Organisations are today routinely investing in digital to enhance the customer experience. However, to be truly digital on the outside, organisations need to first be digital on the inside.
Maintaining innovation and differentiation in an increasingly hyper-connected world will require a strong digital culture. Organisations, too, will need a digital culture to attract and retain employees with the collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
The challenge for organisations is how to create and sustain a digital culture.
Three Pillars of a Digital Culture
To establish a digital culture, organisations need to focus on three areas: digital leadership, digital engagement, and digital ethics:
Digital leadership: Research shows a general lack of digital savviness among senior executives globally. Business leaders don’t need to be tech wizards, but it’s important they have an awareness of how digital tools and processes can extend a brand’s reach and build engagement, as well as increase business agility.
Digital engagement: Effective digital leadership should drive widespread digital engagement throughout an organisation, and beyond to its customers.
Digital ethics: Because you can do something with digital, doesn’t mean you should. In a competitive business environment, maintaining the trust of employees and customers is critical. Companies must move towards implementing a digital ethics framework to manage the inherent risks and rewards of accessing unprecedented amounts of data and smart technologies. Each organisation will need to consider its own customers and employees to assess what is an acceptable use of data and technology to deliver products and services.
Readiness for the Future Workforce
Digital is reinventing the workforce. According to recent research from Avanade, 90% of business and IT leaders globally believe that their organisation’s workforce will change substantially by 2020 as smart technologies become more widely used. The respondents also believe that smart technologies will help in the war for talent as they seek to attract and retain employees with more collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
These findings validate the pressing need for organisations to embrace a strong digital culture. To establish a digital culture requires a digital workplace that brings together applications, data, and collaboration in an intelligent context tailored to each employee’s role, location, and tasks. In other words, organisations must utilise digital technologies to provide a modern workplace environment where employees have access to the business information they need from any device, anytime, anywhere. A digital workplace serves as the foundation of a digital culture.
By: John Tadman, Country Manager for Avanade SA.