Workplace culture and digital transformation: Strategies for preparing employees for IT modernization

Businesses across numerous industries have embarked on digital transformation initiatives, as more than 40 percent of CEOs worldwide are currently overseeing such programs, according to research from Gartner. This widespread push for enterprise modernization has translated into significant information technology spending. Analysts at the International Data Corporation have predicted that investments in transformative back-end infrastructure will surpass $1.3 trillion in 2018. However, organizations pursuing new cutting-edge procedures and processes are not wholly relying on the metamorphic power of IT products and services. In addition to implementing new technologies, companies are launching cultural initiatives aimed at preparing employees for reformed workflows centered on unfamiliar hardware and software.

For companies in the very early stages of IT modernization, the cultural component of digital transformation should receive ample attention. As internal IT teams develop concrete implementation plans, human resources personnel should work with technical specialists to roll out workplace cultural change management strategies designed to help employees navigate sweeping operational revolutions. Here are three tried-and-true methodologies of this kind and how organizations might best utilize them:

Obtain support from leadership
Forward-looking leaders lay the groundwork for effective cultural change management, leveraging their clout to promote transformation efforts from the top down. However, not all executives approach the situation with such a favorable outlook. In fact, many begrudgingly accept modernization with the bottom line in mind. This can lead to issues stemming from underfunding and the other less-than-positive operational roadblocks that materialize as a result of executive apathy. Internal digital transformation champions should address this potential problem at the outset by making strong businesses cases and generating excitement in the C-suite. In addition to gaining the support and enthusiasm of CEOs and other executives, digital transformation teams must work to curry favor among board members, McKinsey reported. These shareholders are tasked with guiding the organization from above and, like operational leaders, can use their power to drive IT modernization success.

"More than 40% of CEOs worldwide are currently overseeing digital transformation efforts."

Democratize decision making
New software and hardware implemented as part of digital transformation has a disproportionate impact on everyday workers, many of whom must completely change their individual workflows to incorporate new technologies. The overall success of these far-reaching efforts also hinges upon such employees, as they manage the revenue-generating business activities innovative IT systems are supposed to enrich. For these reasons, organizations must allow end users to participate in the modernization process and shape the tools that facilitate sea changes of this magnitude, according to Harvard Business Review. Seasoned employees can offer invaluable insights. Plus, the simple act of inclusion encourages them to embrace change.

Present an innovative vision
The prospect of adopting new IT infrastructure rarely excites employees outside of the more technical departments. Even business leaders who can contextualize these improvements on a large scale have trouble understanding how updated software can catalyze transformation. This lack of understanding often creates problems, as workers chafe at the idea of changing how they operate simply because IT teams have decided to install new back-end systems. Enterprises must take this challenge head on by developing holistic digital visions that map out technological change and quantify the impact of fresh software and hardware, researchers for Capgemini found. These all-encompassing outlooks allow workers to latch onto the overarching aims of IT modernization and encourage them to evolve.

Enterprises that adopt these strategies can facilitate the cultural change that must accompany digital transformation. Of course, the internal teams involved in these efforts would be wise to partner with external partners that can help them develop IT infrastructure that meets the objectives laid out in their digital visions and therefore justifies such change management strategies. The Inventu Corporation is one of those reliable collaborators.

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