June 21, 2017
In the 21st century, the role of the technologist and digital transformation go hand in hand. Digital transformation can feel like a major hurdle, with so many new strategies, solutions and technologies to understand and leverage. Thankfully, when working with PointSource, we provide a group of specialists to help our clients navigate these challenges.
The Role of A Technologist in Digital Transformation
The role of technologist within the context of upfront strategy conversations and user-focused solutions is not well known beyond suggesting a platform or a stack to build on. However, that’s likely to change as the role evolves in tandem with digital capabilities and solutions. Like an expert guide, the technologist helps connect organizations with the digital-ready solutions that enable and deliver on strategy. Our Technologists have the insider knowledge to drive full potential from your future investments.
The 5 W’s of Technologists
- Who: A technologist, as the name predicts, combines ample technology experience with an aptitude for strategy and user engagement. Technologists are many times playing the relatively new role of Digital Architect and are the user-focused technology solutions expert throughout the entire digital transformation process – from initial ideation to consultation to first deliverables and later iterations on the solution. While tech specialists used to be operationally-minded and focused on supporting institutions and the systems that power them from the back end, the technologist is now heavily involved in tech strategy and its impact on user-centric solutions.
- What: Technologists think about possible ways to accomplish a strategy roadmap using technology. Strategy is a very open-minded thought process, and the technologist provides check and balances about what is and isn’t possible, whether financially or in terms of other capabilities, for stakeholders with less tech acumen. The technologist is not a brick wall of no’s, but rather serves as a reality check and highlights the tradeoffs of each technology decisions based on industry trends, unique business goals, vendor comparisons and more.
- Where: As part of the strategy team, the technologist is involved in many stages of the tech exploration, purchasing and execution processes. From the beginning, a technologist may research competing technology solutions or participate in proofs of technology and/or concept to see what’s feasible and realistic. For example, a technologist may be tasked with the creation of a migration roadmap for an on-premise to cloud solution, including the context of why that move would be better for the end user’s experience (speed, scalability, reliability, etc.), as well as the more traditional role of creating internal efficiencies with existing systems.
The technologist should also be highly involved when designing concepts and prototyping solutions. Here, the technologist may adopt more of architectural role and focus on metrics like timelines, costs, potential iterations and more. As always, even when acting as architect or engineer, the technologist will still be the voice of reason and offer a comparative analysis of potential solutions and frameworks.
- When: Technologists play a key role when a business is about to be disrupted via digital transformation. While some of a technologist’s most important tasks come prior to investment decisions, the technologist role continues as a mediator between strategies and solutions. Technology must understand a company’s holistic strategy (marketing, sales, etc.) and vice versa to drive maximum value and to provide the strongest user experience possible. Technologists are extremely valuable at this juncture and maintain a collaborative work environment where all parties know how their individual contributions impact the greater whole.
- Why: Simply put, technologists ensure technologies enable strategy, and that real people can effectively use these solutions. Most strategy companies provide the overall vision and concept art, which are an essential to earning organizational buy-in. But it’s the technologist who turns that vision into a user-centric reality, championing the end-user experience, which, according to our recent report, can be the missing link for some organizations.
The role of technologist will only become better defined as digital transformation itself finds mainstream popularity. And, as technologists find their place as a stakeholder of strategic decisions enabled by technology, the capabilities they can provide will grow in leaps and bounds. As their value increases, so too will the expectations placed on technologies to enable successful execution of digital transformation.
And of course, we can’t forget the how.
PointSource’s team of technologists uses our unique approach to digital transformation to develop a one-of-a-kind strategy with your organization in mind. Finding out just what that “how” looks like starts with you.