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Employees need to become digital change agents

The report, reviewing digital transformation across businesses and examining the obstacles to progress, comes from analysts Altimeter. The report is titled “The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto”, and the key findings are:

Finding 1: While businesses are investing greatly in new technologies and innovations, many companies forget to invest in people. What is lacking are expert individuals, or digital change agents, to help to facilitate the process.

Finding 2: Digital change agents are people who are passionate about digital innovations and technologies. Such people may need to be encouraged to move up into leadership roles.

Finding 3: These digital change agents can come from various departments within the organization; the trick for managers is spotting their potential.

Finding 4: To be effective, digital change agents need to acquire basic change-management skills. These skills help move the organization forwards.

Finding 5: Digital change agents must be championed by senior management. Without support the volunteers might become disenchanted or misaligned with the company’s objectives.

Spotting customer needs

According to Tech Republic, one invaluable thing digital change agents can introduce is the ability to see how an organization’s customers are changing and workers are reacting to change. The outcome of such reviews can affect where time and resources should be directed.

Talent management

Spotting the right people to become digital change agents takes time, knowledge and a little patience. This is because technology skills are still lacking in many firms, at least according to a new report by issued by Capgemini and LinkedIn. In one finding, 54 percent of 1,200 companies surveyed believe that the so-defined “digital talent gap” is getting in the way of digital transformation and competitiveness within their organizations.

Avoiding technostress

Care needs to be taken with managing digital change agents, since worker stress levels, as an organization embarks on its digital transformation journey, can rise or manifest in new ways. Of particular concern is the psychosocial condition ‘technostress‘, which is about the negative psychological link between people and the introduction of new technologies. In essence, people experience technostress when they cannot adapt to or cope with information technologies in a healthy manner (see: “New types of workplace stress in the digital era“).

New forms of working

Outside of enterprises, digital transformation is providing alternative patterns of working, with work accessed via a range of digital workplace platforms, such as with freelancers. This is discussed in the Digital Journal article “Workplace platforms present new ways of working.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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