Why you must put non-tech execs at the heart of digital transformation

Russell Ferris, CEO of Weatherbys, on the only method that works
Russell Ferris
Pic of the author Russell Frerris

The process of digital transformation is not solely a technical endeavour; it is an infinite game that requires creative thinking, effective communication, behaviour change and innovative problem-solving. 

Transforming organisation into a digital-first entity with industry leading digital capabilities presents a particular set of challenges. The technical aspect of change is well ordered and documented – yet the people side is often much more difficult to manage.  

Winning over the people is critical in achieving a successful change project. What’s more, only a diverse coalition of skills will deliver successful digital change - not just technical know-how.

Non-tech people typically offer fresh perspectives, alternative approaches and a unique insight to winning hearts and minds. Creating a collaborative environment that includes non-tech individuals, organisations can explore novel opportunities, untapped markets, and discover creative thinking that goes beyond the boundaries of the technological.

Embracing the synergy between technology and human is key to thriving in the digital landscape. Here are four essential and key skills non-tech people bring to change projects. 

Change Management and Adoption

Digital transformation is not just about implementing new technologies; it entails a significant cultural shift within organizations. Non-tech individuals are essential in managing this change and facilitating smooth adoption. Their expertise in communication, leadership, and stakeholder management enables them to bridge the gap between technical teams and other departments. They can address concerns, provide training, and create a supportive environment for employees transitioning to digital systems. Non-tech people play a crucial role in driving organizational buy-in, ensuring widespread adoption, and maximizing the benefits of digital transformation.

User-Centric Approach

Non-tech people often represent the end-users, customers, or employees who directly engage with the digital systems and solutions being implemented. Their involvement ensures a user-centric approach, allowing for better understanding of user needs, pain points and expectations. By incorporating their perspectives, organisations can design and develop digital solutions that are intuitive, user-friendly, and cater to the diverse needs of different user groups. Non-tech people can provide valuable feedback during the design and testing phases, leading to improved user experiences and increased adoption rates.

Process Optimisation

While technology enables digital transformation, non-tech individuals possess deep knowledge and expertise in specific business areas. Their understanding of industry practices, customer behaviour, and operational workflows is invaluable when optimising processes for digital integration. By involving non-tech people, organisations can identify inefficiencies, streamline operations, and leverage technology to enhance productivity and competitiveness. In addition, these individuals can offer insights into the unique nuances of their respective fields, ensuring that digital solutions align with business goals and drive tangible results.

Enhanced collaboration

Collaboration between different business functions is crucial for digital transformation success. Non-tech employees can bridge the gap between technical and non-technical teams, facilitating effective communication and collaboration. Fostering cross-functional understanding is key to aligning business goals and technological possibilities. 

Written by
Russell Ferris
CEO of Weatherbys
June 6, 2023