Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
IT transformation of an organization is not a one-man show. It requires the combined effort of different people from different functional areas of the organization. People with unique skill sets have to come together for the transformation to be effective and sustainable. Although digital transformation is about the deployment of new technology or migrating the existing system to a new platform, it requires more than just technical knowledge. Since digital transformation has an impact on different areas of the business, it also requires people from the business side to work on the implementation. That is why building a cross-functional team is essential for the IT transformation program. The digital transformation team often has to include people from both within and outside the organization. The internal resources of the team include the right mix of people from within the organization. This will be the core team working on the transformation and should consist of people from the technical side, finance side, and the business side as well. Quite often the teams are heavier on the technical side with little to no inputs from the business sector. There may also be disagreements or friction between the members from different departments working in the same team. These issues may slow down the transformation process and must be addressed by the leadership. Apart from the internal members, the transformation should also work with the partner resources. These include technology partners who will help with the deployment of technology. System integrators are an important part of the digital transformation team and they are the bridge between the technology solutions adopted and their successful implementation. Critical members who will be especially helpful to the program should be chosen based on the skills and experience.
01. Digital Product Managers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Security & Risk Advisors: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Internal Communications: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. System Integrators: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Chief Experience Officers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Compliance Specialists Including Digital Ethics: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Project Managers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Cloud Specialists: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Organizational Development (HR): departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Vendor Managers: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Data Analysts: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Solutions Architects: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Digital Product Managers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Security & Risk Advisors: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Internal Communications: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. System Integrators: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Chief Experience Officers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Compliance Specialists Including Digital Ethics: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Project Managers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Cloud Specialists: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Organizational Development (HR): Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Vendor Managers: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Data Analysts: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Solutions Architects: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Digital Product Managers.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Security & Risk Advisors.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Internal Communications.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze System Integrators.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Chief Experience Officers.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Compliance Specialists Including Digital Ethics.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Project Managers.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Cloud Specialists.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Organizational Development (HR).
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Vendor Managers.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Data Analysts.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Solutions Architects.
Building the Right Team for Your Digital Transformation Initiatives
Collaboration between People, Process, and Technology is required for IT Transformation initiatives. ‘People,’ according to many studies and research, are the most important factor in driving and succeeding in the Digital Transformation initiative.
There are a few things to keep in mind while forming teams for the DT Initiative before detailing the designations, competencies, and skills required for a successful digitalization team.
• People Track – Appoint a digital visionary leader to steer the strategy. To fulfil the objective, cross-functionality and collaboration must be enabled.
• Process Track – Determine the most important procedures and make improvements to improve the company’s “hard wiring.” More efficient processes should be the end result.
• Technology Track – To make business more agile, scalable, and efficient, aging technology is being replaced with new technology.
• Information Track – Streamlining the data gathered and turning it into information; and regulating the information that is sent out in order to better service existing customers and attract new consumers more quickly.
Having the right team to champion the idea from top to bottom and across the business is an important part of any successful transformation.
People form teams, which in turn create culture, generate the correct vision, and hold the necessary future skills to move the Digital Agenda forward.
51% of the highest performing enterprises see their cultures as holding them back in the digital transformation journey. Laggards, on the other hand, are missing the warning signs – only 36% of the lowest performing enterprises identify culture as a problem to progress. – HfS Research
Organizations that focused on culture were 5x more likely to achieve breakthrough performance than companies that ignored culture, according to a BCG study of 40 digital transformations.
Digital Transformation Team – What does it look like?
1. Executive Leadership – Management must fully support digital transformation initiatives. To make the transformation successful, executives must have a broad view of the business and industry. There are numerous alternatives for the chief of DT efforts, including Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, and so on. While the Chief of Digital Transformation is responsible for operational efforts, business transformation is a strategic initiative that requires full C-suite participation. Otherwise, the strategy would result in surface adjustments that will be difficult to percolate deep into the firm and bring about the necessary cultural change. Organizations should choose someone from the current C-suite to lead this shift since they know the business better than anyone else. If it isn’t possible, I advocate employing someone with experience driving business change at a higher level from a similar industry.
Skills required – The head of the Digital Transformation team should have a strong grasp of the company’s operations and customers. The entire DT concept revolves around customers. Understanding new-age technology such as Cloud, AI, ML, and Data Science, as well as how to utilize the necessary talent to construct a modern and futuristic business model, is the second crucial skill. People management is the third and most crucial talent, as it is required to persuade board members, manage people and cultural change, and bring the entire organization’s Digital Transformation ideas into alignment.
2. Core Digital Transformation Team – Hands-on practitioners of many technologies and business verticals make up the core digital experience team. Product Managers, Program Managers, Solution Architects, and Senior Managers of Business and Technical Teams are some of the positions that fall within the core digitization team. Organizations must hire and re-skill existing staff in order to build a core Digital Experience Team.
Organizations must educate employees about new initiatives and provide opportunities for individuals who want to change careers. This will necessitate comprehensive training programs and sessions depending on the new skills that the organization requires.
Skills required – These skills will differ depending on the tools and technologies used to facilitate company transformation. For example, a corporation moving to the cloud needs cloud professionals who are familiar with new technologies like Microservices, Containers, and Serverless architecture. Cloud architects, Cloud Engineers, Data Center Operations, Analysts, Administrators, and Help Desk will all be part of the team. Another example is forming an AI team comprised of Machine-Learning engineers, Data Scientists, Applied Scientists, Data Engineers, and other professionals. People who are strong at adjusting to change, team players, agile practitioners, management, and excellent communication skills are needed in these professions.
3. Extended Digital Transformation Team – Developers, designers, visualizers, junior data scientists, AI and ML engineers, business analysts, and other members of the extended digital team may be included.
Skills Required – To give finesses in the Digital Transformation program, the expanded digital transformation team requires specialist talents in development, design, data science, coding, and infrastructure. The extended digitalization team might be quite substantial, depending on the size of the firm. This necessitates further hiring and reskilling of existing employees in many tools and technologies.
Digital Transformation-It’s a Team Game
The success of Digital Transformation is primarily dependent on culture, and your Digital Transformation team is vital in implementing this culture management program. It is recommended that you create a long-term digital team capable of bringing and maintaining Digital Transformation initiatives. A high-performing Digital Transformation team will include a combination of experienced team members that know your business inside and out, as well as new team members who can bring a fresh perspective to the table as you look for the best technologies.
What staff and skills do you need to enable Leading IT Transformation?
You simply cannot ignore the current agenda: 55% of businesses without a digital transformation believe they have less than a year before losing market share. Now is the time to take action.
Companies can no longer afford to sit back and wait due to the rapid rate of change, new markets, competitive conditions, and customer demands. They must respond swiftly and show their adaptability.
Many businesses automatically turn to their IT departments to help them modernize for the current day. According to data from Gartner, 62 percent of digital transformation programs are managed by the IT department.
Digital technologies, on the other hand, only deliver ‘potential’ increases in efficiency, production, and experience. Organizations must consider them alongside their people and processes in order to achieve a successful transformation. That is why, in truth, digital transformation is about the entire business, not just technology.
A laser-focused leadership team is required for successful digital transformation
According to McKinsey, your digital transformation project is 1.8 times more likely to succeed if you have the proper people in critical roles to ensure communication between business functions. Nearly 70% of organisations report changing their top team during the transformation process.
Getting the ‘right people’ in place may necessitate re-structuring or adjusting the management layer prior to implementing the necessary changes and getting them accepted into business as usual.
It may appear frightening, especially since job security concerns are common during times of transition, but it is actually a wonderful thing. Redefining roles and responsibilities to fit with your digital transformation goals clarifies what talents your company requires to succeed in the modern day. For your employees, this could mean taking on more/less/new duties, as well as additional training and development possibilities.
But who are the ‘right people’?
Leading the digital transformation agenda
Around 40% of businesses have established specialized digital transformation teams. It’s maybe unexpected that 84 percent of CEOs are also involved in and committed to transformative change as the person in charge of managing the organization.
Furthermore, the CISO is significantly involved in defining the digital transformation plan. When it comes to acquiring and integrating new technologies into the existing IT infrastructure, it’s critical to maintain the status quo during a period of change to avoid exposing the company.
The new roles that the digital transformation agenda has generated
New strategic roles, such as Head of Digital Transformation, Head of Technology Transformation, and Head of Innovation, are being formed at the middle management level. These people are now in charge of assisting specific aspects of the transformation agenda.
However, digital transformation has resulted in the creation of key new senior positions in the C-suite, such as the Chief Digital Officer (CDO). The CDO, a transformation advocate with boundless energy, might potentially take over the role of CEO during the process, allowing the CEO to focus on overseeing the entire organization. According to McKinsey research, organizations employing a CDO have a 1.6x higher likelihood of success.
The digital transformation agenda has changed various roles
While certain roles have experienced small changes, such as the CSO’s training now incorporates new skills for interacting with the rest of the company, the CIO’s function has altered the most.
Over the previous three years, 83 percent of CIOs say their role has become more strategic. Because technology has always been relegated to the sphere of the IT department, the function has traditionally focused on concerns such as infrastructure maintenance and compliance. However, we now live and work in the digital era, when technology has become an integral part of our lives.
The job of the CIO has changed to become increasingly connected with business challenges, with 25% of CIOs exerting greater responsibility over digital transformation initiatives.
The CIO is now expected to bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the business, rather than focusing just on technology. Their duty, similar to that of a marriage counselor, is to listen to the wants and requirements of both sides of the business and assist them communicate in a common language and work toward a common goal.
Three things must change for the CIO:
• Modernize IT: Investing in deeper industry domain knowledge and contacts.
• The IT organization’s mindset: offering a seamless operational environment by hastening the company’s transition to automation and the cloud.
• The organizational structure: enhancing the organization’s agility and speed in order to seize new opportunities.
It’s achieved through:
Process of questioning
Because the CIO is typically not in charge of the company’s profit and loss, they might be seen as neutral in many ways because they have no financial agenda. This means they can pose potentially painful and tough questions that challenge the current quo and force the senior leadership team to think about the organization’s long-term future.
The CIO must be on the cutting edge of new technology, aware of every new invention and innovation, assessing whether or not it will benefit the company and being able to describe the value it will provide. They must be aware of the alternatives, overlaps, and prospective alliances that could help the company’s digital transformation efforts.
The CIO must be able to listen to the objections, worries, and suggestions of both IT and business stakeholders, empathize with their predicament, and clearly convey the path forward. This may need them to negotiate to reach an amicable agreement, or it may force them to make a “executive decision.”
The Overlooked Areas
The entire change management side of things is an area that is sometimes disregarded. In general, if you’re going to make a change, you’ll need a change leader. You might even have change management resources to assist that change management lead. The change team here will be in charge of ensuring that not only people are trained and that we’re leveraging the technical expertise, but that the training is also tailored to your specific business processes and technology.
Prior to training, it’s critical to remember that change management is accountable for ensuring that the organization is designed correctly.
Digital transformation is more about people than technology
Never forget that people are key to your digital transformation project.
According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives published in 2020, the ongoing Covid-19 problem has driven businesses around the world to hasten the adoption of digital technology by three to four years. The improvements have primarily occurred in three areas: consumer interactions, supply chain, and internal operations. The share of offerings that are digital in nature has increased the most – by seven years – across business areas.
However, previous research has indicated that digital transformations have a low success rate. Only 16 percent of respondents to a 2018 survey claimed that digital transformations at their companies had enhanced performance and equipped them to endure changes over time. A further 7% claimed their performance had improved, but that it had not been sustained.
The causes for digital transformation failure are numerous, and they have been extensively discussed elsewhere. However, many of these factors may be reduced to a single factor: people. Most firms forget that these key endeavors – from defining a vision and crafting a strategy to communicating it to the rest of the organization and executing it – are facilitated first and foremost by people.
In this workshop, we will discuss the two categories of people – leaders and employees – who are important to every organization’s digital transformation success.
“If you think about digital transformation as two words, we pay too much attention to the digital and not enough to transformation. It’s not a technology challenge, it’s a leadership one.”
– Dr George Westerman, senior lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management
Digital transformation is more than just adopting new technologies. It’s about transforming business processes, models, and organizational culture using technology. It’s about imagining new business models, marketplaces, and more efficient ways of attracting, engaging, and providing value to customers using the data provided by technology. This is why companies that start their digital transformation efforts by employing bright people in critical roles are more likely to succeed.
Good leaders will have a clear vision of the digital path that the company must pursue and will be able to motivate staff to strive toward it. When obstacles arise, they can quickly modify and pivot their strategy while keeping the overall picture in mind. Good leaders will also put money into employees who can use technology to help the company achieve its objectives. They keep companies from slipping into the costly trap of innovation theater, when resources are invested to promote innovation but few concrete outcomes are visible.
Because of the nature of the beast, it’s not uncommon to have multiple departments working on their own digital transformations ad hoc, often before the C-suite has even drafted a comprehensive plan for the entire company. This can be evident in function heads’ attempts to automate specific operations or mine data with digital tools to assist their business decisions. However, allowing each department to go its own way in terms of digitization can lead to inefficiencies later on when the entire organization decides to become digital and business systems are unable to connect with one another due to differing technologies.
Worse, the digital technologies in use by specific departments can sometimes influence the organization’s entire digital strategy. This is a costly blunder. Your organization’s digital technology acquisition and use should be determined by your future vision and strategy, not the other way around.
Your vision and strategy for the future should determine what digital technology your organisation acquires and uses, not the other way around.
This will be ensured by good leaders. To use an analogy, they’re like orchestra conductors who make sure that separate functions aren’t playing their own digital tunes in their own silos, but instead are working together to create a single organizational melody that is in sync with the overall goal.
Too many cooks?
However, simply bringing in new leaders with fancy digital titles will not suffice, as having too many digital leaders in an organization can lead to confusion, a lack of responsibility, frustration, and inefficiencies, jeopardizing your entire transformation initiative.
According to a poll of 700 executives, organizations have close to two CxO-level digital leaders on average, with some having six or more. A third of respondents were unsure who in their organization was in charge of the majority of digital/technology functions. The fact that many functional leaders in today’s businesses also have digital duties adds to the uncertainty.
As a result, it’s critical for businesses to explicitly define each digital leader’s roles and responsibilities. Everyone in the company should know who is in charge of the digital transformation initiative.
Here’s something to consider in a similar vein: According to a 2017 McKinsey poll, organizations with digital executives reporting directly to the CEO were seen to be more productive than those without.
Our natural reaction to new ideas or efforts is to resist them; it’s in our DNA. This is why, whether the transformation is digital or not, employee buy-in is crucial to its success. Employees in all roles are more involved in effective digital changes, according to research.
When organizations fail to engage employees in suggested transformations, “innovation antibodies” are activated. Similarly to how our bodies use antibodies to combat foreign cells, an organization’s innovation antibodies are activated when employees see a threat to the status quo posed by the disruptive demands of the proposed change and resist it either consciously or unconsciously.
Staff help you shape the right strategy
Employee buy-in is important for a variety of reasons, including project success. Early employee involvement aids leadership in gaining ground-level insights, allowing them to build a really helpful digital transformation strategy with a high possibility of success. Employees, after all, have firsthand experience of what works and what doesn’t, and can advise the company on process changes. A top-down strategy, on the other hand, may not be able to match the needs of the organization and may fail.
While working on your strategy, ask your employees the following questions to gather their feedback: Are there any routine jobs that could be automated? Do they have any workplace issues that could be resolved with better processes or technology? Is there any data that can assist them in doing their tasks more effectively?
Another benefit of involving employees early in the project is that they will be more invested. It gives employees a sense of ownership, which is exactly what you need for employee buy-in.
Communication is key
All of this necessitates effective internal communication. Similarly, after the strategy has been finalized, it is critical to communicate its aims and benefits to all personnel. It also helps comfort employees who are concerned that the proposed changes will make their jobs obsolete. To overcome aversion to change, experts recommend focusing on three things. They’re as follows:
• Discontent with the status quo – Discuss how the existing method of working can be frustrating and contribute to poor business performance, which has a direct impact on employees.
• The future vision – Explain how the suggested changes will improve things, allowing staff to accomplish their tasks more effectively and possibly opening up new career prospects.
• Specific steps to achieve that goal – the current strategy and each employee’s responsibility.
Additionally, find transformation advocates among employees to gather support. These are individuals who believe in your vision and are willing to act as early adopters and evangelists. Some of them could be integrators – employees who are experts in their field and can seamlessly merge the new digital method of working with the old.
After you’ve dealt with the mindset, it’s time to concentrate on your skills.
According to a 2018 Gartner poll, 70% of respondents don’t have the skills they need for their jobs today, and up to 80% say they lack the abilities they need for both their current function and their future career.
Training all employees to use all of the new digital technologies is critical since your project will only succeed and give a good return on investment if all employees use all of the new systems and tools to their full potential.
Chapter 1: Digital Product Managers
What Does It Mean to Be a Digital Product Manager?
A product manager is in charge of driving product development to market success. This is the responsibility of a digital product manager for digital products. Software tools, apps, and any other electronic product fall under this category.
What Are the Skills of a Digital Product Manager?
A successful digital product manager possesses several of the same key competencies as any other product manager. Digital products are fundamentally different from physical products. As a result, they will have various more abilities necessary to be a successful digital product manager. Here are some instances of both skill sets.
All product managers (including digital product managers) have certain abilities.
1. Strategy planning
The ability to see the larger picture is required of all product managers. Then, using that knowledge, develop strategies and objectives for their cross-functional team.
Even the most well-funded organizations have limited resources for product managers. They also only have a limited amount of time to devote to any given assignment. That is why they require the capacity to select and prioritize the most important activities to include in their product roadmap.
3. Analysis and research
Successful product managers require exceptional research skills, whether they are in charge of physical or digital products. They must locate relevant data and convert it into information that will aid in the improvement of their products.
For monitoring digital products, digital product managers must also develop a new set of abilities. For instance:
4. Iterative development and deployment
Today’s digital product managers have no choice but to follow agile concepts. These principles support regular delivery of working items to users. This means that digital products must learn to rate minor changes. Because the ability to rank is critical for pushing updates to clients on shorter timescales.
5. Design thinking
A digital product’s user experience is a critical component. If the user design and experience are annoying or confusing, even the best software or mobile app will fail. A digital product manager must learn how to design a user-friendly product.
6. Comprehending usage data
Product managers in charge of digital products have an advantage over those in charge of physical ones. They can learn what works and what doesn’t by tracking how customers use their products. Product managers for digital products must learn to understand and comprehend product metrics. Because these insights must be translated into the ability to improve their products.
What Are the Duties of a Digital Product Manager?
In each firm, the particular responsibilities of a digital product manager will vary. However, you can anticipate at least the following responsibilities:
• Oversee the creation of a digital product (or a suite of such products).
• Examine the market to ensure that the product continues to outperform its competitors.
• Recognize the user and buyer personas and create unique value propositions for each.
• Keep track of crucial product analytics, analyze them, and take action. Continue to improve the product, promote client retention, and increase customer lifetime value (LTV).
• Make a strategic product roadmap and prioritize it.
Digital Product Manager vs. Digital Project Manager: What’s the Difference?
People frequently mix up the roles of product manager and project manager. The jobs are extremely different, despite the fact that the titles sound and seem virtually identical.
Digital product manager:
The position of digital product manager is a strategic one. The focus of the role is on the product vision, primary goals, and determining product-market fit. As well as managing a cross-functional team to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of strategy.
Digital project manager:
This is mostly a tactical role. The digital project manager is in charge of overseeing the actions and resources required to accomplish a project within the established scope, on schedule, and within the budget.
To bring a successful digital product to market, these two positions can and should collaborate. Then, over time, to continue to improve the product.
Chapter 2: Security & Risk Advisors
Consumers and organizations are rapidly adopting digital technology, which is bringing new opportunities while also introducing new threats.
Many businesses are well on their road to digital transformation. New technologies such as robots, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, predictive analytics, and blockchain are already transforming the way many firms design and curate experiences, manufacture, distribute, and support products as part of Industry 4.0.
The internal risk function, as well as the IT department, are being put under more strain. Firm leaders are making strategic decisions about investment, technology, resource levels, and the skills required to run a digital business, all of which will affect their companies’ short- and long-term profitability. These strategic decisions are invariably fraught with danger. At the same time, companies must deal with external dangers. For example, when firms go through digital transformations and more of their assets become digital, cybercrime and data privacy issues are becoming more prevalent.
While digital transformation offers significant benefits to businesses, it also adds a new dimension to the traditional risk assessment.
The security challenge: Keeping up with the times, with increased risk
According to a new Altimeter survey, IT decision-makers are not only considering cybersecurity as a top factor when it comes to digital transformation, but it is also their second most important investment priority (35 percent), just behind the cloud (37 percent). The complexity and speed of development continue to challenge even the largest security operations, making investments in disruptive technology pointless if they can’t safeguard the organization, its customers, or other critical assets.
Security leaders must be aware of the new threats that digital transformation brings. According to Ponemon’s Digital Transformation and Cyber Risk research, 82% of IT security and C-level respondents indicated digital transformation caused at least one data leak.
A growing reliance on third parties, which 55 percent of respondents claimed were responsible for at least one of their breaches, is one reason for the heightened risk. Despite their reliance on third parties, 58% of respondents stated they lack a third-party cyber risk management program, and 56% of C-level executives said it was difficult to tell whether third parties had policies and processes in place to ensure the protection of their data.
According to the Ponemon analysis, misalignment between security and the C-suite is the leading cause of vulnerabilities created during digital transformation programs. Only 16% of respondents thought IT and business lines were completely linked.
Cybersecurity and business are inextricably linked
The essence is obvious. With its platforms, ecosystems, API economy, and concentration on data sharing, today’s increasingly connected world increases the hazards. As a result, cybersecurity and risk management are becoming increasingly vital to businesses.
We’re doing more business digitally, allowing workers to work from home, migrating workloads and assets to the cloud, decentralizing and thereby expanding our digital footprint; the list goes on and on.
Unlike hackers, who are constantly seeking for new weaknesses, we frequently have no idea what digital assets we have on the Internet.
Chapter 3: Internal Communications
Communication, openness, and an inclusive culture are all important factors in DT’s success. Internal communications is critical in keeping everyone informed about the progress and business impact of DT, including stakeholders, top management, and the entire organization. Given the numerous DT journeys / projects running concurrently, it is critical to provide employees with a sense of the wider picture and how DT will lead the company to profitability, higher market share, new solutions/products, and improved customer/ employee experience. Internal communications can distribute internal blogs, films, mailers, graphics/posters, and guarantee that such themes are discussed at town hall meetings. Employees should grasp the initiative’s business aim, the impact of technology, what changes are coming, and why they should adopt them.
Internal communications is at the heart of an IT transformation for three reasons:
1. The ability—and motivation—of employees to fulfill corporate goals and drive success is critical to the success of any company project. The organization’s program is likely to fail if the majority of employees feel alienated from the firm and don’t understand why decisions are made.
Internal communications and reaching every employee are therefore critical. Employees may not grasp or even be aware of company-wide business goals if they are not receiving appropriate information. Finally, effective internal communications promote employee engagement, which leads to desirable business outcomes.
A more connected workforce is also a catalyst for better business outcomes.
2. Effective internal communication promotes and maintains change.
HR and internal communications must step up to assist transformation across the board because communications is the crucial link connecting employee experience, company-wide business goals, and digital transformation.
You’ll need a communications strategy to tie everything together. And it must be a completely integrated campaign, not an afterthought. HR and communications professionals should incorporate digital marketing abilities such as employee journey planning.
A complete communications plan is required to investigate each point of employee collaboration and to track communications data. Internal communicators may improve internal communications at every level, with all types of employees—from gig workers to field workers—by using specific measurements and feedback.
3. Human resources and communications professionals must communicate with employees on their terms and include them in the company’s story.
Some tools, such as email or intranets on their own, or even workplace social networks, just do not operate properly. Employee communication systems, on the other hand, encompass the entire workforce and can connect a variety of tools. They are better at communicating with hard-to-reach personnel, such as frontline or deskless workers, who are now getting the attention they have been missing.
I also want to emphasize the value of a brand story that stems from a company’s own history: the “goodness” of its previous actions. Employees become actors in the corporate story if you can include them in it, creating a groundswell of employees who are invested in the success of the digital transformation program.
Organizations that leverage integrations and can provide a single point of publishing tool to many media, as well as a solid communications strategy, will be able to reach every employee, regardless of location, and achieve the required transformation.
Internal communications play a critical role in any digital transformation team, as explained in greater detail in this course manual.
Chapter 4: System Integrators
What is the definition of system integration?
System integration (SI) is a method of connecting an organization’s multiple IT systems and applications so that they function together in a coordinated and uniform manner.
In a nutshell, system integration is similar to piecing together a puzzle.
An organization’s information subsystems are dispersed and must be brought together into a well-coordinated, coherent architecture or integrated application mesh. It’s a complicated construction process that connects an organization’s functions from many systems, simplifying diverse systems such as current hardware, software (customized or off-the-shelf), and communications.
The end result of system integration is that an organization’s working relationships with customers and partners improve, workflow efficiency improves, and operational expenses decrease. Business process management, computer networking, enterprise application integration, and/or manual programming are all options for a system integrator.
IT System Integration Has 5 Advantages
When a company decides to move forward with modernized environment integration, the benefits are numerous. A modernized IT infrastructure can give endless benefits, from allowing employees to spend less time on boring data entry to allowing them to sleep soundly at night due to improved levels of security. Some of the advantages of IT system integration for businesses include:
The complexities of multiple business processes and apps are replaced by a simple-to-use, unified environment through an integrated infrastructure. Instead of many computer systems and business processes running concurrently and on top of each other, an integrated architecture is intuitive and allows modifications to be made from a single screen, wherever the employee is located.
2. Conserve funds
Costs will be substantially lowered if you choose to handle all of your data and applications from a single platform. Typical costs associated with the installation of various systems and applications, as well as the maintenance and management of piles of in-house equipment, will no longer be a significant financial burden for businesses.
A single system eliminates the need for an organization to safeguard several systems, each with varied degrees of success and risk when it comes to data security. Organizations may more quickly construct the essential security measures to prevent unwanted access and better meet compliance obligations with an integrated solution. The more tools you have, the more difficult it is to administer and setup a security system.
4. Real-time visibility
Because it has real-time access to its data, an organization with an integrated architecture can make better, more informed business decisions. Gone are the days when a business had to make a vital decision based on old legacy software. Enterprises may now track their data from beginning to end. Companies may access their data at any time and stay informed with up-to-date information available from anywhere, rather than waiting hours for accounting and finance reports.
An integrated and modernized environment can help employees become more efficient and productive. Structured, formatted data may bounce throughout the company ecosystem via automation, letting staff to spend their time on more productive initiatives rather than manually entering data, which is typically arduous and time-consuming. Furthermore, when it comes to keeping and employing talent, an integrated system allows a company to increase employee quality rather than hiring additional employees for mundane duties, saving money.
Chapter 5: Chief Experience Officers
A chief experience officer (CXO) is a C-suite executive who is in charge of a company’s total customer experience and interactions. The chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), or chief marketing officer (CMO) will often report to the customer experience officer (CXO). Of course, CX personnel report to the CXO.
Customer experience (CX) initiatives are used by a CXO to offer differentiated brand experiences that increase customer loyalty and advocacy. Employee experience (EX) is now included in the role to ensure that staff exemplify the company’s customer promise and deliver on brand expectations.
Change management, learning and development, and human resources teams all work closely with a CXO. Employees’ grasp of customer happiness and leadership’s feeling of their people and employee satisfaction are both enhanced by this necessary cross-functional teamwork.
Why Should Every Company Have A Chief Experience Officer?
When customers first come into contact with a brand, the customer experience begins. Even after a product or service is no longer required, the customer’s relationship with the brand endures. The chief experience officer’s job is to keep customers happy by ensuring that every phase of the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle is pleasant and easy to use. Customer satisfaction should be maintained throughout the relationship.
Consumer experience, according to Gartner, accounts for almost two-thirds of customer loyalty, exceeding brand equity and price combined. In fact, a positive customer experience increases a person’s likelihood of recommending a firm and purchasing in the future by five times. That’s a lot of money on the line.
Furthermore, during their purchasing experience, the NOW Customer (consumers who are always on and always online) seeks quickness, results, and an emotional connection with companies. At all times and across all touchpoints, the NOW Customer wants speedy resolutions and active engagements from their brands.
As a result, a CXO must constantly develop the customer experience to match their changing needs and ensure that no customer is forgotten.
However, the client experience is only one factor to consider. Employees’ ability to understand and identify with the brand’s mission, vision, and values ultimately determines how the customer experience is designed and delivered. Employee engagement is also strongly linked to a variety of business results.
The overall percentage of engaged workers in 2020 was 36 percent, according to three Gallup measures and a study of employee engagement this year. This is indicative of persons who are deeply invested in, excited about, and dedicated to their profession and workplace.
Chapter 6: Compliance Specialists including Digital Ethics
Organizations must embrace digital transformation in order to fulfill escalating customer expectations, create scalable, personalized experiences, and respond to market dynamics with ever-increasing business agility. Digital services and disruptive technologies like cloud computing, robotics, AI, and big data, when paired with optimized operating models, enable enterprises to drive innovation and adapt to internal and external events faster and more cost effectively than ever before.
Surprisingly, over 60% of executives believe their digital transformation efforts are behind schedule, according to a renowned research and advising organization. Many organizations have recognized the ability to create change and the availability of finances as important impediments to success. While technology enables digital transformation, these findings should remind us that the human factor is just as vital as technology. The essential notions of ethics are what we stand for and how we behave, and if organizations want to achieve long-term success in the digital world, they must first and foremost recognize the need to act ethically.
Compliance Specialists are required in a digital transformation team
Ethics is the discipline of making a principled decision between right and wrong, based on how people should act rather than how they do act. And, while the topic has previously struggled to acquire traction among business leaders, things are thankfully different now. Ethics is now as crucial as products and services in a highly competitive industry.
While all firms with a digital transformation plan should prioritize ethics, the most challenging task will be at the individual level – corporations do not make decisions; individuals do. From an ethical standpoint, digital professionals at all levels will need to figure out what the ‘correct’ thing to do is. What is considered ethical can differ across individuals, groups, faiths, and cultures, and this leaves wide opportunity for interpretation in a global and fast-moving digital society.
Even when the best course of action is obvious, real-world competitive pressures can lead to individuals making judgments that are harmful to others. Being ethical will entail having the abilities and moral bravery to question established standards and act ethically. So, what does it mean to be ethical in a digital society, and how can those involved in the design, development, and deployment of digital services translate ethical concepts into professional behaviors that will support digital transformation initiatives?
Organizational ethics in the digital age
When businesses engage in ways that others consider unethical, they are likely to receive negative local, national, and even international media attention. The events surrounding Volkswagen, in particular, will be remembered. Volkswagen, formerly known around the world as a pioneer in automobile engineering, is today more likely to be remembered for its unethical actions than for any of its prior accomplishments.
Organizational behaviors that promote trust and exhibit integrity will be just as crucial as the technological difficulties they confront, such as application integration, cybersecurity, and data governance, if they are to achieve digital success. Digital efforts have the ability to provide long-term benefits and boost the value of a company, but these benefits must be balanced against the challenges posed by eroding trust, which is caused by concerns about how some businesses are utilizing digital technology.
Data security and confidentiality challenges persist; not only do data breaches occur at alarming rates, but corporations have been hesitant to notify people affected when they do. Concerns about accountability are also growing, since present systems may become obsolete or, worse, corrupted as AI and machine learning algorithms become increasingly capable of making autonomous judgments.
Chapter 7: Project Managers
As digitalization gains pace, with every industry confronting disruptive forces, C-level executives are becoming increasingly obsessed with their company’s digital imperative.
While senior management is responsible for driving their organization’s high-level strategy by talking digital, the project manager is ultimately responsible for laying the groundwork and giving expression to the vision set out by their senior management. The project manager’s role has never been more crucial than it is now, when every firm wants to be a part of the digital revolution.
If the company is digitally mature, the project manager will have his or her hands full managing ongoing transformation and high-stakes stakeholder management.
While every job in the organizational structure has been defined and redefined, the project manager’s role has remained the same: chief interlocutor and primary firefighter when it comes to resolving conflicts among the many teams participating in project execution. It’s past time for the project manager to be seen as a digital leader rather than just someone who manages projects under budgetary constraints.
While serving as a vital link between senior management and delivery teams, the Project Manager is best suited to guide the organization into the digital age. With the introduction of the digital age came a new set of issues, the most important of which was fulfilling the always changing end-user/stakeholder expectations. As a result, the project manager’s function had to be repositioned as the de facto digital leader to drive the enterprise-wide change.
The world has reached a turning point. Industrialization 4.0 is driving businesses to either meet the digital headwinds head on and win the digital battles, or risk becoming the next Kodak. It is the project manager’s responsibility to make it happen from the ground up as firms try everything they can to win in this new digital economy. The digital transformation should be done from the ground up, with the core processes and delivery team buying into the entire digital story.
The digital economy has given rise to two types of players around the world: digital non-natives and digital natives. The digital non-natives are established businesses whose old business strategies are being disrupted by the emerging digital economy. The digital natives are the new pure play digital enterprises, the Ubers and AirBnBs of the digital world, who are displacing existing players and imagining fresh solutions to previously inert business models.
The digital non-native companies are the ones that are responding to, or rather attempting to combat, the digital natives by devising massive digital transformation initiatives in order to extract more value from these programs while continuing to run their core legacy systems. Their legacy systems are just as critical as their new digital ambitions. Bimodal IT, with two-part teams looking at the more stable core system and the digital transformation programs, goes a long way toward keeping the incumbents’ status quo.
Chapter 8: Cloud Specialists
A cloud specialist’s major responsibility is to oversee the migration of data and services to the chosen cloud provider. The job of a cloud specialist does not end once the company’s data and services have been moved to the cloud. In a digital world, this position is crucial for continuing operation. They must not only manage the initial transfer, but also be available to solve any issues that develop as the organization continues to operate in the cloud. You can’t expect every member of your staff to be an expert at navigating the cloud.
Cloud specialists can make or break company operations for firms that had to shift quickly owing to COVID-19. A speedier metamorphosis allows for more room for mistakes. Cloud experts assist the team in resolving any challenges so that they can migrate smoothly and efficiently.
The Cloud’s Importance in Digital Transformation
In today’s digital economy, businesses rely on technology to not only support existing business activities, but also to provide new sources of competitive distinction.
For many businesses, the effectiveness of their IT service delivery environments determines whether they succeed or fail.
The majority of IT organizations and datacenters are designed to support their organizations’ mission-critical systems of record for supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and online transaction processing (OLTP).
Companies must devote more IT resources and employees to the design and ongoing development of systems of engagement, insight, and action that improve the customer experience, thanks to the Internet, the mobile explosion, and now the big data analytics revolution. They must also ensure that existing applications as well as these new digital services are handled consistently in terms of security, stability, and scalability.
This new agile business environment is built on the cloud. It’s the platform that makes agile app development possible. Cloud infrastructure is critical for providing flexible, on-demand access to the resources that underpin these new digital business services. It enables businesses to grow infrastructure as needed to meet changing business needs while decreasing the risk of squandered IT resources, which has previously stifled investments in innovative digital services.
Chapter 9: Organization Development (HR)
Priorities for HR leaders in the digital transformation
Much has been said and spoken about the future of work, as well as HR’s strategic role in digital transformation. The extent to which the numerous forecasts about the future of work are realized will be seen in the future. Work will change, and HR will change with it.
HR leaders should work with business leaders to understand and maintain the correct balance of developing, existing, and legacy skill sets to ensure that employees have the talents they require.
HR departments are widely agreed to play a more strategic role in not only assisting the organization in addressing a variety of (often industry-specific) challenges, but also in making business transformation journeys and change/innovation initiatives possible, let alone successful — HR in digital transformation or even at the very center of digital business transformation.
HR’s strategic role in digital transformation (DX) and supporting the business in all aspects is sometimes overlooked. The same can be said about the requirement for clear HR transformation strategy, as digital HR maturity is still lacking. As with other company tasks, the focus is frequently on today and the immediate future, with difficulties that management wants to address immediately in admittedly complex times marked by several uncertainties.
Any HR strategic transformation path that enables HR to play an important role in digital transformation must consider the big picture. It involves numerous factors, the most important of which is people, and it necessitates a realistic assessment of the steps to be taken, including the long-term.
As is customary, the manner in which each step is taken and the extent to which it results in real benefits will drive overall – incremental – advancement. Unfortunately, as new CEOs take over, there is always the potential of unforeseen shifts and changes in strategic imperatives.
The essence, however, remains. How can a company stay relevant to its customers and internal customers – employees – who are required to accomplish so much? And, in a future where the organization’s main business may evolve, how will the organization become profitable – and how will the abilities of exceptional individuals be crucial in steering that process?
Enterprise HR leaders must continue to prioritize digital business transformation
Automation, artificial intelligence, and the connection between humans and machines are among the more prevalent topics discussed in discussions about the future of work.
Future skills, reskilling and upskilling, talent management, labor shortages, employee contentment and happiness, the nature and role of work, evolving motives among workers, and how we organize work on a social level are among the most interesting themes. Then there’s the question of how HR teams can assist HR in enabling digital transformation.
In 2019, the average employee went through 12 organizational changes, ranging from large changes like restructuring or executive leadership transitions to more mundane but nevertheless extremely disruptive changes like shifting to a new team or manager.
While HR professionals consider the difficulties of employment, talent management, the digital workplace, and workforce planning in 2020, achieving digital business transformation remains a top goal.
According to Gartner, other key measures that should enable HR leaders to continue driving business outcomes in 2020 include 1) improving employee experience, 2) developing the necessary skills and competencies to grow/transform the business, 3) incorporating organizational design and change management, and 4) strengthening both current and future leadership.
According to the firm, only 9% of chief human resource officers believe their organization is equipped for that “future of work.” And that’s essentially where these five crucial measures fit in, taking us well beyond 2020.
How Can HR Become a Digital Transformation Leader?
RPM’s impact on people strategy is just one of many examples of how digital transformation has a direct impact on HR. Despite the various issues that this change brings, it also gives HR with an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to boost HR’s role as a strategic differentiator inside the company.
HR professionals may raise three important questions to enhance the dialogue with executives about digital transformation.
1. How is our business model evolving? What does this signify for our organization? Adopting new technologies is not a straightforward process. It necessitates multiple simultaneous adjustments and numerous touchpoints across a long time horizon. Employee involvement and training best practices can help ensure a smooth launch.
2. Do we have the necessary talent? Is it necessary to develop or acquire that talent? Are we in the correct geographical location to attract the talent we need to complete this digital transformation? What abilities (such as coding) do we need to develop inside to maintain and optimize what we’ve switched on? These questions about talent will help you develop a talent acquisition strategy that assures your company can support new technology and make the most of it.
3. How will we ensure that iteration is consistent? The process of digital transformation is never-ending. HR is well-equipped to receive feedback and provide useful insights for continuous improvement, thanks to its experience in change management.
There are two advantages to asking these three questions. It brings HR into leadership discussions and can assist HR in thinking about transformation. HR may save up time and increase its skills for driving an organization-wide change by embracing digital transformation first.
Chapter 10: Vendor Managers
Organizations that are going on a DT journey need a solid plan for partnering with vendors. Questions around insourcing and outsourcing must be addressed when the overall DT strategy is being developed. Organizations commonly outsource a variety of IT services in order to focus on their main business while ensuring best-in-class IT. The vendor manager assists in identifying vendors/partners who are familiar with the organization’s digital vision and strategy and are willing to collaborate in a clear and collaborative manner.
A smart vendor strategy is required for your digital transformation
A group of people is responsible for every digital transition. A C-suite sponsor is often involved, as well as competent personnel from various business divisions and functions. External providers contribute abilities and talents that aren’t available within the organization.
In any transformation, these are crucial players. Companies that properly manage support from their external technology vendors can easily transition from a legacy to a forward-thinking, digitally driven organization. Those who do not will rapidly learn that a company cannot completely restructure itself from the inside out.
According to a recent survey performed by BCG and the University of Auckland, at least 55% of businesses are dissatisfied with their digital transformation initiatives. When these conversions run into problems, it’s possible that tech sourcing is at blame. Companies have a choice of vendors from which to choose, yet many overlook the complexities of sourcing. Vendor objectives, experience, and knowledge, as well as familiarity with the organization and desire for a transactional versus a partner relationship, all differ significantly. Organizations must weigh in on both the vendor’s and their own points of view, determining how well they connect with the digital transformation goals.
Companies must have a robust plan for partnering with vendors to improve the chances of a successful program. According to our findings, they should concentrate on five key areas: sourcing model, sourcing strategy, vendor selection and contracting, vendor management, and implementation.
Effective vendor management requires mutual trust and respect
As we progress toward a digital-first workplace, you’ll almost certainly be responsible for several technology vendors. Working with external vendors, suppliers, or contractors is critical to the success of any organization, no matter what industry you’re in. Effectively managing these partnerships can help you meet your company’s objectives while also demonstrating your value.
Working with people to accomplish a goal is the essence of vendor management. If the relationship is well-managed, it can lead to increased revenue. Poorly managed vendor relationships, on the other hand, frequently result in bad service, costly setbacks, and, in the worst-case situation, the loss of your job.
The foundations of any good relationship are mutual trust and respect. This is especially true when it comes to digital transformation. In simple terms, cultivating strong vendor connections is similar to cultivating personal relationships in your professional or personal life. You establish a mutually beneficial connection by building a strong foundation of trust and respect with your vendors.
Chapter 11: Data Analysts
Data Analysts’ Crucial Role in Your Digital Transformation
As more businesses consider digital transformation, it’s vital to understand how data and analytics constitute the backbone of the project from beginning to end.
For any company emerging from the last few years, the stakes are tremendous. As the marketplace got more volatile, it became critical for firms to digitize their interactions with employees and customers. Organizations of all types, sizes, and industries have had to rethink their business models and processes in order to survive, compete, or disrupt. “Digital transformation” has been at the forefront of every business-related conversation for a time, but corporations’ interest has increased since the COVID-19 disruption. Digital transformation was the top goal for IT technology projects in worldwide firms in 2021, according to research firm Statista.
We’ll go over why data analysts are so important in any successful digital transformation, from start to end and even afterward, in this Course Manual.
Why Data and Analytics Are the Backbone of Your Digital Transformation
Businesses must stay up with technological advancements and changing consumer expectations. The ability to make timely, informed data-driven decisions will decide a company’s ability to compete and grow. Data can also be utilized to create new products or improve existing ones, and it can even be sold as a product, allowing your company to compete in the digital market.
Where data gives the data, analytics provides the insights that lead to better decisions. Using data and analytics as the thread that runs through your digital transformation, both before and after it begins, allows you to overcome fundamental current business issues that might stymie data initiatives. These contemporary business issues include:
• Data Siloes: When data is segregated and separated among different business divisions, technologies, and platforms, it makes it more difficult for enterprises to integrate the data, obtain insights from it, and maximize its value. Considering technologies and techniques that enable merging data from many sources and systems to see the big picture as the major driver of your digital transformation helps you to consider data and analytics as the key driver of your digital transformation.
• Data Quality Issues: Good data can help a company achieve its goals. However, failing to take steps to assure data quality might result in costly errors and missed opportunities. When you value data as an asset across your business, you can think about data management, data security, and data ownership, all of which will lead to data openness and trust, as well as better decision-making.
• Legacy System/Application Complexities: Legacy systems are expensive to maintain and upgrade, and they can be difficult to integrate with more current aspects of your infrastructure in some situations. They also offer security risks to the organization. They make it difficult for you to compete in the digital economy. Looking at it through the lens of data and analytics will help you choose technologies that are right for the job, allowing for agility, user acceptance, improved security, and improved performance.
• Exceeding Customer Expectations: Today’s customers demand flawless end-to-end experiences, and businesses rely on data to deliver them. Data may help you figure out who your consumers are, what they need and desire, what they buy, when and how often, and how they prefer to interact. A data-driven digital transformation can enable technology and processes that help you gather and analyze data so you can meet customer expectations as they change.
These modern business issues may be a bottleneck for any company, and they’re probably why you’re considering digital transformation in the first place. Understanding and prioritizing the challenges you wish to tackle is crucial to achieving a good conclusion. You’ll discover that allowing data and analytics to drive and complete your digital transformation sets you up for long-term flexibility and digital enablement and augmentation across the business. You may map out where you are now and where you want to go by defining your goals.
Chapter 12: Solutions Architects
Organizations must alter their processes and systems to suit evolving business requirements in a quickly changing technological environment. To match business emphasis with technology solutions, this digital transformation necessitates specific knowledge and a set of techniques.
Before any tech solution development begins, solution architecture is one of the most important principles to follow. In this Course Manual, we’ll define solution architecture, outline the function of a solution architect, and show how using this knowledge might aid in the resolution of digital transformation issues.
What exactly does a solutions architect do? IT-business alignment is critical
Any firm that wishes to match its business goals and demands with IT services, products, software, and infrastructure needs solutions architects.
Solutions architect definition
A solutions architect is in charge of assessing an organization’s business requirements and determining how IT can meet those requirements using software, hardware, or infrastructure. IT strategy must now be aligned with business objectives, and a solutions architect can assist in determining, developing, and improving technical solutions that support business objectives.
A solutions architect also acts as a link between IT and business operations, ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to developing and executing technical solutions for business issues. In order to adequately design and implement viable solutions, the process involves constant input, changes, and problem-solving.
Business, system, information, security, application, and technology architecture are all included in solution architecture. Developing cloud infrastructure for efficiency, integrating microservices for eCommerce, and establishing security measures for data, systems, and networks are all instances of solutions architecture. While the work scope varies depending on the demands of the company, solutions architects must meet certain responsibilities, abilities, and credentials in order to be hired.
Responsibilities of a solutions architect
While job qualifications and responsibilities differ depending on the firm or industry, the following are the common expectations of a solutions architect:
Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 8 – Team Building
- Digital Product Managers
- Security & Risk Advisors
- Internal Communications
- System Integrators
- Chief Experience Officers
- Compliance Specialists Including Digital Ethics
- Project Managers
- Cloud Specialists
- Organizational Development (HR)
- Vendor Managers
- Data Analysts
- Solutions Architects
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Leading IT Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Leading IT Transformation Specialist (ALITTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Leading IT Transformation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
“Digital Transformation Comes Down to Talent in 4 Key Areas
Thomas H. Davenport and Thomas C. Redman
May 21, 2020
Harvard Business Review
Over the years we’ve participated in, advised on, or studied hundreds of digital transformations. In doing so, we’ve gained a perspective on just how difficult true digital transformation really is and what it takes to succeed. Digital transformation is not for the faint of heart — the unfortunate reality is that, to date, many such efforts, like transformation programs in general, have failed.
Success requires bringing together and coordinating a far greater range of effort than most leaders appreciate. A poor showing in any one of four inter-related domains — technology, data, process, or organizational change capability — can scuttle an otherwise well-conceived transformation. The really important stuff, from creating and communicating a compelling vision, to crafting a plan and adjusting it on the fly, to slogging through the details, is all about people.
More than anything else, digital transformation requires talent. Indeed, assembling the right team of technology, data, and process people who can work together — with a strong leader who can bring about change — may be the single most important step that a company contemplating digital transformation can take. Of course, even the best talent does not guarantee success. But a lack of it almost guarantees failure.
Let’s explore the talent needed in each of the four domains in turn.
From the Internet of Things, to blockchain, to data lakes, to artificial intelligence, the raw potential of emerging technologies is staggering. And while many of these are becoming easier to use, understanding how any particular technology contributes to transformational opportunity, adapting that technology to the specific needs of the business, and integrating it with existing systems is extremely complex. Complicating matters, most companies have enormous technical debt — embedded legacy technologies that are difficult to change. You can only resolve these issues with people who have technological depth and breadth, and the ability to work hand-in-hand with the business.
Challenging as these difficulties are, an even more critical issue is that many business people have lost faith in their IT department’s ability to drive major change, as many IT functions are primarily focused on “keeping the lights on.” Eventually, however, digital transformation must incorporate institutional IT, so rebuilding trust is essential. This means that technologists must provide, and demonstrate, business value with every technology innovation. Thus, leaders of the technology domain must be great communicators, and they must have the strategic sense to make technological choices that balance innovation and dealing with technical debt.
The unfortunate reality is that at many companies today most data is not up to basic standards, and the rigors of transformation require much better data quality and analytics. Transformation almost certainly involves understanding new types of unstructured data (e.g., a driver-supplied picture of damage to a car), massive quantities of data external to your company, leveraging proprietary data, and integrating everything together, all while shedding enormous quantities of data that have never been (and never will be) used. Data presents an interesting paradox: Most companies know data is important and they know quality is bad, yet they waste enormous resources by failing to put the proper roles and responsibilities in place. They often blame their IT functions for all these failures.
As with technology, you need talent with both great breadth and depth in data. Even more important is the ability to convince large numbers of people at the front lines of organizations to take on new roles as data customers and data creators. This means thinking through and communicating the data they need now and the data they’ll need after transformation. It also means helping front-line workers to improve their own work processes and tasks such that they create data correctly.
Transformation requires an end-to-end mindset, a rethinking of ways to meet customer needs, seamless connection of work activities, and the ability to manage across silos going forward. A process orientation is a natural fit with these needs. But many have found process management — horizontally, across silos, and focused on customers — difficult to reconcile with traditional hierarchical thinking. As a result, this powerful concept has languished. Without it, transformation is reduced to a series of incremental improvements — important and helpful, but not truly transformative.
In building talent in this domain look for the ability to “herd cats” — aligning silos in the direction of the customer to improve existing processes and design new ones, and a strategic sense to know when incremental process improvement is sufficient and when radical process reengineering is necessary.”
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Frontiers in Psychology
“Preparing Workplaces for Digital Transformation: An Integrative Review and Framework of Multi-Level Factors
The rapid advancement of new digital technologies, such as smart technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, robotics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), is fundamentally changing the nature of work and increasing concerns about the future of jobs and organizations. To keep pace with rapid disruption, companies need to update and transform business models to remain competitive. Meanwhile, the growth of advanced technologies is changing the types of skills and competencies needed in the workplace and demanded a shift in mindset among individuals, teams and organizations. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization trends, while heightening the importance of employee resilience and well-being in adapting to widespread job and technological disruption. Although digital transformation is a new and urgent imperative, there is a long trajectory of rigorous research that can readily be applied to grasp these emerging trends. Recent studies and reviews of digital transformation have primarily focused on the business and strategic levels, with only modest integration of employee-related factors.
Our review article seeks to fill these critical gaps by identifying and consolidating key factors important for an organization’s overarching digital transformation. We reviewed studies across multiple disciplines and integrated the findings into a multi-level framework. At the individual level, we propose five overarching factors related to effective digital transformation among employees: technology adoption; perceptions and attitudes toward technological change; skills and training; workplace resilience and adaptability, and work-related wellbeing. At the group-level, we identified three factors necessary for digital transformation: team communication and collaboration; workplace relationships and team identification, and team adaptability and resilience. Finally, at the organizational-level, we proposed three factors for digital transformation: leadership; human resources, and organizational culture/climate. Our review of the literature confirms that multi-level factors are important when planning for and embarking on digital transformation, thereby providing a framework for future research and practice.
The rapid advancement of digital technologies such as smart technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, robotics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is fundamentally changing the nature of work and organizations. Collectively termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2015) or Industry 4.0, the speed and scale of current technological change are raising concerns about the extent to which new technologies will radically transform workplaces or displace workers altogether (Acemoglu and Autor, 2011; Frey and Osborne, 2013; Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014). The impact of digital disruption on labor markets remains contested, with some predicting substantial job losses through automation within a short time period (Frey and Osborne, 2013; McKinsey and Company, 2017). Others paint a more optimistic picture, predicting that as many new jobs will be created by new technologies as are displaced (Arntz et al., 2017). Nonetheless, the effects of digitalization are already being felt across a number of job roles and industries (Skog et al., 2018) and it is clear that organizations need to integrate new technologies and transform business models to remain competitive (Sebastian et al., 2017). Despite significant academic attention on how digital technology is disrupting job tasks and occupations (e.g., Acemoglu and Autor, 2011; Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014), there is less understanding of how workers and organizations can best respond to disruptive technological change. A central concern is how to bolster employee and organizational resilience to disruption from new technologies.
Although digital transformation is a new and urgent imperative, there is a long trajectory of rigorous research across multiple disciplines that can readily be applied to grasp these emerging trends. The impact of technology in the workplace has been studied for several decades (Davis, 1989; Orlikowski, 1992) and has its origins in information systems, psychology, and sociology (Venkatesh et al., 2003), alongside contributions from organizational behavior, management and communications (Huber, 1990; Dewett and Jones, 2001; Orlikowski, 2010). Recently, there has been sharp increase in studies from business and strategic information systems (Matt et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016), human resources (Bondarouk et al., 2017; Marler and Boudreau, 2017), and healthcare (Agarwal et al., 2010; Burton-Jones et al., 2020), suggesting that digital disruption is increasing in a wider variety of industries and occupations.
In light of the scope and scale of digital transformation we are currently witnessing and the wellspring of diverse and valuable academic perspectives that have emerged to make sense of these changes, we believe that an evidence review of relevant literature is especially timely. Furthermore, we seek to lend greater coherence to our overall understanding of this fast-evolving landscape by taking an integrative approach that seeks to draw linkages across different disciplinary approaches. Hence, we have reviewed studies across disciplines and organized their findings into a holistic, multi-level framework. Our framework identifies and consolidates key factors critical for an organization’s overarching digital transformation at the individual, group, and organizational levels.
Key Dimensions of Digital Transformation
There is a clear business case for digital transformation. By integrating new technologies into strategic processes, digital transformation aims to change business operations, processes, and services (Matt et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016). In turn, these new digital capabilities can improve performance and expand products, services and customer bases (Westerman et al., 2014; Verhoef et al., 2019), leading to increased sales and profits (Warner and Wäger, 2019). There is consensus that industry-leaders in innovation and digital transformation have a greater competitive advantage and can attract a wider range of customers and employees (Berman, 2012; Chanias et al., 2019). Moreover, organizations that are more responsive to market trends and can adapt quickly to customer demands will also have the “first choice of talent, partners and resources” (Berman, 2012, p. 22). Indeed, competing for skilled employees is often cited as a key challenge to industry and workforce digital transformation (Karacay, 2018). In this way, digital transformation is not only about technology (Kane et al., 2015) but requires a focus on employee factors, alongside shifts in organizational strategy, structures, and processes (Hess et al., 2016).
Digital transformation is a more recent academic concept, although it draws on previous theories of IT-enabled change (Besson and Rowe, 2012; Wessel et al., 2020). While digital transformation is similar to other organizational change processes (e.g., Orlikowski, 1992; Weick and Quinn, 1999), it is a distinct form of organizational change (Hess et al., 2016; Vial, 2019; Wessel et al., 2020). Studies of IT-enabled transformation have identified various factors in the change process, such as organizational inertia, process, agency, and performance (Venkatesh, 2000; Kim and Kankanhalli, 2009; Besson and Rowe, 2012). While prior theory on IT-enabled change can inform the study of digital transformation, recent research suggests that digital transformation is a process of deep, structural change that occurs through the integration of multiple technologies and fundamentally redefines organizational value and identity (Besson and Rowe, 2012; Skog et al., 2018; Wessel et al., 2020).
Defined as a process that “aims to improve an entity by triggering significant changes to its properties through combinations of information, computing, communication, and connectivity technologies” (Vial, 2019, p. 121), digital transformation can occur at the organizational or broader entity-level. However, in contrast to other forms of technological change, digital transformation differs in terms of its scale, speed, and scope (Matt et al., 2015; Hess et al., 2016). When viewed as a process, digital transformation includes three main stages (Verhoef et al