Digital transformation is a process that companies across the world use to improve their current business processes. We share in this blog post the reasons why your digital transformation starts with your internal communication.Organizations are aware of the benefits of introducing new technologies to optimize business operations. For that reason, digital transformation has become one of the top priorities for most businesses.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of implementing and using digital technologies to create new or optimize existing business processes, company culture, customer or employee experience.
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Often, businesses feel like they fall behind with the implementation of new technologies. As a consequence, many organizations push and insist on digital transformation before they are ready for it or understand the real challenges.
Digital transformation needs to be done in accordance with the flexibility of the business, its ability to use new solutions and the teams that drive it.
If you don't have a robust change management and internal communication strategy in place, your digital transformation is destined to fail.
Digital Transformation Use Cases
Some of the most common digital transformation use cases include:
Business process transformation
The main focus is on reinventing processes throughout corporations with the goal of lowering costs, reducing cycle times, increasing quality and employee or customer experience. An example of business process transformation is Domino’s transformation of the food ordering process.
Business model transformation
The goal is to pursue digital technologies to transform traditional business models. Business model transformations focus on building blocks of how value is delivered in the industry.
Some of the most known examples of business model transformation include Netflix' reinvention of video distribution, Apple's reinvention of music delivery (I-Tunes) and Uber's reinvention of the taxi industry.
Product and service transformation
The goal is to introduce new technologies that can redefine products and services, widen industry boundaries and create entirely new sets of non-traditional competitors.
Businesses are now aware of the opportunity for these new technologies to unlock new businesses for their companies beyond currently served markets.
Cultural and organizational transformation
The goal is to redefine organizational mindset, processes, and people management efforts for the digital world.
The world’s leading corporations recognize that digital transformation requires agile ways of working, improvements in testing and learning, decentralized decision-making, and a greater reliance on business ecosystems.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation
There are dozens of ways that digital transformation can improve a business's performance and success. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why organizations undertake digital transformation.
1. Increased workplace productivity
Introduction of the latest technologies enables employees to increase their productivity. Many manual tasks can now be fasten and improved with new technology solutions.
Moreover, companies that focus on digital transformation have 37% higher workplace productivity.
2. Better employee experience
Today, many businesses embrace new technologies to increase employee experience. Millennials are now expecting to use new technologies that can help them be more productive and efficient.
3. Better customer experience
Implementing new digital solutions allows you to eliminate challenges related to the satisfaction of your customers.
For example, if a new customer needs to fill out a number of on-boarding documents, automating that process can significantly improve their experience at the beginning of their customer lifetime.
4. Increased revenues and profits
In a recent Gartner survey, 56% of CEOs said that digital improvements have already resulted in increases in revenue. With this being the fundamental goal of all businesses, this is the main reason why companies move towards digital transformation.
5. Better competitiveness
Early technology adopters benefit from gaining a big competitive advantage. Improving internal processes increases the overall process efficiency making it easier for businesses to compete with their direct and indirect competitors.
In fact, research says that digital transformation results in 23% increase in market competitiveness.
Digital Transformation Challenges
According to research on digital transformation, 90% of CEOs believe that digital economy will have a major impact on their business. On the other side, 30% of them have a strategy to get started with digital transformation, and only 15% are actually executing it.
It is clear that implementing digital transformation within companies is not an easy thing to do. Here are some of the most common challenges organizations face with digital transformation:
- Poor internal communications
- Lack of employee engagement
- Lack of internal alignment
- Struggle to drive changes in company culture
- Insufficient technical skills
- Budget constraints
- Lack of organizational agility
- Lack of robust policies
- Data protection concerns
- Complex organizational structure
- Lack of support from top management
- Introduction of new legal issues
Internal Comms’ (IC) Role in Digital Transformation
Internal communications departments play a crucial role for engaging employees in the whole digital transformation process.
When digital transformation is being implemented, it is not about informing half of the workplace, or even 80% of the workplace. Everyone has to be on the same page if you want the process to work.
Here are the 15 ways your internal communication can support your digital transformation:
1. Communicate goals and benefits
If you want your employees to understand and accept the change, you need to explain them why the change is being implemented.
IC departments should be able to communicate digital transformation benefits and goals to all employees within the organization.
2. Support changes in company culture
According to research, the biggest challenge, when it comes to digital transformation, is driving cultural change.
Moreover, 97% of companies believe that cultural change is important for digital transformation - 63% say it’s very important and 34% say it is somewhat important.
Internal communications play a crucial role for driving cultural change that supports business transformation and eases change management.
3. Drive interdepartmental collaboration
Most leaders believe that interdepartmental collaboration is a must-have for successful digital transformation. Therefore, internal communications departments need to put effort into driving conversations among departments and making sure that everyone is on the same page.
4. Break down organizational silos
In big organizations, interdepartmental collaboration sometimes results in silos. Without proper technology solutions, it can be hard to communicate across departments.
It is internal comms’ role to facilitate these conversations and break down silos.
5. Increase employee engagement
Lack of communication results in lack of engagement. Therefore, internal communications should strive towards keeping employees informed and engaged before, during and after the changes are implemented.
6. Manage employee resistance and push-backs
People like routines, and changes may make them feel uncomfortable. Moreover, 62% of employees say that they don’t like leaving their comfort zone.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to face employee push-backs during digital transformation processes.
Here, being consistent and transparent is the key, and that is something internal communications departments should lead and support. They should keep employees informed and involved throughout the whole process.
7. Empower your employees
When employees feel empowered, they are also more engaged. Internal communications should drive employee empowerment by allowing employees to make decisions and express their own thoughts and ideas.
8. Support knowledge sharing
Knowledge sharing is a great way to fasten digital transformation efforts. Some employees learn and adopt new processes faster than the others. For that reason, internal comms should encourage knowledge sharing among employees throughout the whole digital transformation process.
However, knowledge sharing is not easy to do without the right tools, and wrong tools are the main reason why employees don’t share information. Mobile-first internal comms solutions like Smarp are designed to easily transfer and share knowledge among employees.
9. Increase workplace agility
Workplaces that are not agile have big problems implementing digital transformation in their companies. Driving the culture of agility and flexibility is IC’s homework.
It is not only about managers and leaders communicating the importance of agility to their teams. This is a mindset that should be adopted by the whole organization in order to deliver results.
10. Make information available
It is internal communications’ duty to keep employees informed and make all the information available to employees at all times.
An average employee spends 2.5 hours a day searching for information, and employees are often missing out on important content. In the process of digital transformation, this is not permissible. Poor internal communications can be the main reason for employee frustrations and push-backs.
11. Drive employee advocacy
Do you have internal influencers or employees with large followings? What these people say and think often means much more than what CEOs and other C-level executives say.
Internal communications should spot these influencers and encourage them to become advocates so they can drive adoption of new technologies.
Consider this: companies that invest in technology are 43% more likely to attract and keep talent within organizations. Wouldn’t it be great, therefore, if you employees would externally talk about your digital transformation efforts?
12. Drive team collaboration
Teamwork is a crucial factor that determines the success of digital transformation. Leaders, with the support of internal communications teams, have to encourage, drive and support team collaboration throughout the digital transformation processes.
13. Recognize and reward
Internal communications can also drive employee engagement in the digital transformation process by implementing recognition & rewards programs.
When employees adopt new processes and are engaged, they should be appreciated for that. You can define a set of new employee behaviors necessary to embrace change, and reward the ones who adopt them.
14. Create a sense of urgency
Without a sense of urgency, employees may not be motivated enough to comply. As this sense of urgency should be created company-wide, it is internal communications’ duty to work on creating a sense of urgency among different departments and geographic locations.
15. Implement the right communication technology
As mentioned earlier, digital transformation and change management efforts can’t be done without the right internal communication tools.
When looking for the solution, ask yourself:
- Is the solution easy to use?
- Is the solution mobile-friendly?
- Is the information easily accessible and shareable?
- Can you customize your internal communication based on your employees' roles within the organization and languages they speak?
- Does the solution encourage employees to share knowledge?
- Is the solution fun to use and will employees want to use it?
- Does the solution enhance interdepartmental communication?
- Does the solution keep your data secure?
How Smarp Can Support Your Digital Transformation Efforts
Smarp is a mobile-first employee communications platform designed to help businesses improve their internal communications and better connect with their employees, no matter where they are located.
It is designed to help employees engage with the company's content and stay up-to-date with the company news. Old intranet solutions are not mobile-friendly causing low acceptance and usage rates.
Large enterprise organizations across the world struggle to embrace digital transformation because of a lack of internal communication and employee engagement.
With Smarp, it is much easier to connect and engage with your employees, keep them informed, and encourage them to collaborate, especially when your organization is undergoing changes such as digital transformation.
To see how Smarp can help you optimize your change management and digital transformation efforts, schedule a demo today!