07-09-2016 Door: Mark Troester

Creating and Supporting a Culture of Digital Transformation

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What does Digital Transformation really mean? Learn why it's essential to develop a transformational culture on three key levels.

How far along on the road to digital transformation are you? One way to determine digital maturity is in the way an organization views the term “digital transformation.” Is it simply a buzzword that’s brought up in board meetings for general discussion about what’s coming down the line? Or, is it a guiding force behind applying existing technologies in new, innovative ways to make tactical improvements? This is often a good indicator of where on the maturity scale your company lies.

But digital transformation isn’t only about technology. Technology, alone, doesn’t initiate change: there are people and processes behind the use of technology that actually make things happen. Without the people and processes driving and guiding an organization’s use of technology, nothing changes.

A 3-Legged Table
Think about the reasons projects fail. Is it solely because the technology being used was inadequate? More than likely, projects fail because of a break in process or lack of staffing. Perhaps the people involved are resistant to change, or a communication breakdown results in users being unprepared to take advantage of the technology being deployed. Typically, a combination of issues related to people, process and technology conspire to make a project less than successful.

The reverse is true, as well. If a project succeeds, it’s because the people were skilled and prepared, solid processes were in place and universally understood by team members, and the technology worked. But, like a 3-legged table, if one of those pillars is broken or even wobbly, anything that rests on the table will fall off.

Commitment Comes from the Top
Ensuring your people, processes and technology are in alignment with your digital transformation initiatives requires more than just collaboration between the business and IT; there must be top-down commitment to creating a culture of digital transformation. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Human Resources is responsible for ensuring the right people are on-board to support your digital transformation. Does HR staff possess the skills and background to foster a digital transformation culture?
  • Change takes risk, and employees must feel comfortable with trial and error, in order to progress. What is the corporate mindset about failure? Does management encourage risk-taking, or would they rather stick to the status-quo?
  • Agile development processes in IT can be modeled to help move change along. Are your various business units open to making changes, assessing what’s working and what’s not, and continuing to make refinements along the way?
  • Employee development is essential for keeping pace with change. Do you provide opportunities for skills development in all areas, not just technology training? What other ways could you help employees adopt a transformative mindset?

It’s Not Just About You
Finally, think about extending your commitment to change to your entire ecosystem of partners and customers, as well as employees. By doing so, you’ll help them work better with you as you digitally transform. And by engaging them in your transformation efforts, you’ll strengthen your relationships and encourage loyalty.

Read more about ways in which organizations are tackling digital transformation in The Digital Ultimatum report.

Mark Troester is the Vice President of Solutions Marketing, Digital Transformation at Progress.

Mark Troester

Mark Troester is vicepresident Strategie bij Progress en begeleidt de uitvoering van 'go-to-market' plannen van het bedrijf. Mark heeft uitgebreide ervaring wat betreft het op de markt brengen van applicaties en 'big data'-producten. Voorheen was hij verantwoordelijk voor de productmarketing bij Sonatype, SAS en Progress DataDirect. Aan het begin van zijn carrière werkte Mark als ontwikkelaar en projectmanager voor startups en gevestigde ondernemingen.

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