Enabling teams for digital transformation – a shift in thinking

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Digital transformation – as imperative and unavoidable as it is – offers a double-edged sword for organizations.

The latest Digital Transformation Study from Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley-based research and advisory firm, looks at the state of digital transformation among organizations with a “defined digital transformation strategy”.

The findings suggest that organizations are experiencing value from implementing digital transformation – 68% saying it had provided positive return on investment. And – among the most important priorities – organizations are expecting to engage customers more effectively, build competitive advantage, bring in data-driven business models and increase revenue as a result of transformation.

In digital transformation programmes led by either CEOs or CIOs, more than a quarter (29%) also want to “improve agility”. With CDO-led programmes, the figure rises to more than a third (36%).

However, the route to digital transformation can also be littered with obstacles, according to the research.

The top two leading impediments to such major organizational change are lack of talent for transformation initiatives and internal resistance to change. And senior leaders responsible for digital transformation are, literally, losing sleep over their biggest concerns – the primary one being changing the culture of the organization to embrace digital transformation.

The workforce skills needed to support successful digital transformation appear to be in short supply, with only 5% of the survey participants agreeing their organization had the talent for it. This means a large proportion of enterprises needs to hire new people.

But what if you could harness and develop your organization’s existing talent, prepare them comprehensively and build their agility for the inevitable challenge of major transformational change?

Training and certification now exists to embed agile and lean approaches among the entire workforce.

AgileSHIFT® – developed by AXELOS in conjunction with experts and partners worldwide – was piloted in a number of countries with major public and private sector organizations. It equips individual employees with agile capability and enables them to thrive in today’s most successful workplaces: those that are innovative, collaborative and embrace the need for continual change.

This makes for more rewarding day-to-day roles as well as contributing to successful business transformation and the organization’s ongoing competitiveness in the market.

The principles enshrined in AgileSHIFT address directly the pressing issues identified in Constellation Research’s study: internal resistance to change and cultural barriers created by entrenched beliefs.

Where Agile approaches have, for some time, helped IT development teams to accelerate the pace of change in their work and deliver value for customers more quickly, these skills are now available and applicable organization-wide.

Training and developing functional teams across an enterprise in lean and agile capabilities – such as those built in to AgileSHIFT – is a cultural change ahead of anything else; these capabilities break down barriers between teams, allow greater cross-team working and instil a common language.

Neither the opportunity nor the challenge of digital transformation can be ignored; the next question is how the C-suite executive responsible for it can guarantee its success with the human resources available.

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