5 keys to reskilling IT for digital transformation

To truly transform, legacy staff must learn new skills in support of new technologies and business objectives. Here’s how to motivate and train for digital success.

As a seasoned CIO Scott Laverty has learned a thing or two about assessing IT’s limitations and needs. So when Laverty signed on as executive vice president and CIO of Shane Co. three years ago to launch a digital overhaul of the jewelry chain, “We made sure we were not only thinking about what skillsets we needed in-house, but also what we needed to add,” he says.

Too often, “I have seen people try to screw in software and try to use the people they have without thinking about, ‘What do I need to do to use the tool I put in?’” says Laverty, who previously held CIO positions at JCPenny and Borders.

First up was transforming a homegrown .NET website to one that was mobile responsive and would have an “omni-channel view for millennials,’’ he says. That meant deploying a new ecommerce platform and a set of tools and improving Shane’s data by building a data lake in Hadoop. Laverty’s IT department includes 42 people in the U.S. and another 20 overseas to manage 21 stores around the U.S. and an e-store.

“That’s a lot for a small company to take on,’’ he says of the $330 million company, a division of Western Stone and Metal.

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