Headcount Grows Again As The Hard Work Of Digital Transformation Kicks In

Every year we run a staffing and hiring survey of what used to be “eBusiness” professionals. I say “used to” because increasingly we find that eBusiness teams have morphed into “Digital Business” teams. Why? Well teams are under an increasing set of pressures, including:


  • A mandate to drive strategic change throughout the organization. Seventy two percent of firms surveyed are executing on digital transformation, and that tables the topic of digital with the C-Suite. Digital business leaders now have more strategic responsibility and must wield stronger influence with their executive peers and leaders.
  • An increasing scope of ownership that is pulling them in different directions. To create connected, relevant customer experiences, digital business leaders are taking responsibility for functions they traditionally didn’t own. Traditionally sovereign experiences, like customer service and even physical touchpoints like retail stores and bank branches, face an imminent re-org under the digital umbrella.
  • A sprawling digital experience technology landscape. Digital business teams are grappling with tech sprawl, so it’s no surprise that “ease of integration” is their number one requirement. Forrester’s DX platform research identifies eight overlapping ecosystems composed of dozens of discrete technologies. Its no longer just about the shopping cart.

In response, digital business leaders are (yet again) evaluating their organization structures to bring in the skills they need to transform themselves. In practice, this means they’re:


  • Evolving their operating model to manage wider and deeper digital engagement.
  • Increasing headcount to drive transformation.
  • Overhauling collaboration efforts to engage partners and customers in digital design.


Our latest staffing and hiring report addresses the above trends and shows that the average head count for digital business teams is up 19% from 2015, and that federated organizational models get the popular vote for the ideal operating state. Iterative development, cross-functional teams led by product owners and flexible workspaces are all on the agenda.


Read it to see how your digital business team stacks up for 2017.


Data ownership

I think digital transformation isn't something that you can do to staff- they have to do it themselves. Each person must own and navigate their digital transformation journey personally first. Then, this enhanced skill base will then translate into better digital business decisions across all functions, not relying on those made by an overstretched and overreaching digital business team.

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