The New Digital Tools and Processes Needed To Survive in Today's Environment
The events of 2020 have both accelerated the shift to a digital-first approach to business and revealed the weaknesses in organizational preparedness to digital transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of digital disruption that had been long predicted. Now that it’s here, businesses are struggling to keep up. The pandemic has especially brought into stark relief the difference between businesses that already had the digital processes in place (both in technology and work culture) and those that hadn’t.
To be successful in this new normal, businesses must rethink the digital workplace and commit to digital transformation. Success involves identifying the tools necessary to achieve organizational goals and put enablers in place to achieve those goals. Implementation should be goal oriented, according to Shaun Slattery, director of customer change management for LumApps. “Digital transformation should never be technology for its own sake,” Slattery says.
How can businesses successfully complete digital transformation? To thrive, companies need tools that are adaptive and flexible for the new normal. In addition, Slattery points out that organizations should commit fully to digital transformation and leverage leaders to take point with encouraging buy-in and communicating about any new process.
Preparing Your Business To Survive Both This Crisis and Ones To Come
Today’s VUCA environment — from the pandemic to the rate of change, the speed of innovation, market volatility and beyond — demands organizational agility, digital workplace tools that will mitigate challenges and a commitment to digital transformation. Having the tools in place to address the current challenge will also prepare your organization for the next crisis.
While doing things the way they’ve always been done and using the same legacy tools may be the first instinct, iInertia is one of the biggest obstacles to successful digital transformation, warns Slattery. “It’s challenging for organizations to align, adapt and evolve. Those challenges can stem from any number of issues, but it takes commitment to push through and keep everyone focused on alignment.”
Your digital workplace tools should encourage collaboration, which is especially critical in this era of remote-first working. “We’ve seen a blossoming of the customer base of the value of the digital workplace as organizational glue,” says Slattery. “Having tools in place that facilitate collaboration helps ensure business continuity in the face of a crisis.”
Leaders Light the Way
Digital transformation starts at the executive level, although that’s not where it ends. “At the leadership level, there has to be a degree of transparency, accountability and a willingness to accept feedback,” Slattery says.
But while leaders must advocate for digital transformation, their plans and objectives should be disseminated throughout the entire organization. Employees will be more willing to accept the new processes if they have access to and dialogue with leadership. “Alignment can’t happen in only one direction, so you need the input from the ground,” Slattery says.
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“At the same time, change should be a thing employees are consulted on — not just done to,” Slattery says. Employee engagement is key to achieving digital transformation and employees will feel more engaged if they’ve bought into the change. (1) “At the appropriate intervals, it’s important to solicit feedback from the live-level on the digital workplace tools you intend to adopt. Those employees who have eyes on the ground will be able to inform your decisions better. Also, employees who are asked for their feedback will feel more valued and bought-in to digital transformation,” Slattery says.
A focus on the products that will help your business survive and thrive is essential. “Organizations have a tendency to collect tech, rather than simply focus on what’s going to be used, which makes it difficult for organizations to stay adaptable when everyone is juggling different things. Having a digital workplace in a portal like lumapps that can tie things together is essential,” Slattery says.
The need for businesses to enact digital transformation and redefine their digital workplace has only become more clear in recent months, as economic uncertainty and spending shifts disrupt every industry imaginable. Now is the time for businesses to enact digital transformation to be more competitive than ever before. Such transformation requires strong organizational commitment, forward-thinking leadership, involvement from employees at all levels, and flexible, scalable digital workplace tools.
By implementing digital transformation, businesses will be better prepared to weather crises — both the current one and whatever will happen next. “Knowing that VUCA is constant, means that organizational adaptability and flexibility is of critical importance,” Slattery says. Organizations pivoting to digital transformation will be better positioned to survive and thrive in today’s world, as long as they stay proactive and committed to making the change.
Learn more about how LumApps can accelerate your digital transformation at lumapps.com.
Be sure to check out the on-demand webinar “Digital Leadership in a Crisis” for more insights from LumApps. Watch webinar.
- 1 Anderson, B. (2019). "Transforming The Digital Workplace Through Employee Engagement." Forbes
About the Author
LumApps is the leading enterprise social intranet SaaS platform designed to connect, inform and engage employees. Their digital workplace software helps organizations break down communication silos to build stronger, more collaborative relationships between individual employees and departments.