Hunter Executive Search

Digital is Here to Stay

Facing the music: Actualising Digital Transformation

Owing to the lack of fresh talent and technologies, many traditional businesses continue to perish, actualising digital transformation has become the top priority for CEOs.

Digital Transformation
“Digital Transformation” by Cerillion is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A year into remote work and it is evident that digital is here to stay! Swept away by the waves of digital transformation, more and more C-suite level executives are realising the need to transform businesses but find it increasingly difficult to actualise transformation.

According to the  International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast, “global spending on digital transformation (DX) will reach a staggering $6.8 trillion globally by 2023. Furthermore, due to the impact of Covid-19, 65% of the world’s GDP could be digitized by 2022. 

Digital transformation (DX) can mean different things for different businesses as they’re all unique in various aspects. However, as a rule of thumb, any enterprise embarking on the journey of digital transformation must know that in simple words it translates to changing/transforming your business. Take a step back! Revisit everything that you do from key operational functions to customer interaction strategy and more. 

Digital transformation, not an overnight proposition

You can’t reap what you don’t sow!  

Many businesses are aware of the benefits of DX, but they have adopted the ‘wait-it-out’ approach. Here’s the problem with waiting-it-out after a year of economical havoc around the globe. DX is not an overnight proposition. Businesses that invest now, place bold bets in digital ventures, technology and talent are more likely to succeed by 2022. 

Embracing DX is the best way to differentiate your business from your competitors. 

Zero in on the challenge 

Trying to achieve business goals without meeting the gap between the desired and actual outcome, is the first misstep on your path to thriving in the fourth industrial revolution. Without knowing where to shoot you’re bound to miss your aim! The first step towards actualising digital transformation is defining it for your business.

Leaders understand that they must invest in the right talent, leverage emerging technologies to connect with their customers and thereby identify new opportunities in the marketplace, yet they are far from actualising it.

Here’s how enterprises can overcome barriers to actualising digital transformation.

Define digital transformation for your business

Change the narrative  

What does digital transformation mean for your enterprise? Defining what transforming digitally implies for all business departments is jumping the first hurdle on your path to going digital. The perception that digital transformation is a single departmental function hampers creativity and innovation. 

Articulate what digital transformation means to your business and what role do people play in that. Defining transformation for an enterprise can make up for the lack of understanding, lack of training in most of the emerging organisations today.

Legacy processes

 It’s a ‘culture issue’!

As a result of a survey of over 600 members of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), it was found that many organizations continue to struggle with enterprise-wide digital transformation simply because meeting the gap between ideation and implementation is difficult. Therefore, companies continue to follow old success models even if they increasingly do not work. Tackling the roadblock of legacy processes is crucial because they prevent organisations from fostering innovation, achieving their digital goals and ultimately driving their long-term vision. While many European countries are hiring digitally savvy leaders, traditional companies are yet to strike a chord with the idea of co-working spaces or transforming into smart and attractive places to work rather than irrelevant and time-consuming. 

Invest in the Right Talent 

Have the cake and eat it too?

Finding people who are qualified for an executive-level job but at the same time are technologically fluent is extremely challenging and often underestimated. However, the management of information has now changed to something much more substantive. Digital transformation in an enterprise cannot move forward without transforming at C-suite level. Therefore, finding the right talent with business acumen, the right experience and technological approach is becoming increasingly popular.

“There is a misalignment of talent and organizations’ innovation goals. Often the barrier is lack of leaders who can establish the right culture for innovation and digital transformation.”

AESC Report 

Innovation is Key

Digital Transformation
picture credits: reuters events

“Don’t let the fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.”

 Louise Armstrong.

Creativity leads to innovation

Shunning new ideas because of the complexity involved in implementing ideas is a failed mission in digital transformation. Keeping the lines to communication open is key. This can be brought about by introducing healthy competitions, making sure there is participation from every member. Bringing in a culture that welcomes initiative and ideas is the route to innovation.

Moving from operations to innovation

Legacy businesses are designed for operations, however, by encouraging collaboration at functional levels, innovation can happen. Moving from an age where C-suite functions were removed to an age where C-suite executives need to function as a team to become more agile and a more connected approach to accelerate innovation.

Champion diversity and inclusion 

While creativity forms the foundation of innovation, fostering diversity is key to ensuring that everyone is heard. 

“Organizations that exhibit their openness to letting everyone with talent thrive, those are the organizations that create a culture of innovation.”

AESC consultant

Bringing diversity to a level where it’s no longer about gender, but about diversity on a global and demographic level fosters a bigger pool of ideas and individuality.

While there are a dozen ways to bring about innovation the most efficient and effective way is leaders driving innovation. 

Leaders: the drivers of innovation

picture credits: medium.com

The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” — Lee Iacocca

Digital transformation is not limited to changing business structures it is also the ‘augmentation of human intelligence, embracing the new and opening doors to resolve enormous human challenges.’

Leaders must drive change by being the change themselves. A creative leader is more likely to inspire creativity than one who sticks to managerial functions.

Five proven musts for transforming C-suite roles :

1. CEOs must drive the culture change

2. CHROs must lead a Business 4.0 talent strategy

3. CFOs must support innovation through long-term investment

4. CMOs must evangelize customer-centricity across the enterprise

 5. CTOs must become more commercial and seize opportunities in the marketplace

AESC

The Tip Of The Iceberg

While both legacy businesses and digital businesses realise the need to transform they’re still finding ways to actualise it. To begin with, digital transformation begins at the top. CEOs, CFOs, CMOs are key to bringing about a change in the enterprise. 

“Digital transformation is not simply about disruption or technology. It’s about value, people, optimization and the capability to rapidly adapt when such is needed through intelligent use of technologies and information.”

A journey of several connected intermediary goals, it has several key drivers such as end-to-end customer experience optimization, operational flexibility and innovation. However, binding all of these together is the c-suite, this is where hiring the right talent with skills in analytics, technology and business takes centre. 

In conclusion, it’s time to explore the intersection of your business with engaging customer experiences augmented with innovation and digital transformation

Digital transformation has become a global business movement, and “staying tuned to the universal paradigm to thrive in the digital economy is the way forward.”

Still figuring out how to get started? Want the right talent to drive change and innovation but don’t know how? We at Hunter Executive Search understand that the right talent has the potential to transform an organisation. Contact us now to find C-suite executives that inspire change and drive digital transformation.

Find leaders with years of experience and up-to-date skills that help your business flourish in the age of AI. Contact us here.

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