What is Digital Transformation?

  • By Christian Payne
  • Stories

I have been recruiting IT professionals for over 16 years, and in the past few years, I have become more involved and focused within the digital transformation space. I recruit to some great companies. So, I decided to put together a little article on my take on Digital Transformation, a recruiter’s perspective, and share my thoughts!

So, what is it? –, Digital Transformation is where companies utilize technology to a significant extent to develop their services. It is putting digital at the core of a company and using data and analytics to support and drive business decisions.

It is a company’s mission to evolve, gain competitive advantage, and using technology to achieve this. Then in practice, a digital team or teams are integrated into the organization.

This digital drive requires teams of staff specifically focused on the digital agenda, and this will often require hiring new staff. This is where I come in, I help companies staff their digital journey.

Here is a quick definition of the 3 digital terms:

Digitization – The process of converting information into digital/computer format.

Digitalization – is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.

Digital Transformation – This is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.

So, what type of positions are typically hired within digital teams, or ‘hubs’?

Different companies will, of course, have different setups tailored best to their business, size, and industry. The bigger the company/digital team, generally the more specialized individuals you have, and can have variants of each role type. Here I will generalize some of the main core positions you would most likely find in a digital set-up:

  • CDO (Chief Digital Officer) or Head of Digital – this is where you would typically start, by getting on board the key accountable for digital change/growth. The CDO has the overall decision and direction, the whole process of the digital transformation, and is responsible for the entire consumer digital experience of the company.
  • Product Director / Product Manager / Product Owner – The Product Director is typically responsible for a key business line or product and has accountability for its product planning, development, and delivery. The Product Manager defines the why, when and what of the product.
  • Scrum Master – The Scrum Master is the facilitator in an Agile development team. This person ensures the team lives the agile values and principles, under the Scrum methodology challenging the team to continually improve the development process. The Scrum Master is often referred to as having a ‘servant leader’ mindset, meaning one who serves their team, an enabler.
  • UX Director – The User Experience Director or Lead has the overall responsibility of the user experience, meaning the consumers touchpoints of the company. UX is key to a company’s product strategy.
  • Agile Coach – The Agile Coach is an expert in Agile, who implements Agile projects and shares/coaches their experience with Project Teams. They oversee the development of agile teams and ensure effective implementation of the Agile process within organizations. There are also Agile Delivery Leads and an Agile PMO.
  • Data Scientist – The Data Scientist is the one who knows how to extract all the data, and the technical skills to solve all the problems. This person is part mathematician, part computer scientist, and a big data expert.
  • Analytics Analyst (AA) / Data Analyst – Analytics, and the study of data, and using this data to drive business decisions is a key function within a digital-driven organization. It is the design and implementation of models and systems to harness the power of data and analytics.

There are various other roles, hybrids, and key job functions that make up the digital hub of a company, however, this just highlights some of them.

Recruiting for Digital Transformation

As you can see from the above positions I listed, a lot of these positions are relatively new, role profiles are changing with technology. Therefore, companies that invest in a major digital transformation are likely to need to hire.

My role as a recruiter is to help companies in building their digital team(s). I get involved either internally by working inhouse for the hiring phases of digital growth, or I can also help clients remotely as an external headhunter. This is also a good description of what my company, Payne Search, does. We hire for digital transformations, and we either do this onsite/in-house, or as an external search process.

I love being a ‘Digital Recruiter’! Every day is a continuous learning process, and I am always growing my network and meeting great people. I really thrive in being a part of a company’s decision-making process, identifying the ‘as is’ and mapping out the ‘to-be’. I absolutely look forward to helping many companies on their digital transformation journey.  So, if you are a company looking to hire digital talent, or a digital talent yourself, please connect with me! You can add me here on LinkedIn, and also my email is christian@paynesearch.com.

Please sign up for our monthly Digital newsletter!

I am about to start a monthly newsletter (the first edition goes out December 1st) that is specifically for the digital space. The content is likely to consist of a blog from me, some articles on key digital topics from ‘the experts’, knowledge sharing, and then some great digital job opportunities. This will be my first attempt at a newsletter, so I will look forward to getting feedback from the community and will be improving and tweaking as we go along (in true Agile style!).

So, if you have made it to the end of this article, I truly thank you for showing interest! Please do sign up to the Payne Search monthly Digital newsletter here: https://paynesearch.com/newsletter/

Digitally thanking you!

Christian Payne