How to manage the all-important digital transformation process effectively

An agile response to the opportunities of digitisation begins with your people.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 14 Jun 2018

Digital transformation is top of the agenda for organisations of all stripes and sectors.

According to an SAP study on Digital Transformation, ‘digital transformation is no longer a choice, it’s an essential driver of revenue, profit and growth.’

Digitisation offers benefits such as improved data collection and analytics - meaning digitally mature businesses are able to identify and exploit opportunities more quickly than competitors.

Internally, advances in areas such as AI, machine learning and IoT are helping to automate workflows, overcome functional silos and ensure organisations are operating more efficiently.

So how can organisations effectively manage the process of digital transformation?

Firstly, delivering this type of strategic change is not an IT project - it’s driven by the quality of the talent from right across the organisation.

A Technical University of Munich study on ‘Skills for Digital Transformation’ published last year found that ‘digital talent is threatening to become the major bottleneck of digitisation.’

In addition to hiring that technical expertise in critical areas such as big data analytics, it’s equally important to ensure your management team is properly equipped to manage and lead change.

For new and experienced managers, the government-backed PRINCE2 course offers a strong introduction to the techniques required when approaching digital transformation projects.

According to an MIT Sloan Management Review annual report, individuals surveyed reported ‘needing to continually develop their skills but say they get little to no support from their organisation to do so’.

PRINCE2 training offers a grounding in some key principles and it can be completed within a comparatively short timeframe - the PRINCE2 weekend training London is a good example of this. This means some of the necessary training required can be delivered with minimal disruption the normal business schedule.

Having graduated from PRINCE2, some managers may wish to consider exploring more technical approaches offered via ‘agile’ methodologies. The benefits of agile include increased productivity and morale within teams, faster delivery times and capacity to deal with change within the project.

SAP’s Digital Transformation study found that just 15% of respondent businesses agreed that they had ‘enough personnel with the skills necessary for the Digital Transformation of our company’. For this reason, managers should continuously update and refresh their skills - and there are lots of options available in major economic centres (eg. PRINCE2 courses London and PRINCE2 Birmingham), as well as in main regional hubs like Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Dublin.

Agreeing to proceed with a digital transformation process is an important step forward. But more critical is ensuring that managers across all business functions understand what is required of them and feel confident that they are trained to facilitate the transformation process.

Image credit: Ekaphon maneechot/Shutterstock

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