What is digital transformation?

Otherwise known as IT transformation, digital transformation refers to the mass implementation of new technology to improve the operations and processes within a business, ultimately adding value to its customers. Digital transformations will be different for different companies, but the overarching premise is that they use technology to improve operations, culture, processes, productivity and customer experience.

Your proactive IT partner will assess and analyse problems within your business, turning these insights into action by implementing the right technology to solve issues, automate processes and boost efficiency. The use of technology will free the bottleneck of your business by transforming processes and allowing you to scale effectively, stay secure and succeed.

Many businesses have already undertaken digital transformations, whilst others plan to do so in the near future. Either way, in an increasingly innovative technical world, it’s inevitable that all businesses will need to undergo digital transformations in order to evolve and adapt to the modern technological landscape, stay ahead of the competition, and exceed customer expectations.

So, how do you make a successful digital transformation?

Digital transformations are often viewed as an IT issue, but they’re not, they’re a people issue. Provided that you’re working with an expert IT support provider, technology is very rarely what limits the success of digital transformation. Instead, it’s the people themselves.

Digital transformation should be seen as a company-wide restructure, where technology aims to enhance the overall organisation, from processes to company culture. As such, every single person within the business needs to be thoroughly informed and involved.

When digital transformation strategies are initially implemented, there is often hesitance from employees. Many worry that transformation will change the responsibilities of their job, impact their workload or affect training practices. In fact, it’s common for employees to assume that implementing new technology and automating processes will take away from their current role, leading to less job security or limited career progression.

Even the most perfectly executed IT transformations will be hindered if employees are fearful or frustrated. After all, your employees are the people that will be utilising the new technology and experiencing the organisational restructure. So, for an IT transformation to be successful, it’s vital that all staff are aware, informed and involved in the process.

Inform your employees of the upcoming digital transformation

The first, most basic step in the process is to thoroughly inform your employees on what your digital transformation will entail. In the initial stages, explain the reasons for a digital transformation and how it will improve your business and enable growth. Make sure to gain their feedback and respond to any concerns or questions they may have. An employee satisfaction platform like TINYpulse is a great tool for this as it allows you to ask regular questions in the style of forums, polls, and ratings out of ten.

Next, make sure that communication is maintained. Digital transformations can often be lengthy processes, so don’t forget to update your employees at every opportunity. Be consistent and insightful, it’s important that your staff are aware of all the changes happening and feel that they are part of the process.

Involve your employees in the upcoming digital transformation

Informing your employees is not enough to ensure a successful digital transformation, you need to actively involve them too. It’s imperative that all teams and departments feel involved, don’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s just an issue for the IT department or Managing Director.

  • Have a varied leadership team – when discussing your digital transformation, establish a varied senior team that can work alongside your IT Support partner on the project. This team should be made up of senior members of all departments, not just people who deal with IT. After all, you need to establish an IT roadmap that aligns with your overall business goals, and this can only be done by involving a variety of people. Find out about how IT Department helped one of our clients establish and implement a successful IT roadmap
  • Involve all staff, no matter their specialism or seniority – when it comes to making decisions about the kind of tech you want to implement, you need to check that it will suit the people who will actually be using it. For example, it’s a good idea to ask operational teams to test the functionality and usability of new technology. Take their feedback into consideration and use it to plan a digital transformation that is tailored to your business goals and your people.
  • Identify key ambassadors – it may be impractical to involve every employee in the testing or demonstration of new technology. Instead, you can identify key ambassadors across different departments. These people will be more involved in the digital transformation, they can gather ideas from their colleagues as well as feeding back information and making suggestions as to what would best suit their particular team.
  • Explain the benefits – a major concern for employees, with regards to digital transformations, is that technology might replace some of their responsibilities, posing a threat to their job security. You need to make sure to address this concern directly and explain that, realistically, technology will only take the place of the more mundane and unproductive tasks in their schedules. This will free employees up to do more important and impactful tasks, giving them the potential to take on more responsibility. In fact, implementing the right technology can allow employees to increase their skillset, progress their careers and improve job satisfaction.
  • Don’t overlook training – once your digital transformation has taken place, make sure that you’re utilising the new technology effectively. Provide thorough initial training to all employees and then provide regular refresher training so that they feel confident on all new systems and applications. Having an informed and knowledgeable team will allow you to succeed through technology, benefitting most effectively from the transformation and reaching your fullest potential.

Let’s recap!

What is the definition of digital transformation?

Digital transformation refers to the mass implementation or modification of technology in a business to improve processes, operations, productivity, culture and customer experience. Digital transformations allow businesses to grow, drive revenue, improve efficiency, stay secure and scale effectively.

How do I ensure my digital transformation is successful?

First and foremost, focus on your people. Make sure that staff are fully informed and involved in the process of your digital transformation. No matter how advanced the technology or how competent your IT support provider, digital transformations cannot reach their full potential without employee involvement and support.

How do I involve my employees in my digital transformation?

  • Establish a leadership team that includes employees across all departments
  • Involve a variety of employees in testing technologies and giving feedback
  • Identify ‘key ambassadors’
  • Explain the benefits of your digital transformation
  • Thoroughly train your employees on the new technologies implemented

If you’re considering undertaking digital transformation or if you want any more advice on how to ensure that your digital transformation is successful, get in touch today or speak to your Business Technology Advisor.