The Human Side of Digital Transformation

By on March 21st, 2017 in Enterprise Technology Adoption

play button graphicIn the first of our four-part education series on the human side of digital transformation, we are going to discuss the basics of digital transformation, introduce smart data, and discuss the impact of cloud on your front-line workers.

Digital Transformation

Everyone’s talking about digital transformation—it’s definitely one of the business “buzz phrases” for 2017. Organizations across all verticals are evaluating “digital solutions” that claim to enable a richer customer experience, reduced paper waste, faster processing times, and ultimately a healthier bottom line if you are a for-profit enterprise. An accepted definition of digital transformation is “the conversion of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes in and opportunities of digital technologies.”

As a change or learning leader, do you need convincing that you should be planning your own organization’s digital transformation strategy?

Smart Data

Consider the number of devices you use and interact with in your personal and work lives. Devices and sensors are generating data at a rate we might never have predicted. “Big data” is already out there, so the question is, how do we transform it into “smart data,” meaning that data is accessible, able to be presented for consumption, and ultimately used to secure a competitive advantage? Your answer is to enable your front-line workers with smart data analysis skills, so they may create compelling business cases for leadership to act on in real time.

We are either intrigued or irate observers as business models change right in front of us, depending on our perspective. Self-driving cars developed by start-up technology firms go head to head with generations-old automotive and transit companies. We might not want or need to purchase a car in the near future but may simply schedule a ride on demand. The ease of publishing digital pictures and stories has forced news agencies to rapidly and radically shift their work styles, or risk extinction. The ways that doctors may diagnose and treat patients virtually, rather than face to face, will require different soft skills as well as technical (surgical) ones.

Impact of Cloud on Front-Line Workers

Your business leaders are selecting new cloud-based solutions to support and simplify business processes. While the promise is that simpler processes will be more intuitive and thus, demand less of a need for performance support, the reality is that with cloud there is no longer a single monumental go-live event to prepare for (and recover from). Cloud means frequent incremental releases, and change/learning leaders will need to polish their communication skills and perhaps add innovative communications via social media to alert front-line workers to what a cloud release means for them, in terms of changes to their work routines and responsibilities.

Summary of key concepts we addressed in this blog post:

  • Digital transformation
  • Smart data
  • Impact of cloud on front-line workers

You know that your people are your most important asset. What will you do to align your workforce’s skills and knowledge with the dynamic digital platforms they will need to adopt?

We hope you found this discussion helpful, and we invite you to join the conversation by leaving your comments below.

This is a multi-part series, where we will address strategies and tools for the human side of digital transformation, topic by topic:

Digital Transformation as Seen Through the Lens of your People

How Digital Transformation Will Impact Generations in the Workplace

Digital Transformation: The Necessary Shift in Organizational Change Management

In addition to this post, please enjoy these quick tips on how to engage the modern learner:

digital transformation

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Ellen Kumar

Ms. Kumar is a Solution Architect with GP Strategies, and has served in roles ranging from Account Executive, to Operations Director, to Project Manager/Training Consultant. Prior to GP Strategies, she worked for University of Dayton Research Institute and GE Aircraft Engines (now GE Aerospace). She holds an M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from University of Dayton.
3 comments on “The Human Side of Digital Transformation
  1. Ginger says:

    Nice post and I’m ready to see the rest! Just because things are “easier” doesn’t change the fact that it’s change 🙂

  2. HMS Naveen says:

    Yeah Everyone needs to agree, Digital transformation is the most echoed buzzword across industries in a couple of years. From an article, digital transformation becomes a necessity to stay competitive & need to address before your competitors do or you’ll be in hot water.

  3. Digital transformation effort indeed has a human side behind it. In fact, the core of digital transformation strategy spins around people – company’s customers, leadership, employees, partners, even competitors, according to the major steps of digital transformation strategy https://goo.gl/LdKkpJ

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