As the COVID-19 pandemic forced office lockdowns across the world in 2020, many organizations have made the leap into digitizing their workforces. While the pace of this digital transformation has been fast, the end of the pandemic won’t necessarily slow it down. In fact, it’s likely only just begun.
Organizations that are not prepared for digital transformation will likely struggle to adapt to the challenges of managing a virtual workforce. While it can take time, and every organization will deal with its own unique challenges, there are steps organizations can take to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
What Should Your Digital Transformation Strategy Encompass?
According to Ben Crawford CEO of CentralNic, organizations can create a successful digital transformation strategy by following these principles:
- Put together a well-defined vision that focuses on the needs of your customers. Everyone on your team should adhere to this vision.
- Executives must make sure this vision encompasses the needs of everyone in the organization, including both employees and shareholders. They also need to consider how it will influence every business decision they make.
- To digitally transform your organization, research and select adequate technology, expertise, infrastructure, and resources. These can be developed internally or through external partners.
- Change both external and internal practices and processes to meet your organization’s digital transformation needs as necessary.
- Support an environment and culture that fosters routine innovation focused on enhancing customer experience and which leads to the growth of new business models and opportunities.
What Can Chief Information Officers (CIOs) Expect?
As their organizations adapt to digital transformation, there are certain challenges that CIOs can expect to face. The more prepared they are for these challenges, the more successful they will be at ensuring a smooth digital transition.
According to Linda Kahangi, the Chief Information and Operations Officer (CIOO) at Nomadix Inc, there are five new realities that CIOs will need to be ready for:
- The digital transformation isn’t slowing down:
Digitalization began well before the pandemic. However, the pandemic has accelerated its pace. According to research from Twilio, a company that provides cloud communications as a service, 80% of companies’ budgets for digital transformation are increasing, meaning that even after the pandemic ends, adoption will continue.
- Many types of work will eventually be done from home:
Because of the pandemic, even workers who typically need to work on-site have gone remote. For example, some product development employees, having brought equipment and parts home, are currently working from their garages or living rooms. As remote working setups continue and internet usage explodes, workers will require more bandwidth to do their jobs. As a result, organizations will have to set aside a budget to cover the tools and resources that remote workers will need to do their jobs effectively.
- Cyber security will become more complicated:
With more employees working from home, IT departments will have to start monitoring the home network security of their workers. Organizations will also have to train employees to understand increased odds of security threats, and they may also need to require multi-factor authentication.
- Digital transformation will allow organizations to better serve customers regardless of location:
Organizations will no longer rely on a central headquarters for customer service. Rather than forcing customers to go through complex and frustrating call routing to find a representative who can help them, organizations will be able to provide better and faster in-person support for customers where they live because their employees no longer need to be concentrated in a particular region.
- Organizations will need to consider the human needs of their employees:
Working from home comes with stressors that didn’t exist for many people before the pandemic. These issues include having to care for children during the work day, lack of physical space for a proper work setup, or the intrusion of video conferencing in one’s home. Traditionally, IT leaders focus primarily on technical issues. However, with a greater portion of employees working remotely, they will need to figure out new ways for employees to work together and connect virtually.
Digitally transforming your organization will take time. However, by following these recommendations and knowing what to expect, you can ensure a smoother path to getting there.
Prepare Your Organization for Digital Transformation
Get your organization ready for Digital Transformation. The IEEE five-course program, Digital Transformation: Moving Toward a Digital Society, is aimed to foster a discussion around how digital transformation can transform various industries and provide the background knowledge needed to smartly implement digital tools into organizations.
Contact an IEEE Account Specialist to get access for your organization.
Crawford, Ben. (4 March 2021). COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation – here’s how companies can adapt. World Economic Forum.
Kahangi, Linda. (1 March 2021). Digital transformation: 5 new realities for CIOs. The Enterprises Project.
(2021). CYBERSECURITY CHALLENGES IN THE UPTAKE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AUTONOMOUS DRIVING. European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and Joint Research Center (JRC).