Digital Transformation Is Not About Tech! It's About People
Start planning for the future now! Whether you’re a digital business or not, technology adoption is the future. Strategic business goals are achieved not only with the help of a great plan, operations, steady roadmap and motivated team, but also with the help of digital processes and tools.
Adopting such technology or making material changes to it represents a massive shift for a business and can be a knotty, multifaceted process. But what most businesses today get wrong is that it’s not about tech at all. It’s about the people. Yes, digital has transformed the way consumers search for information, the way they read, shop or even make appointments, but in order to make digital work for you externally, you have to make it work for you internally first.
When digital transformation is imminent
The world is moving fast and, sometimes, it’s changing at an impossible pace. There are many reasons why companies can be outpaced and many times it has nothing to do with lack of scale or insufficient experience. It has to do with businesses not making technology work for their teams.
It’s clear to all businesses today that customer experience is king, but employee experience pays the king’s mortgage. The road to a successful customer experience is paved by happy teams. When transformation is imminent, you transform, there’s no procrastinating here, otherwise the world just swallows you up. But the way you transform when you have to, that’s all up to you.
The dire need to evolve
The short answer is: it looks like evolving. Of course, when it comes to running a business, no answer is short and everything has multiple facets. But businesses do need to evolve in order to keep up with the increasingly demanding audience, already used by now with almost instant gratification.
IDG, one of the biggest technology media company, ran a study that showed 89% of companies aim to adopt a “digital first” strategy. However, only 44% of them actually do. The reason is that many businesses don’t know what digital transformation looks like and what it would mean for them.
From abstract to action
The only way to benefit from such a process is to take the big concept and turn it into an actionable plan. This is where 56% of the companies get stuck, either in pre-planning or planning phase. Obviously, tech adoption is different in every company and it has great dependencies on industry, business structure, company vision and mission, as well culture. But there are fundamental characteristics of the process that can be adjusted and customized.
- It’s a continuous process – don’t go into digital transformation thinking the faster you’re done with it, the better. You’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. Your business will change, technology will evolve and eventually call for adaptations or new transformations.
- It’s a collaborative process – it will only work if everyone’s involved and every member of the organization is pulling in the same direction. For great integration, you need to achieve a shared vision.
- It has a cultural component – you, your top management and each and every one of your employees needs to shift from the traditional hierarchy-based structure to a decision empowering culture. The end result is far more successful if everyone contributes ideas.
Who it affects?
The end game for any business is to provide customers with the best experience. Digital transformation supports your team in doing just that. So, in the end, it affects everyone, from your team members to your management to your customers. Before you can gather data on how it affects customer experience, you first need to understand how it affects your company culture.
A top-down imposing of tech adoption will never give you the best results. It’s not a memo you can just send across the board. After all, you’re introducing new ways of working and new tools. These are ultimately used by the team members on a daily basis.
Like with any other change, empathy is key. An empathic change management process is your key to success. Not just that, but ask for involvement. Ask for feedback, and inputs, and contributions from across the company. It will give a sense of empowerment that will translate to a more responsive team.