October 13, 2022 4 MIN Read

The Case for Digital Transformation: Digital Talent Over Technology

Globally 78% of digital transformation efforts fail. Why? Because most business leaders do not recognise that digital transformation is less about technology and more about digital talent.

To stay relevant in this era of digital disruption, companies must realise that digital transformation is less about the technology, and more about their digital talent. Here’s what we mean and how your company can align.

Analysis from the Pew Research Centre suggests that as many as 77% of seniors would require assistance if they were to try and learn how to use a smartphone or tablet. They can have the technology in their hands – but they often don’t know what it means or how it works. 

No Time for a Nokia

Nokia 3310, beloved and 'indestructible' mobile phone, 'to be reborn' | Nokia | The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

Of course, seniors are free to carry on using the classic Nokia 3310 (which holds a special place in all our hearts), but companies have no choice but to adapt to remain competitive in an ever-changing world. The cost of failing to do so – according to the leading cloud enterprise firm Couchbase – reached a staggering $5.5 billion in 2021. This vast sum shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when globally, 78% of digital transformation efforts fail. Why? Because most business leaders do not recognise that digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. Any board of directors can agree to buy new tech, but a company’s ability to adapt to a digital future depends on whether it can harness the next generation of skills to bring the tech to life – to make it do what it is supposed to do. 

Avoiding Failures and Achieving Success in Digital Transformation

Companies like Hershey’s, Revlon and Hewlett-Packard have previously failed at digital transformation. Revlon, for example, rolled out an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in February 2018 not long after they acquired Elizabeth Arden. Unfortunately, migration of the new ERP system wasn’t planned properly, affecting the company’s ability to keep production running and ship orders to customers quickly enough. This digital transformation failure caused Revlon to lose over $64 million in unshipped orders and a 6.9% drop in its stock price.

Revlon failed to successfully identify risks and mitigation measures; they also didn’t account for the complexities of simultaneously managing an acquisition and a digital transformation rollout. Essentially, they lacked the required skills to successfully implement a digital transformation initiative.

On the other hand, companies such as Amazon, IKEA, and Netflix have successfully applied digital transformation to their processes. Amazon has managed to harness the power of digital technologies to disrupt the markets in which they operate. The company started strictly as an online bookseller, but now has evolved into an electronic commerce (e-commerce) juggernaut that has redefined the retail industry. As Brian Kozan of AWS eloquently put it, “…successful digital transformation isn’t just about the success of the technology. It’s about people and culture.”

Agile Digital Talent Drives Successful Digital Transformation

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reports that three-quarters of organisations consider missing digital skills as a key hurdle to their digital transformation; they simply don’t have the digital talent required for success. And this digital talent shortage is fast becoming a global problem with dire consequences according to a Korn Ferry Institute study. Korn Ferry projects a global human talent shortfall of 85 million people that could lead to $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenues – nearly 10% of global GDP in 2021. 

To avoid business failure – and the prospect of a global economic catastrophe – businesses of every shape and size need to get serious about digital talent. The skills needed for a successful digital transformation lie in software engineers, data scientists, cloud developers, web developers, business intelligence analysts, financial analysts, virtual assistants and cybersecurity analysts. Here’s what they do:

Software Engineers

Software engineers create computer software and systems, applying engineering discipline and scientific methods to the process of coding. Some employers use this job title interchangeably with that of ‘software developer’ or ‘systems developer’.

Data Scientists

Put simply, a data scientist’s job is to analyse data for actionable insights. Specific tasks include determining correct data sets and variables, creating algorithms and data models to forecast outcomes, and identifying the data-analytics problems that offer the greatest opportunities to the organisation.

Cloud Developers

A cloud developer builds computer applications and software using the same software and tools that other IT developers use. The main difference is the resources that are used by these professionals are taken from a cloud-based platform.

Web Developers

The web developer creates websites. While their primary role is to ensure the website is visually appealing and easy to navigate, many web developers are also responsible for the website’s performance and capacity.

Cyber Security Analysts

The cyber security analyst performs a critical job – to protect company hardware, software and networks from cybercriminals. The analyst’s primary role is to understand company IT infrastructure in detail, to monitor it at all times, and to evaluate threats that could potentially breach the network.

Are You Ready to Optimise Your Digital Transformation?

In the digital transformation race, the difference between success and falling short is your ability to access the right digital talent at the right time. With The ROOM, you have that access now – at your fingertips. It’s worth the effort because 56% of CEOs say even early-stage digital improvements improved profits. Partnering The ROOM gives you rapid access to a global pool of software engineers, data scientists, cloud developers, and cybersecurity analysts who have the skills to support your digital transformation success.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards transforming your company, visit The ROOM to access a diverse digital talent pool – including Software Engineers, Cloud Developers, Data Analysts, Web Developers, Business Intelligence Analysts, Financial Analysts, and Virtual Assistants.