An approach to digital transformation that is people-centric and not just technology-focused
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new and improved experiences. But this transformation is just not about embracing technologies. Instead, this journey is a two-fold process for enterprises – on one hand, there is a mathematical or computational aspect to it that rests on a bedrock of data and technology, and on the other, there are people acting as enablers and consumers, turning the wheels of digital transformation. Though technologies and algorithms are perfectly capable of computing and churning out textbook results, it is the softer behavioral dimension that needs to be understood and applied to glean the benefits of digital innovation.
People before technology
While we are voraciously adopting generation-altering technologies and overhauling processes with analytics and AI/ML, we are missing capitalizing on the human mind. Technology is morphing itself for enabling faster decisions and attracting us with excellent experiences, but people are at the nucleus of such a digital initiative. They are the owners, drivers, and consumers of digital transformation. More than ever before, technology users now are data literate and expect insights and recommendations to help them drive fast and accurate actions. As a result, enterprises face both external and internal challenges. Externally, they often encounter a lack of adoption of products and services because these services do not account for the user’s experience. And internally, because of cultural resistance to change, awareness, and upskilling.
Help people accept change to stay relevant – the future of work is about providing a seamless experience. For a business to achieve its desired digital maturity, the key element must be its people, not just its technology. Being relevant in a tech-disruptive world makes the workforce committed to a shared vision of driving enterprise-wide impact. Upskilling and reskilling are the foundational cornerstones of overcoming cultural roadblocks to breed eventual leaders. Empowering people to adjust to new realities and placing them at the front and center of a digital initiative will keep them motivated and equipped with the latest ‘know-hows’ for building a future-ready organization.
Adopt a data-driven mindset for data awareness – while organizations have it within their power to change the way people work, many are not evolving far or fast enough. Carefully organizing the comprehensive data strategy allows the data to be found, analyzed and used in generating insights for the desired outcomes. An enterprise can truly become data-driven if its culture is ready to imbibe the changing mindset. Therefore, data awareness needs to trickle top-down. People must be encouraged to leverage a data-driven mindset for aligning their functional goals to enterprise-level objectives, so that the goal to deliver value to customers is meaningfully addressed.
Create a continuous learning environment for upskilling – Data and digital technologies, in unison, help in transforming a business ecosystem to ensure sustainability and resilience. To improve speed, agility, and innovation of data-driven digital initiatives, a learning environment must exist. Enterprise leaders must foster communication and knowledge-sharing among team members, so that they can hone their skills, develop new skills, and be recognized for their contributions to the business.
People make digital transformation real
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” – Archimedes
People are on both sides of a digital transformation journey. On one end, they are the enablers of a digital initiative with their capabilities and strategies, and on the other, they are the consumers of delightful experiences. When the staggering potential of technology and data act as a fulcrum and enablers are continuously upskilling and building capabilities to meet consumer expectations, then true digital transformation happens. A people-centric digital transformation strategy is the only crucial differentiator that will ensure a world, which runs on ideas and works progressively better.