It Takes a Whole Organization to Drive Digital Transformation

by Alexandrea Roman on July 1, 2016 and last updated on September 11, 2018

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Digital transformation is not a solo undertaking of CIOs and CTOs. Rather, CIOs and CTOs are the drivers, while everyone else in their respective organizations goes along for the ride.

Why is this key distinction important? Many organizations especially those not in the tech industry, heavily rely on their CIOs and CTOs to transform their workplaces from analog to digital, not realizing that such a transformation is not a simple one-off project. It is more of a series of initiatives, each one specifically designed to address the need of a specific user group. For example, the needs of board members are different from the needs of interns, so their approaches for going digital are also different. CIOs and CTOs can’t just decide for all user groups without the direct input from the end users themselves.

After all, if CIOs and CTOs choose a digital solution that turned out to be not very intuitive or user-friendly, who will be affected the most? It’s not the CIOs and CTOs who made the decision, but the end users who have to utilize the said solution everyday. Their feedback will determine just how successful the transition will be. If they’re unhappy with a digital solution for any reason (e.g. lack of security, low usability, high learning curve), then the organization will be faced with a widespread resistance to digital transformation.

Thus, CIOS and CTOs should look not just at the big picture, but the small details such as the hands-on experience of end users. At the start, it’s easy to focus on the aspects of digital transformation that leave the most impact, such as bigger cost savings and faster processes. The results of these benefits are measurable, so they are easy to justify. After all, numbers don’t lie. If an organization can save X dollars and Y hours if they adopt a software solution, then what can be so wrong about it?

But what look’s good on paper doesn’t necessarily look good in action. A software solution can be so effective in cutting costs and saving resources, but if end users can’t fully embrace it, then it is a waste of time. Productivity — though not as easily measured as time and cost savings — is one of the biggest benefits of digital transformation, but your organization can enjoy that only if your people (the end users in this regard) can learn how to use software solutions quickly, and to maximize its features efficiently. Otherwise, you’ll be spending more resources on retraining employees and correcting their mistakes.

In one of our previous articles, How to Convince Board Members to Adopt Board Portal Software, we highlighted the importance of catering to the different needs of board members when transitioning to a board portal. Because at the end of the day, the satisfaction of individual members of your organization will drive the overall success of digital transformation. You’ll just have to take it to a wider scale, but the same principle holds true not just for the board but for everyone else.

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About Alexandrea Roman

Alexandrea is a social media specialist and blogger for Convene.

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