One of the most obvious outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives as an organizational imperative. When it comes to digital transformation, the focus invariably shifts towards the technologies, processes, and applications that drive digital capabilities for the organization. After all, digital transformation is all about integrating digital technologies into all business areas to fundamentally change how organizations operate and deliver value.
The urgency to digitally transform has increased now more than ever as organizations realize that digital capabilities are essential to keep the lights on. However, while the focus on technology is obvious, we need to remember that digital transformation is as much about people as it is about technology.
Making the digital shift is not just about ditching the printer or setting up network security alone. Digital transformation transforms the entire organization. Hence, organizations need to support this change by helping the workforce develop the new skills and capabilities they will need to leverage digital technologies and understand their impact on the business and culture of the organization. Further, digital transformation is incomplete without increasing the data literacy levels of the organizations since the ultimate objective of digital transformation is to help the organization become truly data-driven in all its aspects.
Because of this, digital transformation becomes all about people. Hence, it makes sense to complement digital transformation with digital transition coaches to drive digital adoption.
The role of a digital transition coach
With the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly making an appearance, organizations had to pivot and begin using digital technologies to enable remote work. Although they had been looking at increasing digital adoption, the pandemic compelled organizations to deliver 100% digital experiences.
With this initial push in place, organizations now need to move ahead and deliver on their digital transformation initiatives with greater certainty to prepare themselves for the hybrid workplace. This will ensure that digital capabilities become business drivers and contribute positively to the bottom line.
It is at this intersection of technology and people where the role of a digital transition coach comes into play.
Cement digital transformation
As mentioned before, digital transformation is about driving organizational transformation. The past year was focused on keeping the lights on. Now it’s time to make up for the lost time. To drive measurable and tangible outcomes, digital transformation initiatives need a detailed evaluation of the organizations existing digital capabilities and where they would like to be.
This demands an assessment of the digital transformation readiness and needs an evaluation of the technology solutions, applications, and processes in relation to their contribution to business outcomes.
Assessing the digital framework and its dependencies, the legacy technologies at play, and the dependency of core business processes on legacy technologies and processes become important to get the ROI from digital transformation initiatives. This evaluation also contributes towards creating the right solutions and designing the correct digital transformation roadmap.
A digital transformation coach helps organizations assess these aspects and provides the support needed to develop a comprehensive digital transition roadmap. They conduct a readiness assessment to help organizations understand the maturity of their digital architecture as well as the maturity of the workforce to leverage digital technologies. They essentially help organizations map the gap between their current capabilities and performance and where they would like to be in the near future.
Increase talent agility
Digital transformation is important. But what is even more important is to identify ways to increase and improve talent agility by helping them address and manage change.
Talent agility is all about helping the workforce develop the capabilities to address the skills gaps that digital transformation could have introduced. One of the key focus areas here is to increase organizational data literacy so that the workforce can truly become data-driven.
Data literacy is a skill set that demands the employees to be verbally, numerically, and graphically conversant with data. Data literacy is also less about analysis and more about how employees use data to communicate with each other. Building data literacy becomes essential for organizations on a digital transformation journey as ultimately, digital transformation aims at driving better organizational outcomes by becoming truly data-driven.
A digital transition coach helps organizations build their employees’ data literacy levels and by helping organizations build the bridge between data analysts and business groups. Their objective is to help every employee become so conversant with data that it becomes the common organizational language.
Further, digital transition coaches can help organizations define the level of data proficiency needed for different jobs. They can help organizations create effective data literacy programs while accounting for the literacy needs of the organization.
Monitor and measure transformation progress
Digital transformation is not a static, monolithic project. It is fluid and constantly in motion to accommodate the evolving needs of the organization. Creative solutioning, design-led engineering, the right user experience design, good quality assurance, and customized solutions are all digital transformation needs.
A digital transition coach helps organizations measure their digital transformation process and assists in exploring different technology service ideas to create bespoke solutions and help them employ turnkey platforms to serve the business optimally. They help measure progress and identify where the transformation is facing hurdles and the low-hanging fruits that will deliver maximum business impact.
Digital transition coaches help organizations adapt to the mindset shifts needed to build and create new capabilities that didn’t exist before. And while IT plays a big role in driving digital transformation, implementing and helping the workforce adapt and internalize these massive changes that digital transformation brings rests on the organization. Digital transition coaches can facilitate this transition and help employees develop the skills, especially essential data skills, required to shine in this new world of work.