The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation journey for several businesses and institutions as they aimed to ensure business continuity amid lockdown. However, these overnight transitions weren't though thought through enough and a sum of multiple experimentations.
In the post-pandemic business environment, as the world of work moves into the hybrid mode of working and both employees and consumers demand a more personalised experience, it is critical that businesses invest in a strategic reinvention of work.
In an interview, Sanchayan Paul, Chief Human Resources Officer, Modenik Lifestyle helps us decode digitisation and shares how organisations can move away from legacy models and lead successful digital transformation.
How do companies with established business and work models break out of their comfort zone to embrace new ways of working and lead digital transformation? What are the roadblocks they face on their journey and how do they deal with them?
Today, businesses realise that they must adopt or upgrade to higher-order technology and infrastructure to stay competitive. These can include migrating storage to the cloud, doing deeper research on consumer behaviour in digital & social media platforms, investing in data analytics to serve channels & customers better. Here are my personal thoughts on new ways of working and overcoming roadblocks:
- Business Leaders should ask big questions and consider what, beyond short-term economics, will get the business where it wants to be.
- Before jumping into a digital revolution, be aware of the “as-is” status & readiness for change.
- Design an organisational structure for that vision and one that lends itself to digital transformation.
- Hire talent that is future-fit for the new design of the organization.
- Hear the concerns of people with legacy expertise and address them.
- Partner with leaders, advisors and firms outside your organization who guide and help you execute.
- Spend more time selecting the applications that work for your business and the implementation partners.
- Build capabilities that enable business leaders to find the information they need to take the right actions.
- Measure the progress of Digital Transformation. The best way is to track specific metrics related to business outcomes such as those related to customers, productivity, and employee engagement.
In today's digital world, how important is a data-driven culture and data literacy skills for fast-growing companies?
Today’s increasing digitised world has made data the new ‘oil’ that fuels old and new economies alike.
Whether you want to understand your consumers better or track your goods in transit, or immerse yourself in deep medical research or even effectively optimise supply chains, data is the key ingredient.
A massive quantum of data is being generated every day.
A digitally literate employee is more efficient because they are better equipped to identify patterns, classify information, and make essential decisions on time that are anchored in data.
In a world where new information is constantly being released, having this capability is vital.
With the rapid shift to remote online work, how can organisations lead digital transformation and support employees who are less digitally literate?
While there’s a lot of talk of remote online work, not every work renders itself to getting done online nor are they location agnostic. Jobs in manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, store sales and those that need field travel are a few examples. Only certain jobs can be moved online, largely in the software technology & consulting space.
However, digital transformation is not limited to online work. Digital transformation must be a key agenda for business leaders because it’s essential to improve effectiveness of processes, delivery to customers and improve employee experience.
Digital transformation accelerates growth, boosts employee productivity and can positively impact profits. The companies have to invest in building a 'change culture' to use data and technology to make more informed, swifter and smarter decisions and better meet customer needs. This requires all to adopt a mindset of continuous innovation and improvement.
While training sessions help people get up to date with new digital tools or machines, the best way to learn is to allow them to use them in a safe environment. For those who are less digitally literate, one should gradually get them familiar with mobile-based apps, because that’s something that people across economic strata or levels of education can easier relate to.
The pandemic has taught us several lessons while accelerating the adoption of new digital innovations. What’s your vision for tech innovation and the future of work?
Over the years, humans have evolved to work with and alongside technology and if they see technology as a partner and enabler, and not as a threat or something that needs to be manipulated, humans in general and organisations will thrive.
The workforce will become “human + tech”— powered by a new set of technological capabilities integrated alongside their own skills and expertise.
To succeed in the digital era, organisations must leverage technology in the workplace to close that capability gap, letting tech do the heavy-lifting and foster a culture of continuous learning & innovation.
How can HR leaders create a business case and secure leadership buy-in for leading digital transformation? What worked for Modenik?
HR leaders need to get into the commercial details & understand the economics of the digital transformation. If the economics work, it’s easy to present a strong case and secure buy-ins.
Businesses need to have a culture of innovation, to keep up with the fast-changing marketplace. Digital transformation is about fostering such an innovation culture and enabling mindset change.
At Modenik, we anticipate, address and resolve ‘the fear of the new’ and the worry of job losses due to digitisation out of peoples’ minds.
Digital transformation eliminates the mundane and gives room to identify and explore further skill sets, raising opportunities to work on bigger and better projects.
Engaging and regular communication is key.
Create a communication plan to explain the change to the teams, address employee concerns and quickly get feedback on existing and potential hiccups.
Most of our people were keen to learn and change and were seeking technology to ease their work-life.
The business cases for implementing an ERP, digitisation of basic HR processes, sales & distribution applications to empower our field sales force and our channel partners were strong for all to see the need. In fact, we are doing more, and people have expressed their keenness to work on these projects to enhance their professional profile for the future that’s inevitable.
Learn from illuminating talks, case studies and hands-on masterclasses from leaders around the world on cutting edge application of technology at People Matters TechHR India 2022.