6 Rules of the Road for Navigating Digital Disruption

Technology and InnovationTransformation InnovationTechnology, Data, and Digital
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5月 18, 2017
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Technology and InnovationTransformation InnovationTechnology, Data, and Digital
The Forbes article, “6 Rules Of The Road For Navigating Digital Disruption,” featured findings from Russell Reynolds Associates research, “Digital Pulse: 2017 Outlook & Perspectives from the Market.” The article is excerpted below.


The digital transformation journey will be a lo​ng one, and most organizations are just starting their journeys -- backing their vehicles out of their driveways. Executives who are a little farther along on the journey -- perhaps down the road at the first stop sign -- are already encountering a roadblock. They're already running low on a critical resource -- people who with the expertise to guide them on this journey. 

​That's the word from Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm, which surveyed 1,500 senior executives at companies with digital strategies underway, in one form or another. Half of respondents say that lack of digital expertise and skills is a significant barrier to their digital success, making this the leading obstacle to digital. Talent issues is followed closely by organizational inertia (49%) and functional silos (47%). The survey also shows that while 60% of respondents say they have the appropriate leadership selling the digital vision, only 47% feel that the right team is in place to effectively execute the strategy. 

The question is -- what kinds of skills are we talking about? The digital journey is not mapped out yet, and there is no single way organizations are pursuing it. For many, going digital means engaging customers and conducting transactions online -- which calls for social media and real-time marketing skills. Moving to the cloud is a major piece of the effort as well -- which means application development, integration or architectural skills. Becoming a data analytics-driven enterprise is a big part of it -- which calls for data science or analytics skills. Going mobile also means going digital -- providing opportunities in app development and network infrastructure. Other digital efforts look deeper into the internal workings of organizations, to introduce robotic process automation, artificial intelligence or machine learning to internal processes. 

The Russell Reynolds survey says as much, finding that 77% see their digital efforts as "the implementation of new consumer/client experience and engagement tools and systems," while 71% define it as "the collection of customer or operational data." Another 70% say it consists of "the use of new marketing channels." Another 63% see digital transformation as "back-end operational improvement," while 57% see it as "the creation of additional business units/revenue." 

Digital covers a lot of activities. It's often said that the emerging digital organizations require a hybrid or renaissance professional -- knowledgeable and savvy with technical skills, yet able to see and execute on the big business picture.​ 

To read the full article, click here​.