While many IT leaders hope digital transformation will solve their operational problems, 70 percent of complex change programs fail to reach their stated goals, according to McKinsey. Additional research confirms that cultural change is the biggest roadblock companies face in pursuing their digital strategies.
Still, CIOs are tasked with championing successful software implementations and the cultural shifts that accompany them. It’s an intimidating job to undertake, and not without its challenges.
Companies that focus on new technologies without investing in organizational capabilities will fall short of their goals. The reason? According to a Forbes article, it’s due to their inability or unwillingness to create a culture that fosters change.
The good news is that it is possible to align organizational culture with digital strategy and achieve a successful, enterprise-wide digital transformation.
Driving digital culture from the top down with a digital adoption model
A digital adoption model must be at the heart of each digital initiative. Digital adoption is achieving a state in which users can use technology as it was intended and to the fullest extent. It means they can extract the greatest value by using all of the features and capabilities a given tool has to offer.
Once CIOs have embraced a digital adoption mindset, they must drive that mindset across all apps, software, and systems to optimize operations and maximize ROI. Put more simply, they need to focus on the digital adoption model as a shift in strategy rather than simply a change in products or processes.
It’s important to note that digital adoption is a moving target. As technology continues to advance and companies continue to expand their digital arsenal, refining the digital adoption model must remain an ongoing focus for delivering continual improvements and enhancements that increase user competency.
Don’t leave your employees out of the transformation process
With top-down direction in place, the next step toward realizing a successful digital culture is ensuring new tools are being used by employees in a way that improves performance and drives innovation.
Unfortunately, in the framework of a constantly evolving business landscape, it’s common for employees to become quickly overwhelmed and frustrated. There’s a disconnect between the skills and technologies that companies say matter most and how they invest in them, according to PwC research.
In fact, more than half don’t have a structure in place for delivering training, according to PwC. A successful strategy, then, begins with a clear understanding of how employees interact with digital systems.
After months or years using the same platform, employees have likely reached a level of expertise, or at least advanced proficiency, with the systems required for doing their work. The idea of switching to complex, unfamiliar systems is an intimidating proposition. Your employees’ competence, productivity, and overall performance hinges on their ability to use the software effectively.
Simply diving into digital transformation without involving your employees in the process and addressing their needs will put a major strain on the employee experience. That, in turn, can delay or even destroy your efforts to create a positive digital culture.
Traditional vs digital training
Traditional employee training consists of heavy manuals and in-class seminars that take employees out of the work environment.
The problem with this style of learning is that employees are unable to put training to practice in order to see how it impacts their work. With a separate manual or training modules, employees are forced to switch back and forth between a learning environment and the actual work, costing valuable time and slowing the adoption process.
Every employee learns best with different styles and at a unique pace, making group training ineffective for many.
To be truly effective, employee training should be tailored to each individual’s specific needs, challenges, and skills. That means empowering employees to lead their own training toward true digital adoption.
Creating a value-driven digital culture
One of the most critical challenges companies face is making sure employees use digital systems to their fullest extent in order to achieve the desired business results. Beyond implementing new technologies, business leaders must change current processes and add new ones to achieve the greatest use of the tools and reach the overall strategic goal of creating a digital culture.
When new software becomes second nature to employees, the entire organization is able to realize the benefits of innovation.
The right solution can help employees integrate new systems more quickly. As they become more confident, employees will begin to complete tasks faster and more efficiently, making them more productive. In addition to assisting employees, your digital adoption model should provide business leaders with a clear understanding of how new systems are being used after they’ve launched.
With an effective digital strategy and the tools to conquer the challenges associated with shaping a digital culture, CIOs can ensure a successful transformation that enables innovation, now and well into the future.
For more information on how to successfully change your organization’s digital culture, download our new e-book, Taming the Digital Beast: New Strategies That Enable the CIO to Maximize the Benefits of Digital Transformation.