can better interact with and understand while contributing to.
Avoiding recurring mistakes
Failure is significantly reduced and costs controlled with planning and time management that aligns with affected departments. HR needs to find the talent where a project manager is able to listen to the workforce and engage them in the process and lead a change that incorporates their ideas.
I still find that many companies expect an internal IT team to deliver digital transformation, however this leads to timelines spiralling out of control causing greater fractious inter-departmental relationships. Further, the IT team are expected to juggle day-to-day operational matters while learning the skills for new system development.
With increasing demand and competition for tech talent businesses are battling to find and retain the right expertise. Talented individuals seek innovative and challenging projects within creative working cultures, which many businesses are unable to offer.
Delivering implementation – the true project manager
You need a project manager with the experience and skills to marry the business objectives and staff expectations. Your project manager should not only be able to understand the situation internally and manage the cross-departmental collaboration of the project, but also understand the external requirements and how to identify and source the right partners to develop and deliver implementation.
Hiring the right team goes beyond what resources you appoint and recruit internally, but how you find the right experts and specialists to collaborate on the project delivery. Project managers should demonstrate their ability to work with specialist technology agencies to ensure the right attribution of budget, together with the relevant expertise whilst maintaining the timeline for delivery.
Achieving Adoption – specialist trainers
According to Insight, the biggest concern over new tech is disruption to staff. While Deloitte found 65% of business leaders consider their learning and development (L&D) programmes do not support their digital strategy.
The end point of any project is how you can embed it within operations and business culture to avoid loss of investment due to lack of digital adoption.
I’ve seen a growing trend in HR and Tech leaders taking the initiative to engage specialist trainers to support tech utilisation during implementation, working alongside the project manager. Where teams are difficult to engage, or rapid deployment is required, providing employees with the right support and training will help you towards success.
Which areas of your business are suffering from outdated processes that require digital transformation?
By Tiago Catarino
About the author
Tiago Catarino is the co-founder and CEO of Lisbon Nearshore, a technology company based in Lisbon, Portugal delivering customised software development, IT staffing services and training to enterprises worldwide. Established in 2017, Lisbon Nearshore, whose clients include Hugo Boss, Richemont Group, has its own dedicated developer Learning Centre.
With a career spent in technology Tiago has built his focus on outsourcing and delivering processes to innovate and optimise the performance of companies IT infrastructure and web platforms. Tiago holds a MA in Strategic Global Outsourcing from Middlesex University.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.