Employees - the real stars of digital transformation

Digital transformation – two words many of us are far too familiar with, yet still sometimes don’t really grasp. The opportunities offered by digital transformation are endless, which can make it challenging to visualise what it means in concrete terms.

Although the concept has been around for a few decades, it is still a hot topic discussed by individuals and businesses alike. It has even dominated the agenda of the World Economic Forum over the last few years, as you can also read in our Davos Digest.

So, what does it really mean? In laymen terms, digital transformation occurs when businesses implement technologies to make their organisational processes run more smoothly and efficiently. A practical example, which we’re all very familiar with, is the implementation of email back in the day. Nowadays we see companies using tailored and highly-complex solutions to simplify and automate a variety of processes. Although they are all aimed at increasing speed and efficiency, and overall improving the employee’s productivity, it is easy to lose sight of the human aspect of digital transformation.

I can almost hear you think: “why is it so important to not lose sight of the human aspect?” And in all fairness, it wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind either! But when you think of it, it’s ultimately how people use new technologies that determines their success.  The user experience makes or breaks any and all tech implementations. Think of a webpage that’s not loading or software that isn’t intuitive – both incredibly frustrating experiences. It’s the same for technologies used in digital transformation programmes. The outcome of any digital transformation project should therefore not only be to create a more efficient business, but an experience that is intuitive and beneficial to the user.

New processes and applications can take time for employees to get used to. To improve the speed in which these new tools can be incorporated into the day-to-day routine, investing in employee training is crucial. This kind of upskilling is a key aspect of digital transformation. Ultimately, the goal is to use tech to streamline everyday processes, so that employees can focus on truly value-adding and creative activities.

Additionally, upskilling is a vital part of ensuring your workforce is future-ready. As companies aim to grow, in size and value to its customers, it is important they also stimulate employees to develop at all levels. This ensures the whole business is able to drive towards one goal and no employee is held back due to their technical ability

The concept of digital transformation is not as daunting as one might think, but it is easy to lose sight of the idea that humans will always be at the centre of any business. The successful fusion of the two is something to be applauded as it can be challenging. A clear communication strategy that showcases to both internal and external audiences how a new piece of technology will be incorporated into the way they work, and how this will make their job easier, for example less admin-heavy, cannot be undervalued.

Communicating to relevant stakeholders will alleviate any concerns they might have with a specific technology. Additionally, it allows employees to be informed and upskill themselves to experience the intended benefits of the tools. Furthermore, discussing this with external audiences enables organisations to position themselves as thought-leaders and innovators.

Marie-Julie Schellens, Technology

If you’d like to get in touch with our Technology team to discuss how we can help you communicate your digital transformation please get in contact.