Digital Transformation Is Not About Technology It's About People

It is about people and improved EBITDA and associated multiples, increase stock price and improve returns for all shareholders.

A people-centric digital transformation

As most digital transformation across industries and countries continues to unfold, the people dimension of these transformations has emerged as the key to unlocking value and ensuring the sustainability of the changes. Because areas such as leadership development and external talent acquisitions may require entirely different and innovative approaches in the new digital environments, organizations need to be prepared to move and evolve quickly, particularly to ensure each employee has the opportunity to participate in this new environment.

This new digital HR/people strategy needs a new operational model as well. Senior management and leadership should encourage every member of the organization to take responsibility by providing the necessary framework, tools and incentives.

Hiring new digital experts requires looking for different, specific skills, expertise and work styles internally and externally that may have not been considered or required in the past, such as evaluating freelance experience, gauging the potential to build up internal talents, forming multidisciplinary teams, developing cross company collaborative networks, creating new evaluation systems, or redefining leadership roles.

Principles that were part of this new IT environment are now extending beyond IT, often shared and implemented throughout the whole organization in successful digital transformations. These digital principles should and will deliver new agile ways of working. 

Customer service

Another key element to consider is the customer experience. Digital technologies can enhance relationships between the company, their customers, their products, and other industry players. This requires capturing and leveraging information generated across their digital ecosystem. Networking becomes as vital as digital and human, to foster and develop new ecosystems in the industry.

Customer experience should be considered throughout digital transformation, integrated within both product and service development. Digital companies should leverage the customer experience data, incorporating insights gained about individuals’ evolving needs to deliver the products, services and experiences their customers demand.

Digitalization also necessitates new ways of working, as organizations become more collaborative and disregard hierarchy, employees must to adapt to new team structures, responsibilities and deliverables. This can be done, but only if management and leadership are genuinely convinced of the value of adapting the organizational structure and invest in this new way of working. 

Again, any company can digitally transform, in their own way. However, they should remember one thing: if they make every other change but employees are not empowered, the digital transformation will not be successful. Empowering people is the key to achieving profound and lasting digital transformation that provides sustainable growth and inclusion.

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