Digital Disruption is Real. We feel the impacts of this disruption daily i.e. think booking a cab or ordering food using a mobile app, online banking and hotel booking. New technologies introduced by organizations as part of their transformation initiatives, have brought about fundamental changes to businesses in terms of strategy, operations and the overall customer experience. As more organizations go in for wide transformation initiatives and with the stark reminder that only about 30% of these transformation initiatives are successful, it is important to acknowledge that while business analysts are critical to an organizations success their role is undoubtedly evolving.
Let’s look at how this role is changing:
As more organizations develop their digital footprint, the concept of a Digital Business Analyst is quickly picking up pace. This changing landscape brought on by transformation, demands that business analysts focus on digital-era competencies i.e. strong business knowledge, data strategy, a mindset aligned towards design thinking and value as opposed to one strongly based on requirements management.
Business analysts who can hone their digital competencies and transition to digital business analyst roles will provide maximum business value given their knowledge of the business and their understanding of digital technology. They will able to articulate the transformational change in business terms to stakeholders and help them understand how various aspects of the digital transformation will affect them i.e. how the new technology or digital platform works, scope and impact of change and which legacy processes or workflows need to be redefined to be compatible with the new transformation initiative.
Digital transformation is all about user experience. Traditionally business analysts relied on internal stakeholder feedback to guide business needs, but digital business analyst’s need to shift that focus towards customer experience and use that to guide business needs. Adopting an ‘Outside-in’ approach along with analyzing available data will also help understand the customer and their pain points. Using this information to map the ‘Customers Journey’ helps create a holistic picture of the change needed, helps with creation of user stories to support product development and helps the business analyst recommend optimal and viable solutions for the customer.
We cannot underestimate the importance of technology – does this mean a digital business analyst should learn the nuances of code? No, however a firm understanding of the technical challenges confronting the customer and being able to assist in recommending and implementing the optimal process, technology and solution to meet the business need is key.
Digital transformation projects are based on agility. Protyping and playbacks are key in delivery and business analysts need to be able to deliver value early in the process. Very often the change requested is large and the impact is felt across functional areas. It is up to the digital business analyst to reimagine processes and determine how these align with the big picture. It’s interesting to note that while there is a lot of talk about digital transformation, the focus is often on going digital i.e. technology and less on the overall transformation which goes hand in hand and which is just as important – A digital business analyst helps by ensuring that the focus is on holistic change with attention to people, processes and technology.
It’s time to ride the high wave of transformation and use digital disruption as an opportunity to become digital business analysts, strategists and design thinkers. It’s all about upskilling to stay relevant.
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