You Need These 8 Essential Roles for a Successful Digital Transformation


Hiring enough software engineers, DevOps managers, cloud computing specialists and other roles required to facilitate IT transformations remain tall tasks for CIOs. But the talent crunch isn’t limited to those with coding skills and algorithmic thinking: Enterprises are also struggling to hire staff with soft skills who can help shape the user experience around digital services.

For a digital transformation to be successful, companies need storytellers, UX designers and product managers, among other roles. These skill sets help round out the human experience required to support emerging digital services. And these roles will only become more important as organizations increasingly lean on artificial intelligence and other technologies in which humans and machines must augment each other, says Paul Daugherty, CTO and chief innovation officer at Accenture.

“We need more coders,” Daugherty says. “However, five years from now, we won’t be worried about coders, but the lack of people with soft skills. We’re short on people who can understand the human experience.”

Daughtery, who tackles the need for organizations to beef up on what he calls “missing middle” digital skills in a new book, Human +  Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI, says enterprises require a rethinking of how to leverage people and technology.

Digital talent deficits are real. While 51 percent of employers identified an absence of hard digital skills in their organization, 59 percent recognized a lack of soft digital skills among employees, according to a 2017 survey of 753 employees and 501 executives conducted by Capgemini and LinkedIn. But while many CIOs focusing on hiring agile programmers, DevOps engineers and data scientists, many haven’t begun to scout, let alone build up, soft skills yet. Consultants say CIOs must work with marketing, sales and HR cohorts to fill the following positions.

UX designers

Building a chatbot is impossible without UX designers. Once a business case has been established, you will need UX designers to help figure out how the product will look and feel. Many UX experience designers can code, though their main role is shaping how end users will consume the product.

Digital trainers

To help your chatbot strike the right tone you need someone to train the bot in a way that embodies your corporate culture. Trainers can help natural-language processors and language translators make fewer errors, and teach AI algorithms how to mimic human behaviors. For example, a media company may opt for a chatbot with a snarkier tone, while an insurance company might require a more formal-sounding virtual assistant. Whatever the use case, humans are required to help train the bots how to demonstrate empathy for humans.

Such “no-collar” skills may require someone with a liberal arts background — think sociology, anthropology, psychology, drama or journalism — who can help “train” the chatbot how to speak in ways that reflect the company’s business objectives, Daugherty says. Regardless of their training, such talent should be able to communicate and articulate corporate culture.

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