Digital Transformation

BY PIERRE HALL

“We’re in the midst of a major technology revolution. And, in common with any period of rapid change, there will be winners and losers. Those organisations able to harness the disruptive power of digitalisation stand to benefit from greater levels of employee collaboration, efficiency, creativity and innovation. Those unable to do so risk much,” says Pierre.

“Let’s be under no illusion,” he continues. “While digital transformation promises a lot – from improved work/life balance courtesy of more flexible workstyles through to enhanced customer engagement across social channels – ultimately it is the business outcomes that matter: faster time to market, a lower operational cost base, an increased order book and so on.”

According to Pierre, digital transformation can help achieve these outcomes, but only if business and IT leaders think differently. “The pace of change is such that many organisations experience a kind of ‘digital shock’. They recognise the need to transition, but the way forward isn’t always clear.”

It is certainly true that many legacy (and even many current generation) IT systems won’t support the kind of digital workstyles that add value and deliver the kind of outcomes previously mentioned. So what to do? According to Pierre “It’s time to turn the telescope the other way” and take a fresh approach to IT.

The approach championed by Pierre asks a simple question: “How can we help our people execute more fluidly?” The answer is to design IT around the user – embracing digital technologies to eliminate excess work, automate standard and manual processes, and allow staff to choose the working environment and tools that best suit them.

“Being truly focused on outcomes requires a fundamental change of behaviour within the organisation. The good news is that your employees are likely to be ready for it. Given the option, most want to work flexibility, and most have already embraced digital at home. Doing the same at work is likely to be a small step at best.”

With a more engaged, connected and flexible workforce, a host of structural evolutions become possible: the ability to consolidate real estate to dramatically reduce cost; to enhance staff productivity and shorten forward order queues; to empower global sales teams to convert more leads; to bring the best engineering and design brains together from across the world to address long lead time, imagine new products and reduce time to market.

For Pierre this is the power of ‘Digital Me’. “At first glance, designing IT strategy on the needs of employees may appear to be a rather altruistic goal. Far from it. Moving past that digital shock and transforming the user experience ultimately delivers the kind of hard-nosed, strategic outcomes businesses are looking for, and shareholders demand.”