When looking to implement a future proof digital transformation within your organization, why is it critical to ensure your solution takes into account the needs and challenges of your end-users? InfoDesk’s Marketing Director, Jade Thompson, shares her insights on three critical considerations necessary in making your end-user the central focus of your digital transformation today.
A recent study by McKinsey claimed that only 16% of respondents surveyed said that their organization’s digital transformations have successfully improved performance across their business. The percentage increases slightly within specific sectors but it’s still unimpressive when you consider how much time, money, and resource organizations can spend on such transformations. Interestingly, when you dig into the data a little bit more, the key factors that contribute to a respondent being more likely to report successful digital transformations mention the involvement or importance of people. Correlation isn’t necessarily causation, but the benefits of employee engagement in contributing to organizational success have been widely cited.
This is highly applicable when it comes to digital transformation across your information infrastructure. Your end-users need to be engaged throughout the transformation process to enable the solution to reach its full potential. Below, we’ve outlined three key opportunities that you have during an information transformation project that can help you engage your user community, both now and in the future. Spoiler alert: every single one of these involves putting the users right at the center of the activity.
We can all agree that being part of a culture where we are involved and aware of the bigger organizational picture is a big contributor to our own engagement with the organization. Luckily ‘taking employees’ on your information transformation journey is easily achieved because it’s likely that at points during the transformation you’ll need to reach out and in some cases, work alongside them, to get the insights you need to make certain decisions through the process.
As an example, we recently worked with one of our clients, who wanted to give all impacted employees an opportunity to feedback on the aspect of the information technology changes that were being introduced to help improve their efficiency. The client’s response was, “Having direct input from our user community made a huge difference in our decision-making, particularly around such things as; what content to integrate and which delivery tools to utilize to meet their needs. It ensured we were able to tailor our end product to meet the needs of our organization now, and provided a feedback loop to continue this user-centricity in years to come.”
These inclusions into the decision-making process are essential in ensuring you get a 360-degree perspective. This gives you the confidence that the transformation you’re implementing is meeting the needs and objectives of your end-users now, but also in the years to come.
This concept of selecting and building the technology and tools with your users at the center brings us nicely onto the second key opportunity, personalization. This is where the specific functionality of the tool you’re implementing, as well as the technology processes underpinning these, really come into play. This moves the conversation from one size fits all, to one size can be adapted by all to ensure that they have the insights they need. Critically, personalization ensures that you can adapt your solution to change with your business needs, without having to overhaul your entire information transformation.
The thing about information is there’s a lot of it, and everyone needs it to help facilitate different things. For example, within a pharmaceutical organization you have a huge range of teams, from R&D, to Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Regulatory Affairs, Competitive Intelligence, Strategy… the list goes on. Something as simple as a government hinting at a new policy or regulation can mean wildly different things (and requires entirely different insights) to each and every one of these teams. This is true across most types of information and organizations and serves to prove the importance of making sure information is tailored to the needs of the individuals that make up your business. When building an information infrastructure as part of your digital transformation, it is critical that your information delivery is capable of tailoring and refining the business-critical insights to each and every one of your user community.
The final focus when looking to engage your end-users is around internal communication promoting and raising awareness of the tools that you’re implementing as part of the transformation. One of the things that the marketing team at InfoDesk enjoys most about our roles is that we get to work with our clients directly in creating communication plans that help to engage, inform, and educate users. The success of these campaigns always comes down to understanding the different users in your organization, and which parts of the transformation benefit them the most. Here are a couple of key questions that we’d recommend asking yourself when you start to develop the communication plan to promote the new technology and tools included in your information infrastructure changes:
- Who needs to know about this new tool? Do they come from different departments and do they have different requirements from the tool?
- What communication channels do you have at your disposal? We’ve worked with organizations to create email announcements, digital banners, QR code, videos… to name a few. But what has been clear from working with such a range of clients is that there are massive variations in the most effective tools to use. This area has been an especially interesting one in light of the COVID-19 pandemic where some channels that would have been used in the past are currently out of access.
- How do you keep engagement going beyond the initial launch? If you’ve ensured your users have remained central throughout your information transformation journey it’s very likely that the new tools will ‘speak for themselves’. But we are creatures of habit, so how do we ensure that the new tools become part of everyday workflows?
COVID-19 has prompted a lot of organizations to accelerate the speed of their digital transformations. If I could give an organization in this position any advice, it would be to make sure that throughout this process you are considering and listening to the needs of your end-users. Their input and engagement are critical in your ability to produce a true digital transformation that will last.