Why Digital Transformation is more about People than Technology?

Digital Transformation is now becoming more urgent to business’ strategy, with many companies are willing to capitalize on the significant benefits it offers. Not only does it improve productivity and cost-saving, but it’s also a critical tactic in the face of the present COVID-19 situation and the resulting forced remote working or shopping online.

In an age where digital technologies are used in prevalent ways whereby they connect different divisions, stakeholders, goals, processes and information resources, the human factor becomes crucial than ever. Not only in digital transformation, but in operations of any company, the human aspect always determines the survival of an organization.

“If you put your workforce at the heart of any transformation, employees become agents of transformation rather than casualties.” — Britta Stutzmann

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS NOTHING IF NOT A PEOPLE BUSINESS

When it comes to Digital Transformation, many people think that modern machines and advanced technologies will be the most important thing in the transformation process. But what you should keep in mind is that, without people involved in this process of the business, there is no one setting the strategies, and without a certain understanding, this transformation will not be possible.

The biggest challenge when transforming the business is people, especially the development of talent agility. Nick Gidwani defines talent agility in an article for Pathgather as “A company’s ability to change the composition of talent inside the organization quickly and cost-effectively. It takes into account all the levers that are needed to build and develop talent: Learning & Development, acquiring and retaining talent, and engaging them.” The more adaptable your talent pool is, the better your company will be able to respond to new market issues, offer new goods and services, and stay ahead of the competition.

#1: IF PEOPLE ARE RELUCTANT TO TRANSFORM, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CAN NEVER BE DONE SUCCESSFULLY

According to Roodepoort Record, 70% of digital transformation efforts fail, most often due to resistance from employees. For some people, digital transformation fundamentally means disruption. Artificial intelligence, blockchain development, even automation: they all require us to disrupt our current processes. For many companies, this can simply be too difficult and time-consuming. Our time is taken up by a myriad of projects, activities and meetings, and many of us simply do not have the time to put effort into digitization projects.

Is it really worth it to take the risk?

That’s fundamentally up to you to decide, but consider this: If, in ten years, traditional technologies are no longer relevant and blockchain or automation is widespread, where will your company be? Can it risk falling behind and losing profit?

This isn’t meant to ignite a fear of missing out. Instead, it’s important that innovation becomes a part of your company process — no matter what you do or who you are.

Organisational alignment must start at the top and work its way down. If any part of the organisation does not recognise the value of digital transformation, change will fail to take hold. To convince the rest of the team, it’s necessary to demonstrate the benefits of changing their processes, experience, and goals.

#2: WELL-TRAINED EMPLOYEES ARE A VITAL ELEMENT TO SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

One of the most overlooked elements in digital transformation is the role of training new employees and providing ongoing professional support to existing ones. To work effectively in a digital world, employees need to understand more than just how to use the technologies provided for them in the workplace. They also need training sessions on necessary skills and the freedom to make changes to improve workflow or deliver the right outcomes to customers.

Good employee training goes beyond simply ensuring that your employees know how to do their job. It helps draw new employees into the corporate culture, so that they understand the role they play in the business as a whole and feel invested in ensuring that it succeeds. This makes them far more likely to support your plans for digital transformation, and do all they can to support them.

When done properly, with the involvement of the HR department, this produces engaged, confident employees who are able and willing to support transformation within the organisation. When done poorly, however, it can result in unengaged, unwilling workers who stick sullenly to the familiar, inefficient ways of working.

#3: THE CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT, CULTURE AND WORKLOADS WHEN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION HAPPENS

The change in management: The digitization of processes, deployments of digital solutions, strategic-cultural shifts, moving to a more customer-centric and integrated approach etc. All have a transformational impact, just as is the case for many business projects in general.

People need to learn how to collaborate, be more customer-oriented, manage their time, learn new skills and change amidst a changing digital world. However, digital technologies in the enterprise should also be adapted to them. Because change is not a walk in the park, not for business and not for the majority of people.

The workload might change: Many companies are rethinking responsibilities and even adjusting the size of their workforces as they look to the post-COVID-19 future. It’s important to help people recognize the part they’re playing and how they contribute to value creation and make sure that workloads stay truly balanced despite any reassignment that’s happening.

The work culture might shift: Remote work presents new benefits and challenges that can influence your entire company atmosphere. As part of your ongoing retention strategy, work purposely to ensure that people aren’t afraid to ask questions or challenge existing ideas and that they all stay committed to similar values and priorities.

Reinforce employees’ engagement: The link between learning, engagement, and retention is clear: Deloitte found that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organizations. You will need to find new ways to ensure that people are interested and happy even when not in the office and subsequently want to participate in work activities.

References:

  • Article: Why Digital Transformation is More About People Than Technology? By Priya Merchant
  • Article: The Importance of Human in Digital transformation
  • Blog: THE PEOPLE BUSINESS: WHY SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS RELY ON THE HUMAN FACTOR
  • Blog: Three Reasons We Resist Digitalization and How To Combat Our Fear by Kerry Clarke-Potter
  • Blog: Why digital transformation should begin with employee training
  • Article: 70% of organisations’ digital transformations fail — here’s why — Roodepoort Record

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