Digital transformation has become a strategic goal for many business leaders. There is a renewed focus on exploring different ways technology solutions can impact a business. But digital transformation is not just about adding new technology to the existing mix. It is also about driving a cultural change.
There is no doubt that getting cross functional collaboration is extremely critical in any enterprise’s digital transformation journey. But it can also be extremely difficult to break the traditional siloes.
Here is how we work with our clients to help them drive a gradual cultural shift that makes digital transformation more meaningful. This is what we call the stages of evolution of a digital culture.
Adoption of technology is often met with a strong pushback from within the organization. Fear of loss of control and threat to the job makes this pushback stronger. Adopting a stronger stance may only lead to grievances and high level of unrest within your workforce.
So here is what we do. We roll out an augmentation strategy where non-critical business functions are identified. These functions are then migrated to the digital setup while the critical processes are still controlled and managed by the people. This becomes a great way of giving the workforce a chance to understand and adjust to the new solutions without losing control.
Once the augmentation stage has been successfully achieved, we then move on to the next stage of adaptation.
This is where the workforce is more comfortable with the solution in place. They have a sense of how digital can create a positive influence on their work and improve their efficiency. This is where we start phasing in the more business critical functions into the digital ambit.
While the workforce doesn’t lose control, they can start enjoying the benefits of automation which reduces their workload and gives them an opportunity to upgrade their skills for the next level.
This is the stage where you will find your workforce driving digital adoption. They would have moved from just being the consumers of technology to being the innovators of it. They would have their own ideas and concepts that can help you address broken processes and inefficiencies. Their contribution at this stage of digital evolution would be beyond measurable.
Now is the time where you will redesign your business functions that were previously based on native concepts. You will find yourself stepping away from the traditional thinking and models and adopting a more digital outlook. This is where you can reengineer processes in its true sense and your workforce will make critical contributions to it.
This will be the stage where your business will get a second lease of life. This is where you will reinvent your organization around the digital ecosystem that you have set up. You can reinvent your business model, the operating model, inventory management, supply chain, etc. around the digital ecosystem.
In fact, this is where digital will become the backbone of everything that you do. This is also where you can start using digital to drive your presence in the previously unchartered waters and gain a competitive advantage. At this stage you will witness that your workforce is embracing the new models and the executive leadership is setting digital goals for the business.
This is what we call the culmination of all your investments – physical and material – in the digital transformation initiative. It is almost like your business has reincarnated into a digital avatar. This is where all the core functions of your business are fundamentally aligned to the digital ecosystem of your organization. You have moved from a system of record keeping to a system of digital experience.
This is where you will find your IT has decentralized to the extent that everyone is IT! Your functional siloes have shattered and your focus has moved from transactions and service delivery to engagement. Instead of supply you will be focused on demand. You will be focused on products, customers, and brand experience. Rather than periodic improvement efforts you will have a continuous improvement cycle in place.
Talk to our change management experts to get a custom strategy defined for your organization and its digital transformation.
Everyone agrees that driving a cultural shift along with digital transformation is extremely critical. But almost everyone struggles to get their people on board of their digital vision. What is really needed is an effective change management strategy to ensure that digital finds acceptance at every level of the organization.