Roles You Need for a Successful Digital Transformation


Let’s start with a simple fact: Digital transformation is a long and challenging process. And this is why we must be careful about who we choose to take on this journey with us. Selecting the right people for the right roles is essential for any successful digital transformation. With the right team, that can provide technical help, as well as formulate digital transformation strategies and enthusiastically work to meet your goals, you get one step closer to achieving success.

All organizations are different and require a digital transformation that is best suited to their needs. Depending upon that, the roles you might need to add or utilize may also differ. But there are some roles that have proven to be effective for successful transformations. 

In this blog, we will be discussing what those key roles are and how they can help your business.

So first of all, who should be in charge of the transformation? 

The fact that someone needs to be held accountable for each and every single transformation operation is a myth (Learn more about myths). While everyone in the team must be accountable for their own actions, it’s always a good idea to have a leader. No battles were ever won without a capable leader. And that is a positive way to look at digital transformation.

There must be a digital leader. Someone to lead the operations, formulate digital transformation strategies, and manage everyone in the team. The leader should have a firm understanding of digital technologies and the potential new technologies can offer your business.

Leadership roles for a digital transformation

Let’s take a look at this survey report from McKinsey:

Many companies have started appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead their transformation efforts. Other companies are reinventing roles for CEOs or CIOs of the company. This is to ensure leadership and accountability for the entire digital transformation process.

Organizations which have a CDO appointed also seem to have successful transformations, but that alone will not ensure success. 

Digital transformation shouldn’t be a one-person job, and all the senior leaders should be investing time and resources to treat it as a top priority. But no matter the title, the person appointed as a leader should have the skills and experience to handle something as big as this. 

In this McKinsey survey, we can clearly see the impact of good leadership on the success of a digital transformation.

Important Characters of Digital Transformation Leaders:

Should have proven digital experience

The appointed digital transformation leader should, of course, have some hands-on experience in managing digital strategies. This fits the job description of some CIOs as well, so those companies might choose to convert the CIO into the CDO. They should have great soft-skills as well since they will have to work with a large team of developers, designers, managers, marketers, and so on.

Should have a data-oriented approach

They will also be answerable to all the stakeholders and investors, which is why they must be good at handling analytics. Some companies hire a Chief Analytics Officer as well, to ensure that whatever efforts they are putting in, they are seeing the results in the form of data. Thus, CDOs are expected to meet this criterion.

Should be able to find a balance between tech and management

Although CIOs are already acquainted with technology, a digital transformation involves many aspects of the business as well. In case the CIO is appointed as the digital leader, they will need to have a balance of technology and business enabling skills. They will have to make sure that the technology aspect and the business-enabling aspects are going hand in hand. 

To summarize the role of a digital leader in one line: They will have to utilize technology in building great products, which can then help the organization meet its business goals.

Here’s a video about leadership in the digital era that you might find useful.

Change Leader 

Digital Transformation indubitably brings change. And change can easily turn into chaos, which makes change management a necessity. A change leader should be responsible for handling and managing this change so that it doesn’t convert to chaos. They must have excellent communication, behavioral, and cultural skills.

This person must be an agile thinker: they can adapt to change easily and aren’t afraid of unexpected twists and turns. Due to the very nature of this role, a change leader must have hands-on experience in business communication and managing organizational change. They should have an “influential” personality.

They are responsible for communicating change to different levels of employees, as well as market the transformation to the stakeholders. A change leader will have to make sure that everyone involved is happy with the change, and if not, think about the compromises, or modifications that can be done. They have to make sure that all involved employees are on-board with the strategies, enthusiastically participate in the transformation, and are prepared for whatever comes next.

We have not mentioned any specific designation for being a change leader as being a change leader is more about the mentality. Everyone in the team regardless of their seniority can be change leaders in their own rights. If you are the leader of your team, you should encourage your team members to challenge the status quo, come up with new ideas, and execute them with confidence.

Technical Experts

To turn your digital transformation visions into reality, you need someone to describe the solutions to you, design it and convert it into a usable tool. Technical experts will do just that for you. To develop any software, you will need a team of solution architects, developers, designers and project managers. Let’s dive into each of these roles:

Solution Architects

Solution architects are tech leaders. They are responsible for envisioning the product and how that product will align with the business goals of the company. They are generally ex-developers with a lot of experience and possess really good knowledge of modern tech stacks and developing technologies. 

Software architecture defines how the different aspects of a project (business, information, and technology) and their respective processes (example: channels of data, data gathering tools, data warehouse, data processing tools, etc) tie up together.

For example, You want to develop an application for your company that will help you manage all your customer data. A solution architect will listen to your specific requirements and then help you envision the best solution among all the possible solutions. They will be the ones to describe the structure, characteristics, and behavior of software to project stakeholders. A solution architect will define the features of the software and the phases of the development process. They provide specifications according to which the software is defined, managed, and delivered.

Software Designers

UI and UX designers help everyone involved envision their product in real-time. In a digital transformation, these people need to be experienced design thinkers with a flexible mindset, and open to change.

Consider the same example of customer data management software. UI/UX designers will develop wireframe or prototype of the product according to your requirements. This will make it easier for everyone involved to understand what exactly we’re dealing with. Once you see the UX design, you will be able to look at it from a user’s perspective. Now you can decide to add or remove functionality or detect possible errors before the development stage. This saves a lot of future troubles.

Software Developers

Software developers are essentially the building blocks of a digital transformation. They are a group of programmers who will do all the groundwork for the digital product, including researching, coding, and implementing a solution for a problem. You need to have a strong team of software developers for a digital transformation because if this part of your team is weak, all the other efforts might not work. There should be no compromises on choosing the development team.

Leapfrog has been helping out companies with their digital transformation for the past 10 years. Our team of solution architects and project managers have an agile mindset and will assist you every step of the way including planning, strategizing, and helping you find the best solutions tailored to your needs. We have an awesome team of designers who preach design thinking and our absolutely talented team of developers will deliver your requirements. 

Non-Technical Experts

Content Creators

Companies are found treating content as a thing of secondary importance, or a luxury to be added later, or an additional expense with less ROI. But at the same time, many companies value customer experiences the most. 

In fact, 81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator and 63% of CEOS want to rally organizations around customers as the top investment priority.

Wanting a better customer experience while also not prioritizing content leaves a big gap because the content is customer experience. Imagine this, a customer looks up your website, finds your page. Everything on that page is content. The pictures, the website copy, the chatbot, the tutorial video, everything is a part of the customer experience. 

Content strategists think about the customer journey and make it as easy as possible for them to understand what you are trying to offer them. Not only for the website, but good content can also be useful in all of our touchpoints with the customer. For example: Sending well thought out emails, posting useful information on social media, tutorials on how to use the product, informative blogs, and so on.

Content is the future of customer experience and 86% of highly effective organizations already have someone in charge of content strategy. Giving content equal priority as other digital transformation strategies can really make an impact.

Challengers/Critics

These are people who look at the digital transformation from an outsider’s perspective and give critical feedback to the team. Working on something monotonously can make you biased towards what you’ve done. This makes it really easy to miss some flaws. This is why we need an outsider’s perspective to figure out what we could be doing differently, and how we can improve. 

These critics ask some important questions like “Why?”, “Why not?”, and “What if?” which help the members involved verify that the project is moving in the right direction. 

Financial Experts

Are you generating as much ROI as expected? What financial progress has your company made since you started your digital transformation efforts? A financial analyst can help you answer those questions. If you are not generating enough revenue, you could gain that information and maybe modify your strategies. These people will help you understand the financial reports so that you can view the progress you are making in real-time. 

Digital Transformation requires a lot of help from a lot of people. And looking for proper talent can be tough. But you can choose the easier option and outsource to an experienced digital transformation service provider like Leapfrog. We can help you out with a portion of that problem. Book a consultation now, and we will be in touch to discuss your needs and goals.

Drishya Bhattarai

Drishya is a Digital Marketer at Leapfrog. She is interested in SEO, digital marketing, content creation and Designing.

More in Blogs

AGILE Methodology for Digital Transformation: Necessity and Challenges Digital Transformation

AGILE Methodology for Digital Transformation: Necessity and Challenges

Digital transformation involves changing existing business models and business processes to sustain in the modern digital world. Businesses today should

Read more
Successful Digital Transformation begins with a Cultural Transformation Digital Transformation

Successful Digital Transformation begins with a Cultural Transformation

As a business leader, you should know that digital transformation is more than just a trend. It is a means

Read more
4 Important Digital Tools and Technologies to Invest in Digital Transformation of Your Business Digital Transformation

4 Important Digital Tools and Technologies to Invest in Digital Transformation of Your Business

If you are looking to invest in the digital transformation of your business, this article will guide you with the

Read more