The People Side of Digital Transformation

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Technology plays a big role in a digital transformation initiative. The people side of digital transformation has, on the other hand, more influence on how successful the initiative would be. Three groups of people have vested interest in digital transformation.

They are customers, employees, and investors.


The best starting point for digital transformation is to look at how customers would be better served. Value creation from the customer’s perspective puts the focus on the complete customer journey, from lead nurturing to post-sale customer support.

You want to make the customers’ lives easier by enabling them find answers to their questions quickly through an eloquent self-help digital channel. Or helping them make informed decisions by serving relevant and compelling content written in simple language. For customer support, a chatbot could be used to handle common questions with speed.

Work with customers to understand their needs when drafting the purpose as well as the solution design of your digital solution. Their input is essential for deploying customer-centric technologies that ‘sell.’


Digitization will introduce changes to processes, job scope, and organizational structure.

Digital technology helps to break the silos in a functional- or product-centric organization. The ease of data access enables an account rep, for instance, pull more information pertaining to a customer. The result is the capability to perform more tasks that used to reside in another workgroup. This means the account rep would require training on additional tasks. From the technical perspective, developers or support personnel need to have the right skills also.

It is important to have the right people in place to design, operate and support the new operating model. These employees would need to have a digital mindset while striving to use technology with the aim to serve. Regular upskilling would be a necessity to keep abreast of what is possible. This helps to identify opportunities when needs arise.

Employee engagement and change management go hand-in-hand when it comes to process and systems changes. With long tenured employees entrenched in what has worked in the past, it takes effort to get buy-in. Get support from a handful of influencers early in your pursuit of digital transformation. They help to penetrate workgroups that are slow to transition.

Keep in mind that individuals have different tolerance for change. To get employees on board, the effort is not to be underestimated.


This group includes investors and parties which share a common goal in taking the business forward in staying relevant and competitive. In addition, return on investment is also top-of-mind.

They are interested in leveraging digitization to build brand image, boost customer loyalty, drive a resilient business model and accelerate growth. Incidentally, these are the objectives for digitization.

Technology is a silver bullet only when it tackles a problem that limits business potential. It is not necessary to implement the latest technology, but it is critical to adopt technology that is a good fit for the business.

The management team has a fiduciary duty to the investors. Most digital transformation initiatives are costly undertakings. They consume significant manpower and time. Subsequently, a logical roadmap with clearly defined goals would be paramount.

Digital transformation succeeds when technology is deployed to serve well-defined customer and business needs. Click To Tweet

Digital transformation succeeds when technology is deployed to serve well-defined customer and business needs. Diving in without setting clear goals is haphazard and would cause negative ripple effects for the customers, employees and investors.

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