Driving Digital Transformation - Part 1: People

People - who are they and what are their needs?


The term ‘digital transformation’ (DT) has become pervasive throughout our business language. As a methodology, most organisations would agree it was intended to be an overarching term that offers direction for achieving better operational efficiency throughout the organisation, including how we more effectively interact with citizens, customers, partners and other key stakeholders.

By definition a transformation is a marked change in form, function and or appearance, which means its impact on an organisation can be quite profound. Many government agencies for example, are still struggling with how to clarify their thinking around DT or develop a strategy to implement its virtues without fracturing the fabric of the organisation. In a 2015 Deloitte University Press Survey Paper Written by William D. Eggers & Joel Bellman, it was revealed that only 14% of government agencies claim to have a clear and coherent digital strategy.

So is there a logical place to start and can we break down DT into elements or themes to enable us to focus on individual components, whist being mindful of the interconnected relationship between the others?

In this three part series we look at the primary elements that make up the framework of digital transformation, namely, people, process and platforms. Starting with people, an essential element where DT could have a serious impact on the working culture and efficiency of the organisation.

Part one: People - who are they and what are their needs?

Digital transformation can only occur when the organisation understands the impact and value to all the individuals inside and external to the business. For example, in local government it’s the staff, councillors, citizens, partners, contractors, etc. Now take a step back and think about the interaction we have as private individuals when transacting with our local council. Most of us are simply focused on achieving our personal outcomes and take little notice or care about their departmental structure or operations. By viewing a DT strategy in terms of being customer-centric we will drive a strategy that is not only results focused but natural and intuitive to the users.

Take designing an entry point for citizen (online) requests. What would these look like if centred on the user experience? Of course you need to have the technical means to manage interactions and information management to support them, but let’s face it, a poor experience means users will get frustrated and disillusioned with your ability to provide quality services. Making the capture or entry of details logical and effortless, and providing them with some transparency of process means they’re confident you’re in control of their valuable request, making the outcomes truly transformational.

Platforms can handle the mechanics of managing information, but it’s creating a culture of transformation amongst the individuals within the organisation that will make it possible. This means breaking down department silos and encouraging staff to collaborate together as they work towards common goals, i.e. an exceptional experience for all stakeholders. Without the culture change, resistance may end up the victor and a business might become digital but not have actually transformed.

In Part Two we explore the second element – Process and achieving operational efficiency.

Stephen Duncan, Product Marketing Manager, ECM

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From the author: Stephen Duncan