Acquiring the capabilities you need to go digital

Acquiring the capabilities you need to go digital

Some of the talent and tools won’t necessarily be found in-house. Here’s how to create a sustainable strategy for sourcing the right people and products

Digital capabilities are now a prerequisite to compete in the long term

Companies undergoing traditional business transformations have tended to adopt a sequential approach to acquiring the skills and tools they need. Talent and technologies are brought in based on software-release initiatives that are rigidly scheduled; nothing is rolled out to customers before it is fully complete. This approach is inadequate for digital transformations; by nature, these projects are iterative and call for continual clarification of targets and hence updates to internal requirements. One of the important advantages of digitization, after all, is that companies can capitalize on opportunities for end-to-end customer-centric innovation, where targets are constantly refined and experimentation is encouraged. Using this approach, for instance, a company might want to update its online offerings with new functionality more frequently (say, every week) and introduce them one by one—gathering feedback from customers and revising its website in a test-and-learn fashion—rather than launching all front-end and back-end changes at once.

Greater focus on Customers instead on Technology

Sourcing for digital is merely one building block for going digital—albeit a critical one that can fill the talent and tool gaps often faced by those that are not digital natives. To start a successful digital journey, companies need to fully embrace the idea of a transformation that extends across all parts of the organization. This means establishing rapid decision-making and escalation processes to match the digital way of working and exploring the use of new standards for contract elements and terms and conditions.

The sourcing journey won’t be easy; looking outside for digital capabilities likely will involve a number of starts and stops. Over the long term, however, this approach can help companies meet the challenges of innovating and competing more effectively online.

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