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Digital Transformation: Beating the Psychological Block

The New Year always seems like the perfect time to make a big change. For the C-Suite in particular, it’s easy to begin setting ambitious objectives for the coming year that may then lead to disappointment when staff are not able to meet them for any number of reasons. We often talk of leading from the front when discussing digital transformation, but what if no-one wants to follow?

We tend to neglect the fact that psychology and organisational culture play a huge role in whether or not a digital transformation is implemented successfully.

So, what is the best strategy to employ to ensure the success of a digital transformation and how can you ensure buy-in?

Align Digital Transformation with Business Objectives (1)

It’s not just tech companies leading the digital movement – organisations who have invested in appointing Chief Digital Officers range from Bayer and Axa to L’Oréal and Nike.

This illustrates just how disruptive abandoning legacy systems for online alternatives can be. You have to be motivated to make significant changes, from adjusting your business model to redesigning the company’s organisational structure and creating new roles.

In fact, a survey from Forbes Insights and Hitachi has revealed that “new business models are the top driver of digital transformation” according to 41% of the global senior executives who were interviewed for the report.

Adopt a Design Thinking Approach

While design thinking has long been popular in startup circles, even credited as the driving force between Airbnb’s success, it is much harder to implement in the corporate world.

Design thinking is all about goals – why do you want to build a company app? Why are you hiring a new team of developers? What’s the motivation behind your actions and will the result help you achieve what you want to achieve?

If you know the reasons behind your digital transformation like the back of your hand, it’ll be much easier to convince others to back the changes that are being made and the end result will be much more effective.

Use the Resources you have

It’s surprising how many times an organisation will invest in new technology, only to then misuse or under-utilise it.

When it comes to digital transformation, data and analytics is a classic example of an innovation businesses will spend their budget on and then not invest further in hiring or training professionals who can exploit it to its full potential. Data from Forbes shows that only 44% of companies believe they are industry leaders in data and analytics, despite the fact that 91% have already experienced a surge in revenue as a direct result of using data and analytics technology.

Outsource when you need to

The worst type of manager is the manager who refuses to delegate. It will often be the case that you quite simply don’t have time to lead a digital transformation as well as carry out all of your everyday duties.

To combat this, you can hire a digital director whose role is specifically to drive the transformation or you can save yourself even more time and stress and outsource the entire hiring process to a consultancy.

According to Avion Innovation’s Neil Perkins, the challenges involved in pushing a digital transformation are so complex that many businesses do find it more beneficial to put their trust in an expert:

“The problem companies have with digital transformation is the immensity of the skills gap.

So many businesses are now interested in digitalising their services but there are very few people who have the specific skillset required to provide these services for them.

That is where a consultancy can ease the burden: a specialist will have the right network and will already know teams of contractors who work well together whose motivations align with the goals of the company.”

Outsourcing digital recruitment is especially relevant when it comes to cultural fit issues – you can find the right people for your organisation much quicker and avoid poor retention rates which could otherwise undermine your overall digital strategy.

Take Risks when you can

Playing it safe is very rarely the road to success. But you also have to know which are the right risks and which are the reckless ones.

Even the tiniest innovation involves risk-taking, whether that’s investing in new software or trying out a new project management strategy. It’s important to take an entrepreneurial approach to managing a digital transformation. You might come up against challenges like a talent retention problem or a lack of skilled developers available, but these can often be easily solved by reassessing your reasons for recruiting an individual who quit or outsourcing the hiring provision. It’s still worth the risk.

Could you use some guidance on implementing your digital transformation strategy?

Avion specialise in delivering skilled teams of developers, UX and design experts and digital project managers

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