Why Communications is the Key to Digital Transformation

By Aaron Tan Dani

A successful digital transformation affects every part of a business including how employees apply leaves or even claim their expenses. In order to reach the true digital transformation, the organisation itself has to align with the rest of the business units not just those who are involved in the IT projects.

Without the contribution from the employees, reaping the rewards from digital transformation will be a struggle. To ensure participation from the employees, organisation needs to have an effective internal communication by advocating best practices on IT Architecture with the Business Requirement to strategize values into the business.

Forbes mentioned that 80% of organisations believed that their digital efforts involved the entire company and this shows that these organisations have effectively communicated their value proposition to the employees. By making internal engagement a priority, shareholders can generate higher returns and create a better Customer Experience.

Despite having a main reputation in this era, there are quite a number of failed digital transformation in major companies which they have wasted $900 billion at failed projects. They have acknowledged one problem in common for the failed journey; communication. The failure to communicate their goals, strategy and purpose with their employees have led them to trouble from the start.

Every organisation should leverage on the digital technologies but it requires the right foundation. The great way to begin is by improving the internal communication and engagement within the organisations. 1) Create a common purpose, 2) measure the engagement and 3) ready for change can help organisations to ensure communication is at the core of digital transformation.

Figure 1: The Strategic Role of Employee Communications in the Digital Workplace by Gartner

Creating a Common Purpose

By focusing on the ultimate goal and purpose of having digital transformation, and communicating it effectively towards employees, they will feel much more involved. Communicate on where the organisation is heading, why is it changing and why the changes are important. It is best to help them understand how their contribution is important and how it can affect them on an individual level. This will help them to be motivated to drive success. Connected workplace and effective communication can become the catalyst for improving business results.

Measuring the Engagement

Communication is pointless when the message does not get through. It is more than just delivering the message. To ensure the message got through, organisation should measure the employees’ engagement and response towards the message. Measure the digital transformation journey quantitively; the engagement towards the content, the actions taken by the different business units. Its best to get real-time feedback to be able to make adjustments accordingly.

Be a Change Ready Organisation

Change does not always mean using new tools or process, it can simply mean by having a culture and communication that is able to adapt to any possibilities. Humans work well with routine but the rate of evolution in technology and business is never ending and it is only best for organisation to be ready for changes for an effective digital transformation.

Communicate the Right Development

In a digital era, organisations need to get creative in the channels they are using to enable quicker ways of working that digital transformation requires. Focus on the people and motivate them to drive success for the organisations. Empower the employees for a better, structured and agile digital transformation journey. With the right internal communication between the whole business units, digital transformation can then be embarked with Enterprise Architecture Development. Lack of communication skills can jeopardize the ability to set goals and lead to ineffective Enterprise Architecture outputs. With the help of Enterprise Architecture, organisations can develop a Business and Technology Strategy Plan that can accelerate digital transformation by reducing complexity and aligning business with technology

 About the author

Aaron Tan Dani, Chief Architect of ATD Solution, President of the Singapore Computer Society EA-Chapter and Founder and Chairman of Iasa Asia Pacific