Digital Transformation Needs Organisational Change Management

All types of organisations are examining digital transformation. Digital transformation is the integration of modern technology into all aspects of the business bringing about fundamental changes in organisational culture, operations and service delivery. Its aim is to innovate and grow.

Such fundamental change requires extensive organisational change management (OCM). It is not an option.

OCM is a framework for managing the effect of new business processes, changes in organisational structure or cultural changes within an enterprise. Simply put, OCM addresses the people side of change management.

OCM is the approach to driving adoption and usage so initiatives deliver expected results and outcomes.

OCM ensures that the nature of the change within the organisation is understood and well defined. It identifies all of the stakeholders who will be impacted by the change and their position in relation to the change (e.g. for, against or neutral). It creates a network of sponsors and change agents to ensure a smooth transition. Resistance management plans are put in place along with effective communication and training plans.

Reinforcement of the change is crucial to ensure that people do not revert to the old ways of working and that the change is truly embedded into the DNA of the organisation.

SADA Systems highlighted evidence of the importance of OCM for digital transformation in a recent survey. Their 2016 Digital Transformation Survey asked more than 350 IT professionals what worked and what didn’t as their organisations adopted and implemented digital technology tools and modern operational methods.

A key takeaway was that while digital transformation was an “extremely high” priority (49%), many transformations suffered from poor internal communication, training and education. All of which would have been addressed by OCM.

According to Gartner, through 2019, every $1 organisations invest in innovation will require an additional $7 in core execution. SADA’s survey states:

“Companies must be willing to commit to the kind of heavy lifting “change management” activities that are required to ensure a smooth and successful transition. However, this doesn’t always happen”.

OCM ensures a focus on communication, training, education and employee support.

SADA’s survey revealed that more than a quarter of IT professionals polled, said that their digital transformation would have gone better had their organisations focused more on ensuring communication between IT staff and employees; 22% said that there should have been better training and education; and 14% complained about lack of technical support for the use of new digital tools and operational methods.

OCM identifies the causes of resistance to change, which could include fear, and puts in place tactics to overcome the resistance.

53% of surveyed participants surveyed said their biggest challenge in completing a digital transformation was getting non-IT departments to overcome a fear of “massive change”.

If these figures don’t cry out to organisations embarking on their digital transformation journey to make sure that OCM is an integral part of the transition, I am not sure what will.

Here is a link to SADA’s survey infographic.

Macanta has certified organisational change management professionals who can assist with your transition challenges.

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