How to Engage Employees in a Data-Driven Business Strategy
Digital transformation is high on the list of corporate priorities today. In fact, according to research by Gartner, two-thirds of business leaders believe their company ‘must become significantly digitalised by 2020 to remain competitive’. Yet, despite this focus, research by McKinsey has found that only 16% of digital transformations have ‘successfully improved performance and also equipped them to sustain changes in the long term’.
The McKinsey research also describes 10 key factors that, when in place, lead to up to three times greater success rates of digital transformations. Running through seven of these is a common thread: people. Whether it is senior leaders, management teams, or employees across the wider organisation, digital transformation is a people process.
In this article, we address two key questions about digital transformation:
1. Why is digital transformation critical for business success?
2. How do you manage the people side of digital transformation?
Why Is Digital Transformation Critical for Business Success?
The amount of data being produced and collected in the world is exploding:
- Cisco has predicted that by 2022 the world will be producing 4.8 zettabytes of IP traffic – more than three times the rate in 2017. It says that this build-up will be led by the Internet of Things, video, and the number of new users.
- The International Data Corporation (IDC) has forecast that the sum of data will grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes in 2025.
Utilising this data effectively enables companies to develop better customer-centric products and services, creating customer experiences that move them ahead of their competition. Companies like Amazon and Netflix have raced ahead in the data leagues. They employ digital technologies to better understand their customers and improve organisational efficiency.
Successful digital transformation produces clear gains for an organisation, which include:
Digital transformation enables faster location of data and better interpretation and understanding of that data. Searching through reams of paperwork or scanning acres of microfiche takes time. Digitalisation reduces this time to a couple of clicks of a mouse.
The cloud and mobile connectivity have enhanced the ability to collaborate both internally and externally. Remote workers are now brought into the workplace virtually, and real-time data exchange creates opportunity to work simultaneously and seamlessly. 5G promises to extend this potential even further, with the capacity to change the world, and the way we do things, beyond all recognition (see our article ‘Where Are We on 5G?’ link to this article).