Digital leadership challenges in 2018 and beyond

Digital is the present and the future. Our world is dominated by digital images, technology, and broadcasting. As a result, the business landscape is having to evolve constantly to keep up with developments. With this in mind, we take a look at the challenges and developments that are likely to emerge for those in digital leadership over the next few years.

New legislation

May 2018 sees the new European legislation regarding data protection (GDPR) come into force. This legislation represents a significant shift in the way in which organisations must ‘look after’ the data that they hold. It also encompasses a number of points concerning consent and opting in/out. This will have quite an impact on the digital world as it means that all digital data collection points will have to be GDPR compliant. Since so much data is collected digitally, it is crucial to understand what data a given organisation is permitted to hold and how questions on contact preferences/uses of data should be phrased. Leadership teams will not only see a significant increase in the salaries of those with data protection experience but will be faced with a barrage of GDPR compliance activity streams.

Despite the obvious challenges, the GDPR legislation also presents a number of opportunities for those in digital marketing. They will need to become more innovative in order to get customers to hand over their data willingly, whilst it is also likely that those who do actively ‘opt-in’ will become increasingly receptive and loyal customers going forward.

Retaining/regaining trust

Customer scepticism is rife, with so many issues emanating from data breaches and high-profile cyber attacks through to the emergence of ‘fake’ news. Regaining the trust of the consumer and rebuilding corporate reputation is vital to businesses in every sector. Attracting and retaining staff with security experience in corporate and endpoint systems has always been a challenge, with the latest wave of attacks elevating the demand for skills in these areas.

Skills gap

An increased demand for digital staff in almost every discipline, combined with the much-publicised shortage of STEM graduates has resulted in a shortage of suitably qualified individuals. This is evident all the way from junior level through to senior/board level where many businesses are now looking to appoint a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). This role involves identifying business opportunities that emerge as the result of the digital revolution, in addition to managing changing customer needs in the light of technological advances.

Test and learn

The ability to be able to test and learn new ways of exploiting digital to business advantage is becoming ever more crucial. Boards are being asked to sign off on exploratory expenditure, with ever shorter cycle times and variable ROI models. The speed of digital development also means that new business models are being created at breakneck speed and senior teams are being forced to rethink their business models in order to maintain competitive advantage and market share.

Personalisation and ‘smart content’

Increasing emphasis is being placed on creating a personalised experience for each consumer – and this will only continue. With ‘smart content’ and effective marketing automation now prerequisites in many B2C sectors, the demand for digital staff with omni-channel experience is set to grow exponentially over the next few years.

Whilst the speed of innovation and the degree of challenge faced by today’s management teams may be unparalleled, so too are the opportunities. Why not contact our industry-leading team here at Clifford Associates to see how we can alleviate the senior digital resourcing burden facing your organisation?

 

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