Digital Transformation is Not Just About Technology

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Business, as usual, was considered a great achievement for most of the organisations in the past but in today’s world digital is at the frontline of change. And, whilst digital technologies continue to transform the economy, today’s successful businesses have to embrace both digital and change.

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of businesses undergo change – or transformation without clearly understanding the true meaning of this transformation process. Many of these organisations have failed miserably as they only considered technology as the only element of the change. After these failures, these businesses come to the realisation that the biggest barrier to transformation is not technology but culture. Its people and processes that make change possible.

In today’s world where everything is connected and performance is leading to perfection, it’s easy to see why the focus becomes technology.

But the key to successful change is, in fact, the hardest thing to change – the culture. Getting people to embrace a new way of thinking and acting. The way we work will never be the same as disruption has become the new normal. We have to think differently to act to these scenarios and organisations would require thought leaders to drive these change

Cultural change relies heavily on top-down leadership. Senior leaders need to lead by example, showing people that the old way is no longer good enough because in today’s world good enough is dead and enabling people to be flexible and willing to consistently adapt to the shifting needs of the business and the opportunities digital technology brings.

People are the most important part of the business change. But inherent in change is a failure and people fear failure (therefore fear change).

To avoid this, businesses must align around common goals and nurture a culture of experimentation, encouraging people to find better ways to become more efficient, without the fear of failure and reprisal. This alleviates the fear of change, reducing the amount of resistance to new systems and processes.

Digitisation, mobilisation, augmentation, disintermediation & automation creates a perfect storm of change. Adopting digital technologies significantly improves business intelligence and insight, which quickly shifts the power structure in a business. Decisions that had previously been deferred to those with years of experience and “a feel for what the customer wants” are now being challenged with Big data.

Equally, challenging is the speed at which businesses must embrace digital. Technology is already transforming not just businesses but entire industries faster than ever before.

For conventional organisations, it’s difficult to hit reset and begin again – change is required over each range of the business before technology or culture can change. Not very many can accomplish characteristic nimbleness without help or investment – yet as Digital transformation keeps on changing organisation’s business process, there is always an opportunity to identify some savings in one area to fuel developments in others.

Whilst technology will always underpin digital transformation – businesses must remember that there are more important factors that will shape the future: people and the values they possess. People and culture must come before the technology to unlock the full potential of digital.

The new way to work is to embrace technology but not become it!!

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