Five points for digital transformation success

Posted Sep 15, 2020 by Tim Sandle
Digital transformation is not just about technology. The process concerns culture and structure. Organizations must change in five areas: mind-set, organizational setup, work-activity allocation, workforce composition, and C-suite understanding.
File Photo: The Red Balloon office - an example of an open plan  Bullpen -style office
File Photo: The Red Balloon office - an example of an open plan 'Bullpen'-style office
Veronica Therese (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The five areas required to drive digital transformation success are outlined in a report from McKinsey. While data are immensely important for modern businesses, significantly more important are the real actionable insights, and such insights can only be delivered if a business is appropriately structured and the culture of change is suitably embedded.
Looking at the areas of change in more detail, these entail:
Mindset change
Companies need to provide continuous learning opportunities and ensure that they’re promoting lifelong learning within their organization.
Organizational setup
Moving away from traditional hierarchies and incorporating more “cross-functional collaboration” between teams – this also goes back to the mindset change, McKinney stresses the importance of keeping people learning and evolving in their skill sets.
Work-activity allocation
McKinney explains the concept of “unbundling and rebundling” to create jobs that look different than they have in the past. This requires a skills shift, both in terms of personnel and the application of automation.
Workforce composition
Plain and simple, more work will be done by freelancers and contractors as per the gig economy dictates – companies need to get used to this.
C-suite and HR understanding and functions
It is often that top executives lacked sufficient understanding of technologies to lead the organization through the adoption of automation and AI. This is in addition to getting executives on board, HR will also need to change to accommodate the new workforce.
A firm can have millions of data points at its disposal but inferring this colossal data and putting it in perspective with respect to the business pain points is the real task.
What needs to happen is the current narrative, which is heavily tilted in favor of data, needs to evolve into finding ways for more efficient processes to be built around harnessing real insights from the data. This transformational change requires a cultural shift, and the five points outlined provide a starting point from which change can be delivered.