Column: “Digital Transformation – Opportunities for Business School Students” by Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi, Faculty, SME, Shiv Nadar University & IIM Calcutta PhD

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
March 23, 2022
With growing focus and investment in digitization of businesses, there is also a greater demand of talent to drive these initiatives. As the scope of digital transformation is enterprise wide, relevant talent is required across departments and levels. In this column, subject matter expert Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi, Faculty at SME, Shiv Nadar University has listed most popular job roles for MBAs.
Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi, Faculty, SME, Shiv Nadar University

With growing focus and investment in digitization of businesses, there is also a greater demand of talent to drive the digital transformation initiatives. As the scope of digital transformation is enterprise wide, relevant talent is required across departments and levels. In this exclusive MBAUniverse.com column, Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi, Faculty at SME, Shiv Nadar University has listed most popular job roles related to digital transformation that are being offered by the firms to management professionals, with a brief discussion of the skills required for these roles. Dr. Vamsi is a subject matter expert with a PhD from IIM Calcutta and rich industry experience in MIS and IT domains. This column is not just useful for management graduates, but also faculty and academic leadership as they align their curriculum and pedagogy to digital business trends.

Digital Transformation – Opportunities for Business School Students
By Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi 
Assistant Professor, Department of Decision Sciences, Operations Management, and Information Systems, School of Management and Entrepreneurship (SME), Shiv Nadar University Delhi NCR.

“Digital transformation is more about humans than digital.”
                                                        - Brian Solis, VP, Salesforce

There is common consensus among business leaders regarding the importance of digital technologies in today’s business world. Firms across industries and geographies are investing heavily to fundamentally improve the process of value creation for customers as well as their own internal operations, a phenomenon which has come to be known as “Digital Transformation”. The importance of digital transformation can be inferred from the fact that direct investment made on digital transformation by firms across the globe, between 2020 and 2023, is expected to be more than $6.8 trillion, which is more than twice the market cap of the world’s most valuable firm.

With growing focus and investment, there is also a greater demand of talent to drive the digital transformation initiatives. As the scope of digital transformation is enterprise wide, it should not be surprising that relevant talent is required across departments and levels. And indeed, with high demand and lower supply, premium salaries are commanded by these professionals. From the perspective of students and job seekers, it presents a great opportunity.

In this regard, I have listed the 4 most popular job roles related to digital transformation that are being offered by the firms to management professionals, with a brief discussion of the skills required for these roles.

Consultant
A quick search on any job portal for MBA jobs invariably returns a host of business consulting jobs. Not surprisingly, many of these are digital transformation consultant jobs. Digital transformation consultants perform one of the two tasks. First, they develop an actionable strategic plan on how to go through the process of digital transformation in an organization. And second, they suggest process improvements using the modern digital technologies.

In terms of skills, digital transformation consultants are expected to have good business knowledge and intuition, people management skills, excellent written and verbal communication, creative thought process and knowledge of the capabilities offered by the digital technologies.

Product Management
Product Management as a discipline has been there since the earlier part of the 20th century. Its importance nevertheless has increased in the last few years with the rise of digital ecosystem. With the customer touch points gradually turning digital (E.g. more people using banking apps than visiting the branches), the importance of managing customer experience over the digital touch points has also increased. This has led to the creation of new job roles of (digital) product managers in both new and traditional firms. Product managers in these firms are expected to “own” the products and continuously enhance and improve them corresponding to the business needs and customer expectations.

Skills required for product management include creative and innovative thinking, a broad understanding of how the product interacts with other tech systems, excellent interpersonal skills, A/B testing to continuously improve the product and empathy to view the product from the customer’s perspective.

Analytics Roles
Analytics has been a buzz word in corporate circles over the last decade. With growing digitization, continuously improving computing infrastructure and emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), importance of analytics is only expected to increase. Contrary to what many believe, analytics is more than just Math / Stats / Tech. A good business acumen and storytelling ability is considered as important, if not more, for an analytics professional as the knowledge of algorithms and languages like SQL or Python. And indeed, several firms prefer business school students for analytics roles. A typical job role of an analytics professional with a business school background involves liaising between the functional teams (like marketing) and data analysts or scientists. Generally, but not always, the job role is titled “Business Analyst”.

Skills required to ace these jobs include good analytical ability and business acumen, knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of tools and techniques used in analytics, excellent verbal and written communication and critical thinking.

Technology roles
As may be expected, a number of job roles related to digital transformation are associated with managing the required technology infrastructure. While most of these roles are bagged by software engineers (E.g. Data engineers and architects, cloud professionals, app / web developers etc.), a few project management roles (E.g. Scrum Master) are sometimes offered to business school students. Students with a prior work experience in IT roles are the ones generally considered for these roles.

Time management, short and long term planning, adherence to deadlines, interpersonal skills, understanding of agile project methodology and a broad knowledge of technical issues involved in the project are the key skills required for these roles.

To conclude, there are ample opportunities in the world of digital transformation for business school students. If they acquire the right set of skills, they can easily land a lucrative job. And with digital being the new normal, they can have a very promising career. It’s worth a shot to aim for it.

About the Author
Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi is the Assistant Professor at the Department of Decision Sciences, Operations Management, and Information Systems at School of Management and Entrepreneurship (SME), Shiv Nadar University Delhi NCR. He completed PhD in Management (Management Information Systems in Management, Management Information Systems) from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. His dissertation title was ‘Understanding Influencers and Influential Content in Electronic Word of Mouth – An Analytics Approach’. Dr. Vallurupalli Vamsi also holds a B.Tech. in IT area. He has a strong expertise in descriptive and predictive modelling techniques using tools such as Python, R, SPSS Modeler and SQL. He has worked with leading companies including HCL, Infosys and SBI.

School of Management & Entrepreneurship (SME) at Delhi NCR based Shiv Nadar University (SNU) is developing a New Age MBA that is geared for the Digital Economy. Led by Dean Dr Bibek Banerjee, former IIM Ahmedabad Faculty and Director General of IMT Ghaziabad Group, SME at SNU has taken many bold steps – for instance 70% of its curriculum is focused on how business is done (or going to be done) in the new digital world. The school offers a comprehensive suite of degree programs in management including PhD and Executive PhD, Bachelor of Management Studies, MBA Executive and the 2-year MBA. Shiv Nadar MBA Admission 2022 is currently open. Apply Now

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