EY (formerly Ernst & Young), a global professional services firm, stated in a report that digital technology will address four major objectives of companies.
According to the report, organisations across the globe are in the process of defining or executing a digital transformation in response to what has been tagged ‘fifth industrial revolution’.
The industrial revolution is expected to significantly change the way we live, work and interact with one another.
This technology driven revolution is projected to be faster, more scalable and adopted by more people than perhaps all industrial revolutions prior.
According to the EY report, organisations therefore, must ensure that all digital transformation initiatives embarked upon meet at least two of the following objectives; improve customer experience, empower employees, increase revenues and optimise operating costs.
A significant number of organisations, according to the report, are struggling to achieve the return on investments from their transformation. Resistance to change is cited as one of the most prevalent reasons for failure. Digital introduces new ways of working, different from what most experienced employees are used to.
“This typically leads to resistance and low adoption of the new operating model. To win the adoption battle, the report said organisations must carefully consider the impact of transformation initiatives on people in the areas of skills, roles and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Existing employees need to be upskilled and empowered to function in the digital age, the introduction of external skills may be required for specialised. Most importantly, management needs to clearly communicate how digital initiatives will assist employees perform their roles more effectively,” the report said.
Analysing the report, a director at EY, Akinsope Roberts, who is in charge of EY Digital Solutions Architect for West Africa, said: “Customers expect a significantly improved experience on digital channels. Traditional organizations are more often than not compared to disruptors such as Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Jumia, Air BnB, Wakanow etc., who have harnessed the power of emerging technologies to deliver intuitive customer-oriented business solutions. Emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence and IoT amongst others are undoubtedly important enablers for digital, but organisations must keep in mind that these are simply a means to the end which remains robust customer experience; simple, personalized, interactive and secure.”
Prioritising the right change levers is key to the success of any transformation, but how the transformation journey is managed and measured also plays a big role in digital transformation.
In a recent survey commissioned by EY, it was found that digital transformation leaders embrace systemic change, especially in the realms of organisational structures, cultures and human talent.
“These dimensions are frequently overlooked or undervalued by less mature firms and those just commencing their transformation journeys. Leaders are also notably more focused on customer needs and new business models. Lastly, they measure success more holistically and in ways that go beyond purely financial metrics. The right strategies, structures and cultures are closely correlated with the most digitally advanced companies,” the report said.