Digital transformation - Agenda Afrique

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In a digital world that evolves with each new day, the business sector is one that presents a significant challenge for digital transformation.

This article presents the different factors that must be taken into account in order to assist a company in going digital and being successful in their new form.

Above all, the human aspect of this transformation must be truly gauged, beyond the “material” technological factors

As such, companies will find that tapping into the fields of public relations, management and marketing will be particularly useful in getting to grips with this digital transformation.

When it comes to digital transformation, technologies are the principal component. Companies must quickly integrate their procedures with new technologies and then consider the organisation as a whole, whilst always bearing the human factor in mind from the point of view of available resources within the company, new skills to acquire or those to be developed. When a company becomes involved in a digital revolution (or to a lesser extent in adapting to new technologies), several new tools contribute to reaching that milestone. An example of this is instant messaging systems that are often specifically configured for company intranets, developed and optimised around a social network linked to the company.

In addition, collaborative or digital sites are sometimes used for composing, correcting and storing documents in any format and from any place. These tools radically change the way in which internal organisational collaboration is approached. It is important that their benefits and uses be properly explained in order to be fully implemented by everyone in the long term. Training sessions must be organised so that all employees fully understand the added value of these new methods and so that they are not reluctant to use them.

Tools available to HR are those such as the ability to enhance recruitment techniques to acquire competent people who are enthusiastic about the transformation, to rely on specific technologies to streamline managerial organisation or to create a service-based system with the goal of optimising the efficiency of employees.

Training may focus on techniques describing the way in which knowledge should be shared with a view to effectively disseminating a long-lasting digital culture

They may equally be organised around collective intelligence in order to reveal the innovation potential in each person, or even taking advantage of smart data to improve the company’s operational efficiency.

Organisations specialised in change management strategies have a full catalogue of necessary training activities.

It goes without saying that the human factor must not be neglected when implementing new technologies

This is a fundamental aspect and probably the most complex factor in overcoming this digital challenge. It is vital that organisations engage in instructing, training and demonstrations so that each individual is helped, rather than forced, to appreciate and ultimately use these new techniques. There are numerous training programmes aimed precisely at providing employees of companies with practical experience in using these new tools. Presenting the advantages of these technologies is also another way of gradually introducing the use of these products. However, companies should avoid installing everything in one go.

Some people cannot handle such an abrupt change. There are a great deal of graphs and analyses that show that between the year 2000 and today, the time that a reader devotes to messages he or she receives has decreased. We grow tired of or become accustomed to having a constant stream of notifications from digital channels. New technologies allow these messages to be better targeted and to be meaningful to the recipient, especially since today, individuals need no longer actively search for information, as it comes to them directly.

It is therefore down to the person who receives the information to be the judge of it, rather than the person who sends it. The way in which messages are drafted has changed; we must learn to get directly to the point. In order to devise interesting messages, relying on visuals has gained importance.

Every multimedia domain is employed. Their usage and codes are learnt and even allow real professions to come about, such as computer graphics. Nevertheless, we must not lose sight of the fact that all of these new digital tools are implemented in order to optimise communications within the company and from the company outwards, but also, as we have seen, to energise the teams within it. That is, provided that they remain tools that work for employees, not against them.

Learning to use these tools correctly is important, especially when pointing out the limitations and risks involved in using them compulsively or unreasonably. Having employees learning not to check their smartphone at the weekend can contribute to their well-being, and a happy employee is an efficient employee.

Among the technologies whose usage merits explanation are social networks

Social networks are a double-edged sword: on one hand, they are an excellent communication and marketing tool that facilitate the bringing together of a real community, and on the other, each person can express their mood, sometimes in a disorganised manner, which can muddle up the messages.

By way of concluding, if companies wish to remain in the race, they have no choice but to become involved with the digital revolution, especially when it comes to communication. Companies can gradually learn to use these new technologies, by demonstrating the advantages and added value for the working community. The implementation of these changes must go hand in hand with open and transparent dialogue, communicating strategies wherever possible. In addition, any changes must be facilitated by the corresponding methods and training so that employees feel reassured and ready to adapt. Finally, this digital transformation must take the time factor into account, which is essential to its success.

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