Our annual organizational and staffing survey of digital professionals heralds change in 2016. The meteoric growth in digital team sizes has plateaued, and as line-of-business teams take on responsibility for digital execution and technology management teams step up to manage digital development, the nature, makeup and role of the digital team is shifting. The demand for skills like analytics, customer experience and product management is growing as digital teams take on end-to-end ownership of their firm’s digital experience. Our latest report, Trends 2016: Staffing And Hiring For Digital Business, outlines the key organizational trends and benchmarks for digital teams in the coming year.

Our key findings from the survey are:

  • Headcount Growth Plateaus As Operating Model Shifts. Digital headcount growth has plateaued, with teams averaging 94 people, down from 95 in 2014 and 103 in 2013. As technology and line-of-business teams step up to the digital plate, digital teams focus their resources on strategy and governance, channeling execution headcount into operational teams.
  • Technology Skills Aren’t The Biggest Headache Anymore. Technology skills are still hard to find, but roles like analytics and product management are increasingly vital, and much harder to source. As the role of digital teams shift from being operators and executors to strategists and coaches guiding line of business teams as they embrace digital, so to does the nature of the skills in digital teams. This way of operating demands more strategic and consultative skills than operational or technical specialists.
  • Reorganizations Loom. The drive for customer obsession and better cross-functional collaboration will necessitate fundamental reorganizations that challenge old product and channel structures. Progressive digital teams will initiate these discussions in their firms in 2016. Look at House of Fraser in the UK. 2015 was a transformative year for House of Fraser. Its customer-centric reorganization broke down the old siloed structure, blending on- and offline marketing, category, merchandizing and supply chain teams and creating a digital product management and delivery team.

Digital teams are under pressure. Digital is now a boardroom topic, line-of-business teams are becoming more digitally proficient, technology teams are embracing front-end development, the pace of change is increasing, and there are more technologies to master. Your old way of working is being challenged.

It’s up to you to lead the change.