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Many businesses operating across all industries are currently in the midst of a digital transformation, resulting in the overhaul and enhancement of both back-end operations and customer-facing strategies through the use of technology.
Failure to acknowledge the power that this process can offer threatens to leave many companies lagging behind their more tech-savvy peers.
When it is done right, digital transformation - also known as business transformation - can lead to increased efficiency, innovation and competitiveness, making it an integral aspect of any firm’s development plans over the coming years.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, and where the Internet of Things continues to influence organisations across almost every sector, digital transformation is arguably something that businesses across all sectors need to embrace.
But what is the main thing holding companies back?
Although it is certainly, in part, a digital challenge, which depends on deploying technology and digital processes across a business infrastructure, as well as a funding issue, transformation is also a human challenge.
It is essential for businesses to comprehensively communicate the benefits, challenges and process of digital transformation to every staff member within the organisation in order to successfully begin to implement a transformation strategy. Without staff buy-in, the project could actually end up damaging your business.
This human aspect is a concept that is very often overlooked, much to a firm’s detriment. However, those companies that encourage digital transformation buy-in can empower their staff, resulting in greater return on investment.
We look at three key ways to encourage buy-in below.
In the majority of businesses, it is highly likely that company boards and directors will require proof of value for any major investments. Particularly considering the current economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the C-suite among many firms are likely to require extra persuading when it comes to big decisions.
Those companies that successfully transform through the use of technology usually begin by upgrading a few, smaller aspects of their organisation, and work their way to more considerable advancements. Where staff feel overwhelmed or threatened by the rate of change, they could actually become a roadblock to innovation.
While plenty of the hardware and software involved in the transformation of key processes runs in the background, every element of a firm’s IT infrastructure plays an integral role in helping staff to perform their role effectively. As well as this, plenty of devices and software applications are used directly by members of staff, which means business leaders need to ensure that employees are using the technology properly, and to its full capability. Harnessing the full potential technology means making full use of all of its functionalities.
A great deal of the focus revolving around business transformation is dedicated to solving existing problems or accessing business intelligence that previously were unaddressed. For both of these, the input of staff is needed before embarking on transformation to better understand where you can make improvements.
Failure to engage with your workforce, either before transformation takes place, or once the new technology has been deployed, can dramatically reduce any benefits gained from the project.
Reluctant and distrusting staff can also contribute to diminishing the benefits of digital transformation, for instance, if they resist the initiative from the get-go. In some cases, workers are sceptical about the benefits of new technology, while others believe they pose a threat to jobs. This is particularly true in relation to robotics and artificial intelligence, which many workers may think could replace them in the workplace. For this reason, these fears can easily translate to a lack of engagement with new technologies.
Therefore, it is essential to empower every employee at every level by demonstrating how important they are to the business they matter. It is up to business leaders to give staff the knowledge to truly understand how the technology is intended to improve their role, and how it impacts their existing responsibilities.
Overall, employees need to feel secure in their positions, and they need empowering to realise that transformation is intended to enhance their positions within the business, rather than to threaten them. Communication is vital for this process, and requires business leaders to explain the benefits of transformation at every stage throughout.
Evaris can help you reap the benefits of digital transformation and deliver real competitive advantage. Find out how we help businesses like yours on their transformation journey.