10 People-Focused Strategies for Digital Transformation Success

By Jim Kerr, Senior VP of Growth

Digital transformation and improved employee productivity are top-of-mind for most business leaders, today.  The holy grail has become helping companies realize business value faster…faster returns on technology investments, new hires, improved products, marketing campaigns, etc.  Remaining relevant, or better yet, accelerating in a fast-moving and competitive market means constantly adapting and staying on the forefront of technology and business process.

But it is important to note that technology is just a tool and the software itself is one small part of the story.  Too often, organizations purchase technology for reasons that have nothing to do with corporate priorities.  No matter how cutting edge the technology software is, there will be limited capacity to meet long-term goals, until IT decisions are viewed as a contributing component to corporate objectives and integrated into the business fabric in the same way talent acquisition, sales, marketing, finance, and other departments are regarded.

Digital transformation needs to happen across the entire ecosystem, equally within business and IT. Leaders in successful organizations understand how their digital transformation journey is actually a business process transformation opportunity.

What do successful organizations do differently to achieve transformation success?

1. Clearly communicate that Technology is the Business and Business is the Technology: Modernizing/digitizing almost everything the company does is increasingly important in achieving company success.

2. Build a strong digital culture: The success of any digital transformation initiative depends on the company culture. To foster a digital culture, leaders should create an environment that encourages innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking. Employees need to be empowered to try new things and learn from their mistakes.

3. Create cross-functional teams: Digital transformation requires collaboration across different departments and functions. Cross-functional teams can help break down silos and bring together diverse perspectives to drive innovation and accelerate digital transformation.

4. Foster a data-driven mindset: Digital transformation relies heavily on data. Companies need to foster a data-driven mindset across the organization to enable data-driven decision-making. This requires investing in data infrastructure, tools, and analytics capabilities, as well as training employees to use data effectively.

5. Upskill and reskill employees: To drive digital transformation, organizations need to invest in continuous training and development programs that help employees acquire the skills and knowledge needed to work with new technologies. Upskilling and reskilling programs can help employees stay relevant and adaptable to the changing digital landscape.

6. Embrace agile methodologies: Traditional project management approaches may not be effective in the fast-paced world of digital transformation. Adopting agile methodologies can help teams work more collaboratively, iterate quickly, and respond to changing requirements and priorities.

7. Develop a customer-centric approach: Digital transformation is about delivering value (quickly) to customers. To succeed, companies need to put the customer first and at the center of everything they do. This requires a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences, as well as the ability to use digital technologies to deliver personalized and seamless experiences.

8. Recognize digital transformation is a marathon, versus a sprint, dedicated to uncovering continuous opportunities that bring more value to employees, customers, and stakeholders.

9. Lead from the top: The CEO and the entire leadership/management team must lead by example and showcase their use of digital collaboration tools, to serve as a champion for the digital workspace.

10. Focus on the Employee Experience: Encourage employees to find a deeper sense of purpose in their work by connecting their work to improving company results and customer impact. Employees will work harder, stay with the organization longer, and have more fun when they see their work making a difference.

The power of digital transformation and improved productivity is effectively realized when people-focused strategies are implemented. IT decisions are best made when leaders take into consideration corporate objectives…only then will technology serve as an enabler for long-term success and growth.

By focusing on these people-focused strategies, organizations can create a culture of innovation and agility that enables them to adapt to the changing digital landscape and drive digital transformation.  You may not be able to incorporate all of the above-mentioned “strategies”; however I encourage you to pick at least 2-3 ideas that you feel will impact your business the most.

For more information on how to implement people-focused strategies to improve your business processes, contact sales@eimagine.com