20 Digital Transformation Thought Leaders to follow
According to a recent study of 10,000+ global employees from Asana, the average employee uses 13 different applications 30 times daily.
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, digital transformation has become a critical imperative for organizations seeking to stay competitive. This digital transformation is often led by leaders who want to empower people with the tools to work more efficiently, be more productive, and do their job better.
Who Is a Digital Transformation Leader?
A digital transformation leader is an individual who plays a crucial role in guiding an organization through the process of adopting and integrating digital technologies and strategies into its operations. Digital transformation leaders have a deep understanding of emerging technologies, digital trends, and their potential impact on business models.
Top Skills Possessed By Digital Transformation Leaders
Digital transformation leadership can be found at different levels in an organization. A good digital transformation leader possesses the vision, knowledge, and strategic mindset to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape and drive change within an organization.
Here are the top skills digital transformation leaders must have.
1. Collaboration and cross-functional leadership
Collaboration and cross-functional leadership is extremely important to drive digital transformation. A study by PwC revealed that 80% of executives consider collaboration skills crucial for digital leaders. Digital transformation leaders need to break down silos, and build cross functional teams to drive innovation and successful digital transformation initiatives within the organization.
2. Strategic vision
Digital transformation leaders must have a strategic vision that seamlessly aligns with the organization. They must be able to track the outcome of the changes made within the organization. A deep understanding of their industry and the various digital transformation models available are essential skills for a digital transformation leader.
3. Data-driven decision making
83% of digitally mature organizations strongly agree that data-driven decision-making is essential for organizational success.
A digital transformation leader must not make uncalculated decisions. All their decisions need to be backed by data. Leaders must be adept at leveraging data and analytics to drive decision-making and gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiency.
4. Customer-centric approach
Every digital transformation strategy revolves around the customer. Therefore, it is crucial for a digital transformation leader to understand customer needs, pain points and expectations. By prioritizing customer-centricity, leaders can drive innovation and create sustainable competitive advantages for their organization.
Userization is the core focus for all digital transformation leaders. Userization breaks down technology adoption barriers by making software more inclusive of users, regardless of their demography, tech savviness or learning capacity.
While developing a userization policy, leaders must take into account a few factors such as the return on technology investments, volume of “how to” queries received by the teams in regards to handling software, challenges causing resistance to technology adoption, and the time taken by employees to adapt to a new technology.
A Digital Adoption Platform like Whatfix enables digital transformation leaders to achieve userization.
How to Excel as a Digital Transformation Leader
Here are a few tips for digital transformation leaders to steer the ship of digital transformation successfully.
1. Foster a culture of innovation
Innovation is the core of any organization. To become a digital transformational leader, one must be open to creativity, ideas and innovation. A good digital transformation leader promotes cross-functional collaboration, empowers employees to share ideas, and provides resources for innovation projects. Continuous improvement becomes the norm under a good digital transformation leader. This improvement is crucial to drive change within the organization.
2. Seek collaboration and partnerships
Digital transformation is a complex journey, and collaboration with external partners can provide valuable insights and expertise. To become a better digital transformation leader it is important to foster relationships with technology vendors and industry experts. Digital transformation leaders who learn from other’s experiences are less likely to repeat the mistakes committed during their organizational transformation journey.
3. Foster data-driven decision-making
Collection and analysis of data is extremely essential for making organizational level decisions. Digital transformation leaders must develop data governance frameworks and ensure data quality and security. By leveraging data effectively, leaders can make better informed decisions that will benefit their company.
4. Empower and engage employees
A digital transformation leader is responsible for involving every employee in the change process to minimize resistance. A growth mindset must be encouraged in the company and employees should be recognized and rewarded for their digital initiatives.
5. Stay updated with technology trends
Digital transformation leaders must always be updated with the latest technology and trends and understand the role these technologies play in the overall success of the organization. This includes emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, data analytics, etc.
20 Digital Transformation Thought Leaders to Follow
Here’s a list of the top digital transformation leaders you can follow for guidance on your transformation projects.
1. Brian Solis
Brian Solis is a globally recognized author, speaker, and digital analyst who has made significant contributions to the understanding and implementation of digital transformation strategies. His book “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences” emphasizes the importance of customer experience in the digital age and provides insights on how organizations can adapt to evolving customer expectations.
Twitter : @briansolis
Linkedin: Brian Solis
2. Paul Cogan
3. Vara Kumar Namburu
Vara Kumar Namburu is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Whatfix. Through Whatfix, he has made an indelible impact on the digital adoption sector. Whatfix empowers organizations and software users to unlock the true potential of applications across web, desktop, and mobile interfaces
Twitter : @varakumar_n
Linkedin: Vara Kumar Namabru
4. Mary Jarett
Mary Jarett has led the digital transformation process in Shell. She has been responsible for streamlining large and complex IT enterprise systems. Mary Jarett has led Shell to streamline more than 5,000 business applications, 10,000 IT staff, 25,000 servers, 140,000 computers across 1,800 locations.
5. Dion Hinchcliffe
Dion Hinchcliffe is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at 7Summits, a digital solutions consultancy, where he focuses on helping organizations navigate the complexities of digital transformation and adopt innovative strategies to drive business growth. He is a well known name in the field of Digital Transformation. He writes about digital strategy, emerging technologies, organizational change, and the impact of technology on business.
Twitter : @dhinchcliffe
Linkedin: Dion Hinchcliffe
6. Shelly Kramer
Shelly Kramer is a founding partner and senior analyst at Futurum Research as well as a trusted digital transformation strategist and tech analyst. She is frequently featured on tech podcasts, at speaking events, and as a guest author on several blogs.
Twitter : @ShellyKramer
Linkedin: Shelly DeMotte Kramer
7. Matthew Lamons
Matthew Lamons is co-founder and managing partner of the Intelligence Factory. His writing focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning and how both of these can provide solutions for major societal and industry issues from healthcare to manufacturing.
Twitter : @mlamons1
Linkedin: Matthew Lamons
8. Michael Fauscette
Michael Fauscette has served as the Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd where he led research initiatives and provided insights on emerging technologies and market trends. He has written extensively on topics such as digital transformation, customer experience and enterprise solutions.
Twitter : @mfauscette
Linkedin: Michael Fauscette
9. Greg Satell
Greg Satell has worked as a consultant with numerous organizations to help them navigate the complexities of digital transformation. Satell introduced concepts like the Innovation Matrix, a tool that helps organizations identify and prioritize innovation opportunities.
Twitter : @Digitaltonto
Linkedin: Greg Satell
10. Margaret Dawson
Margaret Dawson is widely recognized for her expertise in cloud computing and digital transformation. She has served as the Vice President of Product Marketing and Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat, where she played a key role in shaping the company’s cloud strategy and helping customers leverage open-source technologies for digital transformation.
Twitter : @seattledawson
Linkedin: Margaret Dawson
11. M. Nadia Vincent
Nadia Vincent is the author of “Leveraging Digital Transformation”. She advises on how to incorporate AI in a company and how executives should form their digital strategy. She frequently posts about digital strategy creation, leadership’s role in digital transformation, and AI.
Twitter : @ITTransLeaders
Linkedin: M. Nadia Vincent
12. Lillian Barnard
Lillian Barnard is a renowned digital transformation leader with a successful track record in driving organizational change and innovation. As a digital transformation advocate, Barnard has championed the adoption of technology and digital strategies to enable organizations to thrive in the digital age.
13. Debra Ruh
Debra Ruh has dedicated her career to promoting accessibility, diversity, and digital inclusion, with a particular focus on empowering persons with disabilities. Ruh’s work has had a global impact, influencing organizations and governments to prioritize accessibility and inclusion in their digital strategies.
Twitter : @debraruh
Linkedin: Debra Ruh
14. Felicity Burch
Felicity Burch is the Executive Director of the Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation. She writes about new technologies and how they are being adopted to solve problems in different segments of industry, such as agriculture. She also writes about women in science and technology and the positive effects of increased diversity and inclusion in tech.
Twitter : @felicityburch
Linkedin: Felicity Burch
15. Khadim Bhati
16. Mark Headd
17. Linda Grasso
Linda Grasso writes about how businesses can use new technology to address common issues, such as reaching new audiences, and how companies can successfully adopt these technologies. Her posts and articles have widely applicable takeaways that help shed light on issues faced by companies undergoing digital transformation and on how to solve these issues.
Twitter : @LindaGrass0
Linkedin: Linda Grasso
18. Marc Singer
Marc Singer is a leader at Digital Mckinsey. He is also the co-author of “Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules”. He has helped companies recognize their digital opportunities and expand exponentially.
19. Lilian Barnard
Lilian Barnard is the President at Microsoft South Africa. She often writes about digital solutions, providing examples and insights on how properly adopted technology can be used to solve problems. She takes both a broad and a narrow view of technology adoption, looking at how it can solve big-picture social and developmental issues as well as company-specific issues, like improving customer interaction.
Twitter : @LillianB1
Linkedin: Lillian Barnard
20. Amity Millhiser
Amity Millhiser is the vice chair and chief clients officer for PwC US and a regular contributor to Forbes. She writes about how technology can benefit businesses and society at the same time. She also looks at technology adoption and digital transformation through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
Twitter : @AmityMillhiser
Linkedin: Amity Millhiser
Digital transformation leaders have the ability to drive massive organizational changes. With their digital transformation skills, they can exponentially scale organizations. They create a shared vision, foster collaboration, and motivate teams to embrace change and adapt to new ways of working. Digital transformation leaders give organizations the ability to reimagine their technological boundaries and dive into effective technological change.