Companies need to invest in tangible goods (computers, networks, servers, software) in order to be digital, but that is only the beginning of any digital process: above anything else, they need to put people in charge of technology.
In fact, a recent article published by Harvard Business Review argues that any company’s digitalization process must follow these three stages:
1 Digital infrastructure
2 Digital tools
3 Digital leaders
The rationale for this is that any digital transformation process involves a number of decisions linked to human beings, which affect all the stakeholders within the company.
Harvard Business Review’s account therefore states that, ultimately, companies need digital leaders who manage teams, detect priorities and bring technology closer to people.
Today, the acquisition or hiring of IT-related equipment and services affects practically all industries and comprehensively, in particular, for sectors like (see graphic) technology, finance, insurance or media and communication.
By contrast, other sectors like the pharmaceutical industry–through automation–or the consumer goods sector–through a new form of relationship with consumers–have a large margin for growth in technology.
The truth is that the digital has already created an exponential gap between companies that are digirati and those that are not: in fact, American companies that lead in their respective sectors are already 13 times more digital than their competitors.
The use of telematic payment services, digital marketing, e-commerce platforms, or centralized purchasing services are only a few of the tools that are making several companies leaders in their respective fields.
Thanks to these tools, companies are more flexible, productive, innovative, and connect better with their clients, regardless of whether their business is based on internal or external assets, such as in certain collaborative economy models like Uber or Airbnb.
As mentioned above, digital leaders are the most important link in digitalization, since they connect digital tools and people (internal teams, clients…) in order to increase productivity and profit.
They are also in charge of identifying digital priorities for the transformation of their business, while maintaining current competitiveness. They must also know how to manage their teams and detect opportunities and profiles that stand out in the ‘digital arena’.
As we already discussed, the crisis in digital talent is one of the greatest obstacles a company faces in its digital transformation.
Faced with this crisis, many companies turn to external talent, while others decide to search for talent that is already available but sometimes hidden within their organization. They use collaborative tools that encourage innovation, intrapreneurship and, through active listening, the detection of profiles with digital potential.
All this under the maxim: digital leaders manage a company’s transformation and, in turn, open it up to all of the people who are part of the company.
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