Digital transformation is essential for businesses and is expected as an absolute minimum. Innovations that include DevOps, cloud computing, predictive analytics, and AI create higher demands and even with these new technologies, over half of new IT projects fail. This may be due to important human considerations being neglected amid the processes of technological advancements and digital transformation.
In order to become digital leaders, a cultural shift is needed to accompany digital transformation. This requires a buy-in from all involved, rather than a top-down mandate that fails to connect people with the changes. In an open culture that empowers individuals, anyone can participate or lead, decision making is open, and everyone can contribute towards a shared goal.
With digital transformation, planning with the desired outcome in mind is important. A clear, measurable vision that is agreed on by everyone will drive decisions, investments, and priorities. It will also lead to the creation of an effective business strategy. Gartner stated that half of the organizations have no way to measure digital transformation. Without clear targets, businesses cannot know the direction they are going in.
The process of digital transformation often comes with cultural barriers that need to be overcome, such as siloed behavior and workstreams. In many cases, teams don’t know how to break old habits, but trust and shared agreement on end goals is required. DevOps and agile processes can bring together people, technology and business in an organization. They can help to solve problems and find better ways of working together.
The discrepancy in skill sets is an issue business and IT is faced with everywhere. This includes both the technical hard skills and soft skills, like communication and management. A survey from RedHat found that people are the biggest obstacle to digital transformation, as a skills gap is created by fast-changing technology. The answer to this may be in training existing, loyal employees, rather than searching for new talent.
Recent research by CareerFoundry found that bad user experience costs e-commerce as much as $1.4 trillion in lost revenue. User experience is beginning to become a priority in digital transformation, as organizations focus on the user rather than the technology. Projects are aiming to give users the feeling they are interacting with humans and not a machine, for a personal touch that will be appreciated by the customer.
In a digital world, the one thing that is frequently missing is a human touch. With digital handshakes and video conferencing it is easy to mistake the substitute for the real thing. But for digital transformation to succeed, we need to not lose sight of the actual, human world. Among other things, this is important for trust, which is required in all communications, partnerships, and leadership.
Technological developments have driven digital transformation and have revolutionized business processes. But for it to be truly successful and drive growth, the human aspects that make business possible must be respected.