The 2 Components of Digitalisation: Technology and People

In this article VP of Ecosystems (International) at Salesforce, Stuart Mills discusses the two components of digitalisation: technology and people.

When I first started leveraging the Salesforce Platform 14 years ago, I remember being wowed by the fact that a platform that was so easy to use could have such a big impact on my sales teams. And although we started simply, we quickly moved towards solving more and more complex challenges, including creating one of the first Google Maps integrations to visualise our global project portfolio. 

Today, the Salesforce Platform is a much more mature suite. The core has had 42 major innovation releases since I started using it, and we now include Tableau, Mulesoft and soon to be Slack capabilities in our offerings. However, what was true 14 years ago is still true today: 

“The technology is amazing and the power of digitisation can be truly transformative – but only if the people who implement and run the platform have the skills and experience to make the most of it.”

Technology needs to be deployed effectively

Technology is the great enabler – making businesses faster, more agile, more connected and more resilient. It can empower teams, help create new experiences and re-imagine entire workplaces. Salesforce is focussed on developing technology that anyone can start using immediately, but which can also be scaled to power incredibly ambitious projects. 

In order to be truly effective, all technology – even the accessible platform that Salesforce builds – needs to be deployed correctly. Salesforce suggests a great set of transformation plays and highlights the need to change mindsets, connect silos, and centre around the end customer.  In a recent study, 73% of Salesforce customers saw improvement in speed to implementation, and 70% saw improvement in time to realise ROI after implementation. 

Those numbers are good – but they can be even better. Just how do the best in class organisations get these returns? It’s simple: by investing in people.

Investing in people is key 

In order to deliver the most impactful transformation, we need to have the right people in place. This means a team that’s diverse, experienced and highly skilled.

I love the messages in David Marquet’s book Turn the Ship Around! He inspires the empowerment of engaged people and leadership at all levels. Salesforce encourages leaders to release energy, intellect, and passion in everyone around them to deliver on the opportunity of digitisation. 

To help we’re providing the Trailhead learning and engagement platform to skill up workers and lots of programs with partners. We’re guiding teams into excellent project work through best practices such as those in our 360 guides. We’re guiding customers to the key roles they need so they can staff appropriately – we’ll talk about this more in the second blog in this series.

A crucial challenge we’re all faced with is helping employers and professionals find each other at the right time. We’ll talk about this more in the third blog in this series but here’s a snapshot….

How is Salesforce tackling the skills gap?

It may sound simple, but skills development – and addressing the so called “skills gap” – is a recurring topic within the technology industry, especially in an era where workforce agility is key. Just look at the WEF paper on youth employment.

The accessibility of Salesforce’s technology mirrors the accessible career opportunities our Ecosystem offers, careers which also grow with an individual’s ambition. 

Here are some of the ways we’re trying to connect talent with opportunity:

  • We’re working with partners to create new opportunities through the Salesforce Talent Alliance
  • We’re working hand in hand with organisations that focus on workforce development
  • We collaborate with programmes that offer apprenticeships (this one with QA for example). 
  • We provide grants, licenses and volunteers to help young people and communities unlock world-class learning opportunities.

And, of course, we’re always looking for the chance to help more. At Salesforce we’re always trying to raise the bar – for new tchnologies, for the customer experience, for communication, and for learning. 

Check out the second article in this series, where I explore the key job roles which are emerging to support the digital-future: Realising the Potential of Digitisation – Key Roles

You can read Stuart’s #SalesforceQA, where he talks about the importance of networking and offers his top tips for others looking to navigate a career in the ecosystem.


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