The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has compelled businesses worldwide to speed up the adoption of digital technologies by three to four years. This is according to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives which was published in October 2020.
The alterations have largely taken place in three main areas:
- Interactions with customers,
- Interaction with the supply chain, and
- Interactions with internal operations.
Across business areas, the largest leap in digitisation – seven years – is the share of offerings that are digital in nature.
As a business professional, it’s quite easy to rationalise putting your digital transformation into play right now. Not only does it offer the opportunity better productivity and cost-saving, however it’s also a vital strategy in the face of the existing COVID-19 crisis and the resultant forced work/buy-from-home setups.
However, making this shift is more than merely setting up network security or abandoning your printer. Your entire organisation needs to support the change, assist everybody to develop the new capabilities which they’ll need, and understand the effect on the business’s culture or structure. And in this sense, successful digital transformation is 100% about people.
The Role Of Leadership In Digital Transformation
The process of digital transformation is not only about embracing technology. It is about making use of technology in order to transform business processes, models and organisational culture.
It is about utilising the insights which are brought by technology to visualise new business models, markets as well as more efficient ways of attracting, engaging and providing value to customers. This is why companies who focus on putting talented people in crucial positions at the beginning of their digital transformation projects will more probably see success.
Good leaders will have a clear-cut vision of the digital path the organisation needs to take as well as the ability to inspire employees in order to work towards it. When roadblocks do pop up, they are able to quickly adapt and pivot strategy while – at the same time – keeping the big picture in mind.
Good leaders will also need to invest in people who are able to harness technology to meet the organisation’s goals. They protect organisations from falling into the costly trap of innovation theatre, where resources are being spent on encouraging innovation, but few tangible results are seen.