Digital Transformation: How do we capture its true value?

Posted on July 4 , 2021. 
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Digital transformation is often misconstrued as merely a system update or a side project taken on by a business. Although some may regard organisational change as little more than a necessary chore, such a view fails to appreciate its full value. When done right, digital transformation can overturn the standard business model, kicking off an exciting and complex journey for everyone in your workforce.

For an increasing number of companies, this journey has already begun. According to a McKinsey global survey of executives, the current pandemic has accelerated digitisation strategies by up to four years, with this pattern expected to continue moving forward. The resulting business innovations, taking full advantage of advanced communications technology, have begun to shake up traditional value chains.

Digital transformation unlocks new and varied growth opportunities, with plenty of room for creativity. Yet it also involves some hurdles that could make success difficult to achieve.

People problems

Digital disruption only works when personnel embrace its key principles. According to a 2020 report by IFS, more than a quarter of global companies acknowledge that their digital transformation projects often overlook their own employees.

Moreover, some members of the workforce, particularly among the older generation, may be reluctant to let go of traditional processes. Others may fear that technology will replace them, or they may simply prefer more familiar methods of business and communication. 

Without the full buy-in and support of the C-Suite, together with a concerted effort to involve employees at all levels in any digital transformation effort, the attempt is likely to backfire. Such an inconsistent approach could lead to divided teams working toward separate goals, instead of the swift and coordinated improvement that should be the goal.

Any successful transformation effort involves culture as much as technology – and culture is all about people. The fate of your digital journey therefore depends on how well your team understands what is happening, and how effectively they can adapt. Perhaps inevitably, some will adapt less successfully than others, and it will be necessary to bring in new, more experienced personnel to maintain the momentum for change.

People solutions

By understanding that change management is first and foremost about people, organisations can turn the key cultural challenge into an advantage. We recommend getting teams involved upfront through internal training, and providing weekly rewards for outstanding adaptation to organisational changes. Over time, and with support from company leaders, the team’s new and proactive mindset will increase its potential to create innovation.

But just like technology, training itself is only one part of the picture. Companies can give themselves a significant head start by bringing onboard people who have already proven to be successful with modern business processes – as well as people who can effectively operate and maintain advanced IT systems.

The demand for IT experts is increasing across multiple industries, including consumer goods, food and beverage, logistics, and pharmaceuticals. And yet the most sought-after talent includes those who bring more than just tech skills. Companies are increasingly looking to attract candidates who combine design thinking with a digital mindset, strong communication skills, and excellent teamwork qualities.

Employees fitting this profile can add immeasurable value to whichever company they join, as these abilities are essential to business success in a digitally transformed world.

Putting together the right team

Like any other ambitious project, digital transformation depends on a number of things going right. Technological change is just the beginning; everybody in the business must embrace its cultural component as well.

Many companies (and employees) understandably hesitate to travel down this road, perhaps having heard of difficulties or failures experienced by others. Yet effective preparation can make the entire journey far easier and more rewarding. By taking a full People, Process, and Technology approach, businesses can become completely aligned with their innovation goals.

When setting out on your digital transformation journey, it is therefore essential to ensure that your people have digital experience as well as a talent for applying this skillset to the business world. A commitment to training and recruitment will likely be needed to achieve the full benefit from digital disruption, but the rewards make the entire process more than worthwhile.

In short: A new strategic trajectory requires personnel who are well adapted to its methods. If your organisation needs IT experts, or needs other assistance in these areas, contact Connexus today.

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