Digital transformation’s people problem

Jen Kelchner at open source: …Arguably, the greatest chasm we see in our organizational work today is the actual transformation before, during, or after the implementation of a digital technology—because technology invariably crosses through and impacts people, processes, and culture. What are we transforming from? What are we transforming into? These are “people issues” as much as they are “technology issues,” but we too rarely acknowledge this.

Operating our organizations on open principles promises to spark new ways of thinking that can help us address this gap. Over the course of this three-part series, we’ll take a look at how the principle foundations of open play a major role in addressing the “people part” of digital transformation—and closing that gap before and during implementations.

The impact of digital transformation

The meaning of the term “digital transformation” has changed considerably in the last decade. For example, if you look at where organizations were in 2007, you’d watch them grapple with the first iPhone. Focus here was more on search engines, data mining, and methods of virtual collaboration.

A decade later in 2017, however, we’re investing in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things. Our technologies have matured—but our organizational and cultural structures have not kept pace with them.

Value Co-creation In The Organizations of the Future, a recent research report from Aalto University, states that digital transformation has created opportunities to revolutionize and change existing business models, socioeconomic structures, legal and policy measures, organizational patterns, and cultural barriers. But we can only realize this potential if we address both the technological and the organizational aspects of digital transformation.

Four critical areas of digital transformation

Let’s examine four crucial elements involved in any digital transformation effort:

  • change management
  • the needs of the ecosystem
  • processes
  • silos

Any organization must address these four elements in advance of (ideally) or in conjunction with the implementation of a new technology if that organization is going to realize success and sustainability….(More)”.