Digital transformation means using digital technologies to solve business problems and meet the demands of your customers. Companies that have undergone a digital transformation are more flexible and better protected against external shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic. But those aren’t the only benefits. Other benefits include:
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Higher employee productivity
- Data-driven customer insights
- Fewer corporate silos
- Cost savings
An IDG survey conducted in July 2020 showed that the top IT priority of a CEO is to lead digital transformation initiatives, with 59% of respondents agreeing that the pandemic has accelerated those efforts. But going through a sustainable digital transformation is hard. It’s not about buying up SaaS tools and hoping they’ll fit into your processes. It requires a radical rethinking of how you engage with your customers and your employees. These are three essential ingredients for a successful digital transformation.
Build a Skilled Workforce
While a highly skilled workforce does not guarantee the success of a digital transformation, the lack of it almost certainly guarantees its failure. At its very essence, a digital transformation is about integrating technologies that your employees will often be unfamiliar with. That’s why being able to upskill and reskill your workforce becomes an essential part of any digital transformation initiative.
But upskilling and reskilling your workforce is essential for more than just a digital transformation. Technology is moving faster than higher education can educate people. Continuous upskilling and reskilling plugs the IT skill gaps you’ll encounter when looking for new employees.
In addition, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report indicated that 40% of the core skills required to do a particular job will change by 2025. If you don’t prepare employees for such a change, your company will inevitably fall behind on its competitors.
Provide Learning Journeys in Advanced Tech
Any digital transformation strategy will at some point need to address today’s advanced technologies. After all, what’s advanced today won’t be advanced tomorrow. Providing learning journeys in today’s advanced technologies is insurance for your future. It will allow your employees to understand how and where they can solve business problems and delight your customers.
Examples of such technologies are artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain technology, robotic process automation, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things. While some of these might not be directly relevant to you right now, it’s quite likely they will be at some point in the future. Having employees with working knowledge in these technologies will uncover unforeseen opportunities and protect you from strategic, long-term disadvantages.
Create a Continuous L&D Model
Most learning and development (L&D) models are outdated. Technology changes so fast that once-a-year seminars or certifications no longer work. Modern L&D models need to be continuous. This is particularly true if you’re going through a digital transformation, where employees often need to learn things that are distinctly new to them. A continuous L&D model has three main stages:
During the planning stage, you decide on the types of engagement, the learning outcomes, the levels of expertise, and so on. Think of the learner’s journey as cyclical. A learner starts at the top, learns something new, and arrives at the top again, armed with fresh product knowledge that they then continue to build upon.
During the development stage, you fill the learner’s journey with blended content. This means content that isn’t just served over PowerPoint slide decks. Instead, it’s content that is packaged in a varied, snackable, and contextual way. It’s more flexible, more efficient, and more cost-effective than traditional content.
During the distribution stage, you consider how you’ll deliver that blended content to your employees. Often, learning happens at the edges of an employee’s day. This means that you need to make your content easy to access, wherever your employees are. Think self-paced, cloud-based content.
In summary, the three essential ingredients of a successful digital transformation are
- a skilled workforce
- learning journeys into advanced technologies
- a continuous L&D model
This might sound complicated or expensive to build, but that’s where a company such as Skill-Up Technologies comes in. We offer digital learning strategies, solutions, and services that are tailored to your requirements. Together with Skill-Up Technologies, you can guide your company through a successful and sustainable digital transformation.