It’s not always very easy for managers and leaders within an organization to have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on and what needs to evolve, when it comes to digital transformation. However, the main challenge lies in the ‘how’ aspect of the matter. Of course, there is no one size fits all approach, but let’s try and analyse what companies can best achieve by resorting to consultants or external experts and by instigating and implementing digital transformation from within.
Be it on Twitter or LinkedIn, digital transformation is on everybody’s lips. With ample number of success stories to cite and necessities to mention, the real question is how to get it done? Should a company urge its CMO or CIO to take the lead, or should it knock at the doors of consulting companies that have demonstrated success in this arena?
Implementing digital transformation from within
When reading books on Digital Transformation like Leading Digital, we notice very often the assertion that experts make for companies eager to digitise: the push has to come from within, i.e., leaders should be all for it and the employees at all levels should embrace this challenge as well. If an unswerving tenacity is required on the part of top management, isn’t it pragmatic that they should come at the helm of their company’s digital transformation?
With companies employing a Chief Innovation Officer, or even a Chief Marketing Officer, it is possible that digital transformation efforts are spearheaded by such an executive. To exemplify my point, I would like to mention about Ebner Verlag, one of the biggest media houses based in Germany. In an interview with us, Ebner’s CIO Dominik Grau explained how the executives took charge of the digital transformation of the company. It was quite a big success and Dominik even shared with us his 7 keys steps for success.
With an organizational structure that allows for an effective implementation, the executives begin- by involving employees at all levels – to select new technologies. This step follows from a thorough analysis of what and how the replacement/upgradation of current technologies brings in more efficacy and a higher ROI. Involving middle managers throughout this process ensures that they feel valued and put in their best efforts to achieve the set objectives.
After finalizing the technology to be implemented, it’s time for robust training to ensure work efficiency. At this point, the top management can choose either to self-train the employees or leverage the expertise of external consultants. However, it’s paramount that employees get well-trained to work with the selected technology, as you need good drivers to drive good cars.
Outsourcing the digital transformation endeavours
As we at Visionary Marketing mention as part of our consulting methodology called ‘Man from Mars report’, it’s important that executives get feedback on their digital assets- one without any preconceived notions detailing how they look from outside, since they reveal a company’s strategy quite well.
Although it adds some significant figures onto the budget, outsourcing the digital transformation expedition to consultants with a proven track record ensures timely implementation of the technology and a quality training for employees.
What role should the top management play in the whole process? Even if they aren’t the ones doing it, executives must be there to assure that consultants are able to effectuate things smoothly and establish that employees at all levels collaborate with the consultants, in order to get the most out of this transformation.
What is the best way
Perhaps, a mix of the two. If you have the best of breed tech experts and a management team that relentlessly vitalizes the drive to go digital, you can envision a fruitful outcome.
Summarising my points, I would say that a company might consider few parameters prior to deciding on its digital transformation endeavours: investment in terms of time and money, what training would be required and for how long, technical expertise of the management, and a roadmap outlining what are the objectives, how to achieve them, until when and with what resources.