Digital Transformation: An Inside Out Approach

by John Radford, November 14th, 2019

Business, Mobile Technology

With a global spend set to reach $2 trillion in 2023 digital transformation has become more than just a buzz term that is banded around at every management get together. To me it is both a process and an outcome that provides both challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

Business leaders are all clambering around trying to align on their digital transformation strategies desperate to increase efficiencies across their business through digital and embrace technology better throughout their organisations.

We are fortunate enough at Borne to see both sides as we work with disruptive start ups as well as enterprise clients so have insights into both the ‘disrupter’ and the ‘disrupted’ so to speak. 67% of business leaders think that their companies will no longer be competitive in 2020 if they do not address and adapt to change and become more digitized. But what does digital transformation actually mean for the larger business and how should they be looking at things?

The corporate challenge

I personally think that corporates should take a step back and look at the business much like a start up looks at their product when in the very early product ideation phase. Simply looking at a HR problem for instance and stating ‘we need to use AI to….’ is for me using tech for the sake of using tech. I think it’s important to evaluate what problem it is that the business needs to address. Be it a consumer or in house staff issue, you start with that problem. If the problem is retention then fine – perhaps look into an employee wellness or onboarding app, but don’t just ‘build an app’ for your employees without a clear goal of what problem it’s addressing.

It’s important to get into the mindsets of the employees within the organisation on a granular level in order to fully integrate them into whatever transformative process you are going through.

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I think it’s necessary to look at how technology within an organisation can first improve the health and wellbeing of those within it rather than looking at how it will affect the bottom line. The theory being that if you get your internal transformative process correct the bottom line with take care of itself as a result. Of course there are transformation strategies that companies should look to adopt in order to better reach consumers and engage better but ultimately the consumer doesn’t care about the strategies, they care about the end product. I’ll write a bit more about this in a separate post.

Employees First

Getting employees on board and addressing concerns upfront will certainly alleviate concerns and increase buy in. Commons concerns such as:

–      Am I going to be replaced by a robot

–      Will I still have a job in 2 years

–      What if I don’t get on board with change?

–      Will this affect my day to day duties

These are all very common issues organisations will face and tackling these head on and at the start of any transformative process and having employees lead this process will make them feel part of it and also better shape the transformation. Consider it a User Experience gathering workshop for a new product, just with employees rather than end users.

The end game

So what does this mean for the corporates? To start with, it’s about embracing technology and using it’s efficiencies to best engage and support those within the organisation. Be it a technology ‘ally’ that offers support or services to employees such as food delivery or childcare to an in house CRM/HR platform that harnesses data fed to it from employees via an app that asks questions around general wellbeing and happiness at work. It’s all about support, enabling and having a growth mindset.

Creating a grassroots culture of digitisation is critical for change to not only be embraced, but for it to be successful.

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