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Employers urged to build ‘digital DNA’
Deloitte has published new guidance to help businesses enhance their “digital DNA”.
Thursday 15 January 2015
Businesses should review their internal structures, recruitment processes and leadership capabilities, according to Deloitte, in order to stay competitive in the digital era.
The business advisory firm said that while it is not always easy for employers to improve their levels of digital maturity, a range of actions can be taken.
‘Building Your Digital DNA: Lessons from Digital Leaders’, a new report from Deloitte, suggests that organisational design, talent management and leadership can all be adapted to improve the digital capabilities of employers.
Learning from new structural models
According to Deloitte’s researchers, successful digital enterprises currently make use of four key business models, which other organisations may be able to learn from.
While they may not be suited to every type of firm, the report suggests employers can still learn from the following models:
- The Tactical Model. This structure is often adopted by firms which are working towards a digital market presence but lack a coherent digital strategy. Those using this model efficiently adopt digital technology within their business units to hit their targets.
- The Centralisation Model. Through this model, businesses aim to consolidate their digital skills and initiatives in a central unit. By centralising their digital plans, it is thought that they can gain greater control over their investments and break down barriers between different parts of their company.
- The Champion Model. Rather than focusing all the responsibility for digital projects on a central team, this structure seeks to spread a shared digital strategy across the wider business. This model aims to help employers become more self-sufficient when developing digital plans, promoting shared capabilities in areas like data science and innovation. Those using this model tend to have a deep knowledge of how digital processes work.
- The Business-As-Usual Model. Rather than relying on a centralised function, firms using this model have fully embedded a digital culture within their daily operations. Based on the needs of their company, digital teams can be formed and disbanded in a “dynamic” way.
Along with these models, Deloitte has now launched a Digital Leadership Hub, where firms can assess their digital maturity by focusing on key areas such as strategy and leadership, customer engagement, products and services, organisation and talent, and digital operations.
Attracting digital talent
In order to raise their level of digital maturity, Deloitte’s report suggests that firms will need to identify talent gaps and tackle them by securing workers with the right skill-sets.
Among a wide range of suggestions, the study recommends that firms could take the following steps to attract digital experts:
- Understand the types of role which appeal to talented digital specialists and use this knowledge to present a “story” that will interest them.
- Use a wide array of social media tools to appeal to prospective job candidates, while creating a carefully-crafted website.
- Think about using techniques like social media profiling and psychometric tests to help filter job candidates.
- Consider setting up academies to enhance the skills of workers in niche areas.
The report also encourages firms to develop their existing talent, by identifying the support which their current employees need to boost their digital know-how.
Meanwhile, it says that investments might need to be made in staff retention schemes, so that firms do not lose talented workers.
Demonstrating digital leadership
Finally, Deloitte’s report says that good leadership remains an important element of digitally-mature businesses.
It recommends that business leaders should set out a clear vision for the future of their organisation, while carefully explaining the roles and duties of different teams.
Instead of being dictatorial, the study also indicates that digital leaders should be advisory, and they should provide their employees with “fluid” roles.
It says leaders need to be “smart and mobile”, while they must ensure that their teams remain focused on outcomes.
Copyright Press Association 2015