Truly successful digital transformation includes employee experience from the start

A staggering 97% of IT directors said their companies invested in digital transformation efforts last year, with the same number of directors expecting that investment to continue in 2021. However, despite this acceleration of digital transformation, over 79% of executives admit they do not review internal processes or set objectives before a transformation process begins.

This lack of planning has led to over 80% of digital transformation strategies failing due to a lack of leadership, shared vision, clarity of purpose, or expertise. Organisation's must address the ‘why’ when taking the entire company on a digital transformation journey – and communicate this to employees. Without early employee buy-in, digital transformation efforts are likely to fall short.

Employee experience matters

Digital transformation is one of the most significant shifts a company can make. Yet, companies often don't consider employee experience in the process. A recent study by Zensar found 53% of professionals believe their company's digital transformation priorities are focused on how to increase profits instead of empowering employees. Yet, most said their companies would benefit from employee empowerment via investments in IT.

Lack of proper technology tools can delay productivity and decrease morale. For example, the same survey found that 53% of surveyed employees would be more empowered to better manage workflows if they were provided with the necessary tools, and 42% said these tools would speed up tedious tasks and result in better worker morale. Another 38% believe a focus on worker empowerment via IT would allow the company to change faster.

Clearly companies are missing a trick here. Bringing employees into the digital transformation journey can increase engagement, productivity and support, reflecting how they engage with customers whilst simultaneously providing them with the tools they need to succeed. 

From rapid adoption to careful consideration

The nearly 100% adoption of digital transformation last year for many companies was a response online due to the pandemic. But much of this digital transformation isn't optimised to the employee experience or the broader business goals. Nearly 80% of organisations admit implementing "quick-fix solutions" due to the pandemic, many of which have failed to stay on target or achieve their loosely defined goals. 

These changes may have provided a temporary solution necessary at the time but are mostly no longer fit for purpose. Leaders need to reassess these temporary fixes and consider alignment with broader business goals, employee experience and critically, security.

The security of employees throughout the digital transformation process should be a principal business concern. There are currently over 648 cyber-attacks per minute, with many of them targeted explicitly at remote workers. Bringing in the right digital tools to safeguard employees can decrease the risk of data breaches while simultaneously reducing cybersecurity teams' burden and driving employee efficiency. All of this can be achieved successfully with the support and guidance of an expert partner. 

Best practice starts with a skilled partner

The best way to correctly implement any digital transformation is to work with a trusted partner who can help you put your people first. A human-centric digital transformation approach that supports employees and maps to wider business objectives will increase proficiency, enable optimisation, and drive business growth. 

Companies can accomplish a successful digital transformation by deploying digital solutions where they are needed most. Automated data and reports, streamlined processes, and employee self-service are just a few examples of tools that reduce administrative tasks. Having the right digital tools needed at work makes employees more successful, smarter and happier. With more free time, employees can focus their efforts on more meaningful and challenging activities.

“To succeed in the post pandemic digital economy, businesses need to ensure they adopt a planned, strategic and people-first approach to digital transformation, rather than just embarking on a course with no clear outcome and simply hoping they can drag their employees along with them,” commented Logicalis Group CTO Toby Alcock.

The failure rate of transformations is high because the route to transformation is a hard one to navigate. However, with a trusted, expert partner to help keep organisations on track businesses can rest assured that not only will they experience a successful outcome, but they’ll also have employees as advocates supporting the business throughout.