Digital Transformation is More Than Just the Technology
When discussions arise around a digital transformation journey, the focus is generally put on the technology. After all, according to Rob Clegg, it is technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation and additive manufacturing that drive the efficiencies and speed companies long for.
But digital transformation is not all about the technology. In reality, effective digital transformation may not involve new technology at all. Therefore, as part of our digital transformation plans, we must spend requisite time understanding the impact of various technologies on the organization. Rather than reacting to every new technological advance, Rob Clegg advocates for preparing our workforce in how this is going to proceed over the next several years.
“When considering the true value of digital transformation, don’t just think in terms of efficiencies and cost-savings that are born from the technologies. Think about the true value of a transformation: freeing up your internal talent so they can focus on high-value, high-impact work that helps company growth. Without your people on board for this journey, you won’t make it far.” Says Rob Clegg
As part of your communication plan, be sure to get the perspective of your cross-functional team that may be able to highlight outstanding concerns or bring new issues to the table. Think of it in terms of technology, business processes and organizational structure. At the very least, consider addressing the following questions with your employees:
· What is digital transformation?
· Why is our company undergoing a digital transformation?
· What are the new technologies that will be introduced to our daily work?
· What impact will the digital transformation have on our employees?
· What is the timeline for the digital transformation?
· How will the company prepare employees for upcoming changes?
This is an exciting time because it means a whole new dimension for employees to learn about process, prioritization and quicker decision-making. It is going to be an evolutionary model of how we all work. As we all focus on our direct workforce planning for the digital transformation, we must consider the technologies we will utilize and what skills our employees must have to thrive in a new reality.
In addition to workforce preparedness, developing your employees’ skills helps build a better workplace culture — and we all know how vital that is to a company’s well-being. Compare how we work in an office environment today from just 15 or 20 years ago. It is tremendously different. With the speed of business increasing, we expect another evolution of the same impact to happen within three to five years. Are you ready for it?
Remember, it all starts with happy, educated, inspired and engaged employees. Their happiness translates to happy customers, which translates to happy shareholders. Digital is the means to get you to your end goal, but transformation is an enterprise-wide activity — and people should come first.
Robert Clegg is a consultant, entrepreneur and a business founder specializing in raising funds and building business in tech. Find out more about Rob Clegg here.