The Digital Transformation Journey: The One Thing Businesses Are Missing from Growing and Scaling

Have you ever been frustrated at work because that one employee (who outranks you) doesn’t know basic, daily functions like how to use their email? (Like typing the entire message in the subject line?)

I sure have—multiple times at multiple jobs, and have always wondered why we, as organizations and as people, seem to hold ourselves back from the technological growth that would only improve our daily 9-5. 

In this Forbes article, it is estimated that the average person will spend one-third of their life at work. That’s roughly 90,000 hours at work over the course of our lifetimes. Doesn’t it make sense for us to make the time spent at our jobs efficient and pain-free? 

Work smarter, not harder—and allow technology to help you do that.

In this article, I will share what I have learned from my own professional journey, and the ONE thing organizations truly need to grow and scale their businesses. 

Digital Transformation, or Revolution?

In 2016, Bill Gates commented on transformation:

This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.” 

Digital transformation is lightyears away from the trendy “buzz” word it used to be; it is just that—a transformation of how we live and work as human beings. Transformation also sparks change, and of course, fear. Stepping out of our technological” comfort zones is, well, uncomfortable and scary. Why? Because it’s change. Fear of change is one of the biggest factors that inhibits growth.

Those of you who are like me, immersed and connected with the use of technology in and out of business, know how rapidly technology improves, advances, and changes. However, if you can adapt and embrace change, you’ll be able to spark innovation.

Born in 1988, my generation is viewed as one of the last to have had a predominantly technology-free childhood. Today, children are born, raised, and immersed in a purely digital world. They are raised with iPads and other digital devices in their hands rather than watching Sesame Street. The closest thing to an iPad that we, the tail-end stragglers of “the good” millennials, had growing up was an Etch-a-Sketch.

Converting the Workplace Culture

Transforming from “This meeting could have been an email…” to “This email could have been a Slack…”

The COVID-19 quarantine era forced employees to embrace, re-evaluate, and rethink what work-life balance meant to them. We also learned that most jobs could be done just as well, if not better, remotely. Gone are the days when employee performance depended on the “traditional” work environments, sitting at a desk stuffed away in some dusty, corner cubicle in a dimly- and poorly-lit physical office.

However, despite our post-pandemic era, many organizations continue to operate by archaic systems. According to an article published by McKinsey & Company, Corporate America’s call for employees to return to the office was immediately met with backlash across all organizations.

So what does this mean? A digital transformation-averse attitude prevents organizations from growing, scaling, and retaining human talent, particularly from younger and up-and-coming generations, which is crucial for the legacy of the business. 

As stated in the article above by McKinsey, organizations have a choice—embrace digital transformation and change, or lose highly talented, innovative, experienced, and professional talent to the competition. 

Breaking Out of “Technology Prisons”

Executive leadership of well-established enterprises that have been in business for generations upon generations are often the same organizations that are digital transformation and change-averse. The “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” or the “this is how we’ve done it for years” mindset is real—but that’s just it; it is broken. The “brokenness” might not necessarily mean a technological malfunction but rather in lack of talent retention and inefficient operations, both of which are not only costly but also prevent the enterprise from expanding its capabilities. 

I personally interviewed several professionals within our network, and they claim that the organizations that implemented new applications to help them perform their job functions and communicate internally and externally boosted their confidence in their ability to perform their jobs. Many also cited that the companies who sparked the conversations about digital transformation with employees and also listened and considered employees’ advice on implementing those applications empowered them to remain at their current jobs.

Technology is a productivity multiplier, and employees want the companies they work for to take advantage of it. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that employees want more autonomy on the job and control over not necessarily just when or where they work but how they work.

The bottom line? Happier, engaged employees mean higher productivity and profitability. It’s that simple.

Retention Benefits

The digital transformation era set a new standard for how companies operate internally and externally. It also has talent retention benefits. For example, it inspires loyalty and commitment among younger generations of workers. 

When leveraged, implemented, and utilized correctly, technology can make employees’ jobs easier to manage and more enjoyable. It can help to reduce stress when work suddenly feels manageable, naturally increasing productivity and focus and inspiring talent to increase the “desire to work harder”. Suddenly those Monday morning vibes are much more positive. 

As Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic claimed in 2014, 

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

The Role of Leadership

As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of this article, digital transformation means one thing—change. And with change comes uncertainty and unease within an organization. Therefore, like anything, leadership has a crucial role in the success of digital transformation in organizations

Of course, COVID was a defining time that challenged organizations and their leaders to change or lose productive, knowledgeable, and capable talent. And today, during one of the greatest national labor shortages of our time, digital transformation is more important than ever.

The moral of the story here? If your organization and team are change-averse, then it is up to you as a leader to empower them and lead them successfully through change. How? By implementing a change strategy and a change management model. 

How to Successfully Digitally Transform Your Organization

In summary, digital transformation looks different for each organization. For some, it means changing business processes; for others, it means upgrading or streamlining technology infrastructures. For many, it’s both. 

Regardless, digital transformation requires change, which requires a shift in culture. But when implemented successfully, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. And we, at Jaguar Business Solutions help businesses get there. 

We help “bridge the gap” in their digital transformation journeys to becoming more sustainable, future-proofed businesses.

Check us out here if you are looking for more information on how we can help you!