According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), spending on digital transformation is expected to reach $2.3 trillion in 2023. Even if you’re not spending on digital transformation, your competitors are. And they’ll have no trouble leaving you behind.

The challenge, of course, is choosing, implementing, and adopting the right tools for your digital transformation. It’s a major investment with a risky return. In a recent survey, McKinsey estimated that “the average digital transformation . . . stands a 45 percent chance of delivering less profit than expected.” Fortunately, you can mitigate that risk with a digital transformation consultant.

A great digital transformation consultant knows how to decrease your risk of a failed investment. Their role is to help you adopt new-to-you tools with quicker, higher impact. They’re experts in maximizing your resources so that you see a meaningful, measurable return from your transformation. You can expect your consultant to create a digital transformation strategy, oversee the digital transformation roadmap, and measure the effectiveness of your approach.

4 Qualities to Look for in a Digital Transformation Consultant

Here are four reasons you might want to hire a digital transformation consultant to help you make big changes.

1. They Have Deep Experience in Digital Transformation

A digital transformation consultant has experience helping organizations understand, prioritize, implement, and adopt new technologies to improve the end-user experience. If you’re like most enterprise leaders, digital transformation is not your area of expertise.

Digital transformation consultants will create a strategy and a road map to improve the functionality of your business through technology. They’ll analyze your current tools and then recommend a strategy for leveraging new technologies to accomplish your goals. That might mean upgrading your internal operations with digital systems to help your team get more done in the same amount of time or leveraging new tools to improve the customer experience and retain more revenue.

A great digital transformation consultant will work with you to understand your customers, your team, and your constraints. When you’re reviewing candidates for your transformation, ask for details on how they might adopt a “one size fits all” approach for your unique situation. Successful consultants will use your insights — mixed with their expertise — to decide which technologies might be most appropriate for your business.

When you’re preparing to hire a digital transformation consultant, document your strategic direction, and give some context for your circumstances. A consultant will want to research your company’s operations in depth before recommending changes, so documenting your thoughts in advance will save you time.

2. They Know Which Technologies Are Future-Proof

Most technologies will, of course, eventually become outdated; digital transformation is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. But a digital transformation consultant knows how to identify which technology trends are on the rise. Crucially, a consultant should also know which tools will soon be outdated, lowering your risk of investing in something that won’t work for your business in two years.

Choosing the right technology is more important than choosing a trendy technology, and digital transformation consultants have the experience to tell the difference.

Not every cutting-edge trend is right for every company. While AI-powered assistants are a powerful tool for some businesses, others might benefit more from implementing a self-service portal or mobile app.

3. They Know How to Deal with Change Resistance

Choosing technologies is only the first step, though. After that? Your team has to accept that change is forthcoming. But as a recent Harvard Business Review piece points out, employees don’t always welcome change.

If you don’t create a strategy to mitigate that resistance, your transformation could frustrate your team and lead to pushback and wasted time rather than cost-cutting and revenue growth.

A digital transformation consultant has the change management skills to implement new tools, such as SalesforceSharePoint, and MS Teams, with less resistance. They’re experts in mitigating pushback before it happens, meaning you have fewer issues that could turn into bigger problems down the line.

Your consultant might leverage a change management model, like Maurer’s 3 Levels of Resistance to Change or the Kübler-Ross Change Curve, in your strategy. They’ll use it to preempt objections from your team, address concerns in a way that makes stakeholders feel heard and valued, and provide the right information to the right people at the right time.

4. They Encourage People to Use the New Tools

Once a digital transformation consultant has mitigated resistance to change in your organization, they’ll move on to making sure changes are adopted. Tools are effective only if people use them, so your consultant should implement a strategy to make sure your hard work isn’t wasted.

Whatfix is a common tool that consultants use to encourage the adoption of new technologies. It’s designed to ensure smooth transitions with interactive, real-time, in-app guidance. A good consultant will personalize the onboarding experience in Whatfix because different users might have different needs when learning a new tool.

Digital adoption can feel overwhelming to teams that aren’t comfortable learning new technologies. An expert consultant will take that into consideration when building your strategy. They’ll weigh the benefits of each new technology with the strain of adoption to prioritize which tools to implement when.

The right adoption strategy helps your employees feel more comfortable with their tools, less stressed, and more productive.

Scale with a Digital Transformation Consultant

While digital transformation initiatives are important, you probably have other objectives to worry about, too.

The best leaders recognize their own knowledge gaps, delegating projects to people who have more relevant experience. Is digital transformation the biggest impact you can have on your company? If not, a digital transformation consultant might be the key to scaling.

With a consultant’s help, you can implement digital transformation and achieve your other goals at the same time.

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