A Human-Centric Approach for Digital Transformation Success in 2024

By: | Category: Cloud Computing, Employee Experience, ERP

In this ever-changing digital age, businesses must evolve, and quickly. Digital transformation is an integral part of this essential evolution. While growth minded SMBs have plans on embarking on a digital transformation journey in 2024, many have absolutely no idea how to make it happen.

Virtually everyone is familiar with the term “digital transformation,” but most people do not actually know all that it entails. According to The Enterprisers Project, “Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.”

Many IT leaders are embarking on these digital transformation journeys without much guidance, giving into the pressure from software manufacturers to adopt new technological systems without truly understanding them. Even worse, many do so without involving the people in their organization. It is imperative for IT leaders to remember to keep their digital transformations as human-centric as possible.

By developing a people-focused digital transformation plan, SMBs markedly improve their chances of making a go of the endeavor. Being successful at such a transformation is highly desirable, for it leads to a healthier bottom line and more loyal employees and customers in the future.

A Human-Centered Approach to Digital Transformation

The pressure to fill the increasing need for digital experiences is intense. Feeling the heat, many SMBs opt to skip over the human factor as they jump to fill this need. This is a first class ticket to nowhere. According to Bill Rokos, Forbes Councils Member, “It takes more than just the low-hanging fruit of migrating to the cloud, installing new software and replacing analog with digital. It might seem counterintuitive, but the key to success for any organization’s digital transformation is its people.”

A Successful Human-Centered Digital Transformation

In most successful digital transformations, there are four key checkpoints. Notice how each of them involves people, which illustrates the need for a business to be human-centric through the transformation and beyond.

  1. Driving employee engagement. Asking employees for their input into company culture and how to improve it is a vital part of the transformation process because employees who feel heard and valued are much more likely to stay. The future benefit of this improved employee loyalty.
  2. Providing the right tools for employees to use is of paramount importance in any digital transformation strategy because it markedly increases efficiency within the business. For example, giving employees low-code/no-code tools will save organizations fistfuls of time and money because employees can focus on creativity, innovation, and enhancing productivity rather than wasting precious time and resources trying to learn how to use a complicated tech device or program.
  3. Leveraging data is a vital component of a successful digital transformation strategy because it helps inform business decisions. Using data to make key decisions allows companies to offer enhanced services and experiences for customers, employees, and stakeholders alike. Satisfied people are more likely to be loyal to the company.
  4. Setting clear, achievable goals is crucial to the success of a digital transformation, but even more important is making sure that these goals are communicated throughout the organization. Establishing a roadmap and overarching framework will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and fully engaged before, during, and after the digital transformation journey. After all, to quote 18th century poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” With all hands on deck from the get-go, success is much more likely to occur.

“Involving employees early in the project helps the leadership get insights from the ground,” explains Noel Braganza of Up Strategy Lab. Doing so enables leadership “to shape a truly beneficial digital transformation strategy with a high chance of success.”

While a digital transformation is an important strategy for SMBs wishing to keep abreast of technological change and remain competitive, it is nothing without focusing on the people within the organization and the customers it serves. Bottom line? Put people front and center in your business evolution and you are already ahead of the game.