The democratization of digital technology can significantly improve organizational performance. With access to technology, employees can perform their duties more efficiently and effectively. As a result, the organization itself becomes more agile, resilient, and effective.
Yet digital transformation is not an easy process.
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Below will look at a few ways to speed up the democratization of digital technology in the workplace.
6 Ways to Accelerate the Democratization of Digital Technology
Here are several strategies that can help you accelerate the adoption and democratization of technology in your company.
1. Use digital adoption platforms (DAPs)
Digital adoption platforms are used for employee onboarding training and self-service. They are UI layers that operate independently of other software, while still providing guidance and support within the target application.
Key features include:
- Software walkthroughs
- Product tours
- Interactive guidance
- Workflow automations
Since companies adopt new software continuously, these platforms can vastly accelerate adoption timelines and employee productivity.
2. Build a digital workplace culture
An organization’s culture has a dramatic impact on how it uses technology.
A culture that is resistant to technology, for instance, will not be adaptable in a digital economy. Employees will have a hard time learning new technology and their behavior will often reflect their reluctance to learn.
On the other hand, by embedding digital into the corporate culture’s DNA, you can improve employees’ willingness to use technology.
Benefits of a digital culture include:
- Shorter learning curves
- A greater acceptance of new technology
- More effective digital workflows
- More adaptability
- Greater resilience in the face of disruption
- Increased productivity
Changing the culture in short, can change the attitudes of the workers – and changed attitudes means changed behaviors. The outcomes are those listed above: improved efficiency, productivity, and performance.
3. Invest in employee training
Employee training has always been a part of every business. Without the right skills, after all, employees can’t perform their tasks effectively. And if they can’t meet the organizations objectives, then the organization’s performance suffers.
In the digital era, it is particularly important to invest in employee training. Digital skills, after all, must evolve as technology evolves, and since technology changes so rapidly, it is critical to keep employees trained and up-to-date.
Since change is the new normal, every business should have a robust training program.
Employee training mixes should include strategies such as:
- Digital adoption platforms, mentioned above
- Mentorship and coaching programs
- External educational content
- Video, audio, and text
Every organization is different and so it every training program should be unique.
What is important is to have goals that revolve around maximizing employee productivity. Set those goals, create measurable objectives, and then design a program that can achieve those aims.
4. Hire digitally savvy employees
Another way to democratize IT across the organization is to increase the savviness of the workforce. Training is one way, as mentioned above.
Another is to change your recruitment strategies.
This is easier said than done, of course – especially today, when there is a shortage of digitally savvy workers.
It is therefore important not only to proactively seek out skilled workers, but to create an attractive work environment.
To this end, focus on:
- Improving the employer brand
- Compensating employees well
- Creating a pleasant work environment
- Offering employees access to modern technology
Strategies such as these can make it much easier to attract top talent.
5. Break down silos between departments
IT department are viewed as back-office functions by many companies, whose sole job is to “keep the lights on.”
Today, however, IT is becoming critical to business strategy. For that reason, it is important to integrate IT into the rest of the organization.
To this end:
- Create cross-functional teams between IT and other business units, such as HR
- Encourage the collaboration between CIOs and other C-Suite executives
- Use certain software such as digital adoption platforms to democratize IT tasks
- Embed digital-first processes such as data-driven methods across the organization
IT in short is becoming a critical driver of business success. It should not be treated simply as a back-office operational function. Instead, it should be recognized as a core pillar of the business that can drive profit and competitive differentiation.
6. Obtain support from executives
Achieving many of the objectives above will require a shift in perspective, but change change is not easy. It requires concerted effort, collaboration, and motivation.
Also, most importantly, it requires change leadership.
For that reason, change advocates should obtain the support of C-Suite executives. As experienced change managers know, that support can make or break a change project.
To that end, understand the proposed project design. A case for change and make that case to the appropriate executives. Also, be prepared to drive that change forward to yourself.
Democratizing technology is not just advantageous.
It can mean the difference between success and failure in the digital economy.
Every organization, after all, will democratize it at some point or another.
Those who adopt technology early and embed it within their organization will gain a major competitive advantage over those that don’t.
Following some of the strategies outlined above is a good place to start. For more information, be sure to read some of our other articles on digital adoption, digital maturity, and digital transformation.