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Digital transformation is more than a buzzword. And it’s not only about adopting new technologies and processes. It is also about changing the mindset and culture of your organisation. To succeed in the digital age, you need to ensure that employees are ready, willing, and able to embrace digital change.

Undergoing digital transformation isn’t just about technology; it involves cultural change. Culture refers to the values, beliefs, and behaviours that shape how your people interact with each other and with technology.

As organisations focus on adopting modern technologies and digital strategies, people cannot be forgotten. Managing the people side of digital change, can be overlooked. So, how do you successfully navigate the challenges this presents to your workforce?    One factor that influences the success of digital transformation projects is the consideration leaders give to the people who will be affected by them. Given this, addressing the needs of the affected workforce is a key way leaders can increase their chances of success.

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, organisations and their leaders have had to get acquainted with large-scale changes. In a 2020 survey for Twilio, 97% of executives said that the pandemic sped up their digital transformation journey. From the pioneers of digital transformation to the companies that are experiencing it today, this is clear: that people are just as important as the technology.

Assessing digital readiness

Before embarking on a digital transformation project, it is important to gauge your company’s digital readiness for change. To assess your digital readiness, you can use methods and tools such as:

  • Surveys and questionnaires that measure your employees’ digital skills, attitudes, and behaviours.
  • Having an employee suggestion box can help to ensure that all voices are heard.
  • Interviews and focus groups to get feedback and insights from your employees.
  • Benchmarking, gap analysis and maturity models and frameworks that evaluate your digital capabilities.

Based on the results, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals for your digital transformation.

Preparation starts at the top

Every business transformation journey begins at the top. Senior leadership needs to be aligned in their vision for the transformation. When the leadership team leads by example, employees are more likely to embrace the change. According to a study by EY, 17% of UK business leaders stated that they had completed a technology-enabled transformation in 2022, compared to 5% in 2021.

It is also important to identify and nurture digital leaders within the organisation who can champion the transformation and inspire others to embrace change.

Employee readiness

Leaders should make sure they’re clear on what digital transformation means to them, and how it impacts every individual in the business. Companies need to provide training, and resources to help employees adapt to new technologies and processes.

Communication is key

Resistance to change, fear of the unknown, and a lack of understanding about the transformation's purpose can all create barriers to success. Communicate your vision and strategy to your employees. Explain why digital transformation is necessary, what benefits it has, and how it will impact their work. Involve them in the planning and decision-making process and encourage their input and feedback.

Digital skills required

The UK is now at the edge of the unfolding fourth Industrial Revolution. This is powered by technologies including:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • AI (artificial intelligence)
  • The IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Enterprise software (including SAP, and Oracle)
  • Cloud Infrastructure

According to WEF Future of Jobs 2023, digital platforms and apps (such as ERP), Big data analytics, IoT, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence are amongst the most likely adoptions over the next 5 years.

You will need architects, designers, developers, engineers, security specialists and testers who can create and implement digital solutions to transform your business.

Competition for digital talent

In an end-user organisation, chances are that many of these skills, at the level required, will not be available within the existing workforce.

Business leaders can set digital transformation up for success by considering the mindsets and skills of the people expected to deliver it. Those hired for digital transformation projects should be proficient in the latest technologies and tools, and able to work in agile teams. The competition for digital talent makes finding skilled workers a challenge.

A shortage of digital transformation skills and the absence of adequate resource planning can pose a serious threat to the timely completion of any digital transformation programme.

Industry specialists and analysts

You will also need experts who understand the current state of your business and industry. They will be able to identify the opportunities and challenges for digital transformation. Security and risk advisors will also be needed. These professionals can assess and mitigate the potential risks and threats that come with digital transformation. 

In summary

Digital transformation is not only a technical challenge but also a human one. To succeed in the digital age, you need to prepare your people for digital change and create a culture of digital readiness. Digital transformation is also an ongoing process. It's vital to provide ongoing support and resources to help employees adapt and thrive in a changing digital environment. By doing this, you can improve your digital readiness and reap the benefits of modern digitisation.

If you are looking to ensure you have the right digital talent available to transform your digital transformation projects, you can book a free consultation with NU Concept Solutions by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling us on 0330 058 3400.