The chances are that your business is engaged in the process of digital transformation. You may be at the beginning of the process or well into the continuous improvement phase. Wherever you are, you should consider how your hiring and work policies can help or hinder your efforts.

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Digital Transformation Best Practices

The Wall Street Journal asked recruiting and tech industry experts for their advice to CIOs and CTOs for building an effective digital transformation program. They identified four best practices:

  • Map data’s role across the business: Some companies take a technology-first approach to digital transformation. Tim Crawford, CIO strategic adviser at advisory firm AVOA, says that’s not the place to start. Instead, look at how you would transform your business - independent of technology - to achieve greater efficiency, capacity, and capability. Second, map the flow of data in, out, and through your business in both your current configuration and your ideal transformed version. Then you can look at which technologies you will need to support the transformation and make your new business vision a reality. 
  • Communicate in language the C-Suite understands: According to Gerry McNamara, senior partner and global managing director, Korn Ferry, the best technology executives think more broadly about business issues and frame their technology proposals to management in business terms. They help the company’s executive leadership see the business value in their proposed projects.
  • Connect tech investments to new lines of business: Sunny Gupta, chief executive of business software maker Apptio, agrees that part of the CIO’s and CTO’s job is to help the company use technology to create new revenue streams and new lines of business. Simplilearn covered this trend in the article Tech CIOs Getting Deeper Into Product Development.
  • Be a talent magnet: People skills are equally important as technical skills for technology executives, says Katherine Graham Shannon, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles. A digital transformation program needs many technology professionals to make it happen. Technology leaders who are also strong people leaders can attract the best talent.

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Digital Transformation Needs Technology Talent

And the competition for that talent is fierce today. IT hiring has been strong in the US throughout 2021, with an average of 13,000 positions added each month through August. The changes to the economy, business models, and consumer behavior due to the pandemic have accelerated the push for digital transformation. “The talent market is very competitive and becoming more so, given the continuing importance of digital transformation and digital business models,” says Arthur Hu, CIO of Lenovo Group Ltd.

That means almost every business now needs to tap into the same global pool of technology talent. Salaries are increasing as a result, but offering higher salaries is no longer enough to differentiate your company from others competing for the same talent.

The pandemic that began in 2020 forced a shift to remote work. Some firms hope to attract and retain tech talent by embracing flexibility around work-from-home. However, it’s interesting to note that remote work has devalued many of the on-premises amenities that some technology firms previously used to entice workers to stay at the office, like catered meals and in-office entertainment.

New Talent Attractors for Digital Transformation

In the new configuration of work, companies need new ways to attract and retain technology talent, ones that appeal to the intrinsic nature of technology professionals. Some of these include:

  • A culture of appreciation: When technology professionals feel that they are directly building solutions that impact the company’s business, they feel they are themselves important to the company. If their leadership recognizes their contributions, they are likely to see themselves as a part of the company for the long run.
  • The chance to work on new things: Technology professionals tend to seek out interesting problems and new challenges that let them exercise their problem-solving skills. Technology leaders can make their companies more attractive to new and current technology employees by offering clear opportunities to break out of routine work and try new directions.
  • Continuous learning: Technology is in constant flux, and skills become obsolete quickly. Technology leaders who support their employees in continuous learning to keep their skills current get a double benefit: they ensure that their workforce has the skills to meet emerging challenges, and their employees feel that the company is willing to invest in them for the long term.

Another benefit of having a culture of continuous learning is that it positions your company to recruit candidates from non-technical backgrounds into technical positions. With an ongoing program for upskilling and reskilling employees, you can look to hire people with other specialized knowledge and give them the skills they need to fill technology roles. Besides expanding your pool of available talent, this also creates new career paths for existing employees and lets you introduce new perspectives into your technology team.

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Conclusion

As a CIO or CTO responsible for a digital transformation initiative, you can meet all of the challenges you face more easily if you build a culture that attracts and retains the best available talent. Simplilearn can help you with a vital element of that culture, the continuous learning aspect. We offer a full range of training courses and programs in digital economy skills, including a Post Graduate Program in Digital Transformation. More importantly, Simplilearn can tailor an enterprise skilling program to your company’s needs. Contact our Corporate Training group to see how we can help you.

About the Author

Stuart CrequeStuart Creque

Stuart is a storyteller, with a foundation in technology, marketing, and management. He tells business stories in the form of content that means something to both external clients and internal team. He has written, produced and directed short films and written the feature film The Last Earth Girl.

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