IT Leadership: 10 Essential Skills for Successful Digital Transformation

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Want your organization to embrace digital transformation in 2023? Optimize the use of your tech stack? Create automated workflows that improve the experience for both employees and customers?

You have to get buy-in from your team.

Whether you’re looking to grow your team in the coming months or reorganize your executive leadership to drive your digital transformation forward, you’ll need to cultivate to lead a strong team of tech innovators10 Here are some key skills for:

1. Agile thinking

Take a page from your software development team’s playbook and adopt an agile approach to digital transformation. A key part of a complete digital transformation is understanding that work is never done, it can only be optimized. By starting with the idea that your organization’s digital transformation initiatives have no end date, you can foster a culture within your team that focuses on small wins over time, eliminating digital fatigue and burnout.

2. Sales + Marketing + Customer Service = Experience

Over the next few years, sales, marketing, and customer service functions are likely to converge under a larger customer experience umbrella. From UX development to top-of-funnel lead nurturing, small changes made now to align these parts of the business can help organizations become vertical customer experience leaders.

3. Security

Growing concerns about app safety and security have made consumers more aware of how their data is being used. Strong technical leaders understand how to transparently communicate what their organization is doing to protect customer data. Internally, leadership leads by example, ensuring all teams have adequate resources to prevent security breaches.

[ Related read: Digital transformation: 4 security tips for 2023. ]

4. Investing in Evolving AI

Following the publication of ChatGPT, tech leaders speculate on how AI will further change the way business is done. We’ve already seen tools like her RunwayML with plug-and-play interfaces that allow business users to explore the capabilities of AI without an advanced degree. Future-ready leaders should embrace these and similar technologies and encourage their teams to do the same.

5. Computer vision engineering

There are currently nearly 80,000 computer vision engineering jobs posted on LinkedIn. In-demand computer vision engineering will become a key technical skill in the coming months. As part of the evolving AI landscape, computer vision technology has applications in retail, security, ESG, and more. Think about the application of computer vision engineering in business to stay ahead of the curve.

6. Effective listening

Sometimes forgotten as an important leadership skill, active listening can help your team feel valued and work more effectively. In 2023, focus on listening to understand rather than thinking about what to say next.

[ Also read Digital transformation: 3 tips to overcome common challenges. ]

7. Clear view

Amid market turmoil and economic uncertainty, teams look to their leaders for guidance. They get tips from senior team members about when to panic, lean back, and go about business as usual. Communicate a clear vision to your team in light of tech layoffs in the second half of 2022. Distill out the most important goals and create a plan of action so your team doesn’t suffer from ambiguity.

8. Delegation of Ownership

Your 2023 plan will only work if you delegate some of your responsibilities to trusted team members. This is difficult, especially for tech leaders who have seen companies grow from startups. The New Year is a time to renew trust in the team you hired. Remember, transparency, accountability, and shared ownership are the fertile grounds for creative solutions and high performance.

Learn more about digital transformation

9. Storytelling

Connecting a company’s business and technical vision continues to be a challenge for technology leaders. But the throughline is your brand’s story. Make your message clear to deepen the relationship between your business and technical teams. What problem are you solving? Who are your stakeholders? How do you communicate solutions regularly and consistently?

10. Skill Up/Skill Up

Finally, one of the most important skills of a strong technical leader is being open about your weaknesses. You can’t build a company if every person can tackle every business challenge. We have a collection of solopreneurs. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to recognize your limitations. Work on reskilling and upskilling the same way you build a diverse skill team and encourage your employees to do so.

[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]


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