The phrase “digital transformation” is usually associated with technology such as artificial intelligence, block chain, data analytics and The Internet of Things, but there is often a lack of clarity with what the term actually means. In a recent Ernst & Young article, author and global managing partner Andy Baldwin argues companies can only take full advantage of technology if employees and leaders fully understand it, value it and put it to use.
That’s because “technology alone does not and cannot transform organizations,” Baldwin says.Rather, people transform organizations when they are empowered by technology. He suggests three ways organizations can effectively use technology for growth and social good.
Digital transformation is more about unlocking human potential than it is about replacing them with machines. Technology can and should be used as a tool to enable people to increase productivity, expand opportunities and accelerate career development. “Consider how your business could move forward if people are relieved of some of their most mundane tasks to focus on more strategic and higher-value activities,” Baldwin says.
No one gets left behind
Because technology is constantly changing at a fast pace, people could easily be left in the dust if they are not taught how to keep up. Baldwin recommends that companies invest in talent training and development to help employees unlock their full potential. By maintaining high ethical standards around respecting privacy and protecting personal data, organizations will build trust, which leads to inclusive growth.
Strive for collaboration
Digital transformation becomes a force for good when it benefits multiple parties, both internally and externally. But one organization cannot achieve that by itself, says Baldwin. That’s why it’s necessary to collaborate with other groups, like startups, to create solutions that benefit not only your company, but also your industry and society as a whole.