When beginning a journey of digital transformation, many business leaders make the mistake of starting by tasking their IT department with leading the initiative from the technical implementation aspect. The problem with this approach, is that while technology is an enabler, it’s not really addressing the problem. In reality, the company leadership needs to start by looking at their organization and realize that there is internal work that needs to be done before investing in technology.
Any digital transformation will impact multiple teams across your organization, so if you’re thinking about beginning a digital transformation, you need to start by assembling a team of individuals from every department that will be impacted, rather than allowing a single business unit to assert complete ownership. When a single team is given ownership over a digital transformation initiative, the result is often a solution that is too narrow and not suitable for all the teams that are impacted. By creating a team with members from various business units, you can ensure that the project is being tackled from multiple angles rather than from a single perspective.
Once assembled, your Digital Transformation A-Team will be instrumental in driving organizational change, working through any challenges that occur, and representing the interests of their respective groups. To be successful, your team should meet on a regular basis to ensure everyone is up-to-speed on how the transformation is going. Typically, your team will be reporting to a board of C-level individuals to provide updates and receive guidance moving forward. This piece is critical, because digital transformation is a strategic initiative within the organization, and it requires C-level support and backing.
While your change management team will be unique to the needs of your company, there are several key players that should generally be included in order for your digital transformation initiative to be successful.
1. An IT Perspective
When the time is right, choosing the proper technology to support your digital transformation is a critical component of the process. A member of your IT department can provide input and make recommendations on the types of technology they want to incorporate into the organization. They will also have the technical knowledge needed to support that initiative. This team member will be responsible for ensuring that any technologies being implemented are in compliance with the technical vision of the company, are scalable to fit both current and future business needs, and are supportable from an IT perspective.
This is a critical role to your Digital Transformation A-Team, as they will be interfacing with every other member of the team. Once the technology needs of the individual business units are addressed, your IT representative will be instrumental in understanding those needs, recommending solutions to meet them, and facilitating implementations.
2. A Marketing Perspective
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A member of the marketing team will be focused on customer acquisition from a digital perspective and provide insights on how your digital transformation efforts will drive growth. They will be an advocate for initiatives that will meaningfully and positively impact customers, and will aim to improve marketing automation efforts. This team member needs to have in-depth knowledge of your organization’s marketing process throughout every channel, as well as ideas of where improvements can be made. They will also know the content management needs of your company and where content can be enriched.
3. A Sales Perspective
This team member will bring the ultimate customer perspective. They will be the biggest advocate for rolling out the transformation to customers as soon as possible. Their priorities may include leveraging digital to help them better conduct sales or gaining the ability to offload smaller deals to a self-service model, so the sales team can focus its efforts on larger projects. Improving the customer experience and streamlining internal operations are all a means to an end: increasing sales and driving growth. That means that other business units will need to be supporting the sales team in some way, and having input from that team member will prove invaluable.
4. Representation for Your Collective Business Interests
Perhaps the broadest role of the team, this position may require more than one person to contribute. This role represents all lines of business that your company is involved in, and acts as a voice for the collective business units. They will drive the vision of how digital impacts the business as a whole and how it can be a valuable differentiator for the organization. They will aim to position your company and all the lines of business within the market and find the most effective ways to bring digital experiences to their customers.
5. Guidance from Legal and Compliance
This role is a critical part of your digital transformation journey. A representative from your legal and/or compliance team will make sure the strategies being implemented are in-line with your organization’s rules surrounding compliance and regulation. This is especially important when it comes to industry-specific regulations and legal ramifications. This team member will focus their efforts on guaranteeing that any relevant tax regulations and legal restrictions are taken into consideration, as well as ensuring these strategies continue to meet existing obligations like service level agreements.
Each of these team members provide powerful knowledge that will be instrumental in developing your digital transformation strategy. They will ensure that the vision of the initiative is kept and meets the needs of each individual teams throughout your organization. They will bring the opinions and needs of their units to the discussion and, in turn, educate the rest of their department members about the upcoming changes. By creating a team of talented individuals who can come together and ask, “What does digital mean to my team and why?” you’ll be able to set your company up for a successful digital transformation.