Digital Transformation – What’s Change got to do with it

There’s a lot been written about digital transformation and the technological innovations that enable it, what we see discussed less often is the underpinning need for effective change management. 

So, what’s change got to do with it? 

We’ve all seen the statistics:  

  • 70% of digital transformations fail (McKinsey research)  
  • Initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor or no change management (Sample of 2,000 data points – Prosci and McKinsey) 

Why does it fail 

Everyone thinks that technology is the answer… the silver bullet.  

The fact remains that transformation programs succeed or fail based on people readiness and process, Technology is the enabler, not the driver.  

At Thomas Duryea Logicalis (TDL), we have been working with clients to really understand the people aspect of digital transformation, or as one CIO recently told us the fluffy fuzzy stuff. 

That CIO understood the fluffy fuzzy stuff.  More specifically he realised that the transformation he was leading was about people, not technology. Technology was the enabler to transform the organisation – to improve the culture within the organisation and provide the tools to support employees and improve the customer experience – happy employees means happy customers! 

Opportunity lost  

Picture the scene.  Your organisation is doing a new deployment of Laptops and Office365. You now tell them they are “mobile”.  

Both Office365 and a laptop are great tools, but if you don’t make the business aware of the functionality of the applications and the efficiencies of mobility, collaboration, secure working and the like, then it’s an opportunity lost.  

Change Management is about understanding what the technology is offering and supporting the business to fully utilise and gain advantage of the change taking place. Giving someone a laptop but not providing them with the assistance in showing them how to use it as a remote device, is giving them an expensive desktop (and we’ve seen that as well  people want the latest and greatest Ultrabook, yet they never move from their desks!).  

Think about the opportunities to have a remote workforce to work securely and efficiently from anywhere.  

The change management is that People and Process element is what makes the technology and efficiency come alive 

How do we start? 

The basic of basic questions - Does your “Transformation” Strategy align with your IT and Business Strategy? 

If the answer is NO, then WHY are you doing it? 

Otherwise, let’s proceed to the next set of considerations: 

  1. Let’s understand the impacts of the transformation to the people and the process 
  2. Get the right people – a cross functional group, to be the key stakeholders of the change 
  3. Engage your network – the delivery team is not doing this alone. Set-up the Change Network. You’ll be surprised of how many employees want to be involved and help the program and delivery – you have advocates. 
  4. Give Change Management a seat at the table – don’t make it all about the tech. 
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Less is more, but not enough is criminal! 

 As Architects of Change, TD Logicalis has the experience and approach to help you plan and manage the organisational change management for transformation programs.  Whether  that’s digital transformation, branch relocation, or even aligning your IT Strategy with the business and people Strategies. TDL has the experience to integrate the technology with the people through effective change management. 

About the author: 

Michael Michael is a Strategic Business Improvement and Change specialist with over 20 years’ experience in providing strong leadership and structure across diverse global organisations, industries and operational environments. He has led and delivered large transformational changes in the Automotive, Banking, Construction, IT and Retail sectors, both locally in Australia and Globally.


Tags digital technologies, Business strategy, digital transformation roadmap, digitisation, change leadership, IT Strategy, organisational change, change management, people and process


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