Digital disruption and employee training go hand-in-hand – or they should.
Disruptive technology is driving change in virtually every marketplace and industry.
However, keeping up with disruptions doesn’t merely mean “implementing new software.”
Every digital disruption has ripple effects, such as:
- Initiating new digital strategies and business approaches
- The full adoption of new technologies, tools, and platforms
- Adjusting workplace cultures
- Reskilling, upskilling, and training
Below, we’ll look at digital disruption and digital transformation.
Understanding these trends will help companies understand the true business value of employee training.
The Relationship Between Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption and Employee Training
Understanding the business value of employee training becomes clear when we learn:
- How technology drives innovation and digital disruption
- How disruption affects companies and workers
- What happens when companies fail to effectively train their workers
Let’s start with the cause of disruption.
Innovation and Digital Disruption
Technology has become the force powering today’s digital revolution.
The internet, mobile devices, AI, and data technology are all transforming the way we do business.
The impact of these innovations has helped coin the term digital disruption.
When a new technology disrupts a marketplace:
- It can create unfair competitive advantages
- Business models must adapt to the new status quo
- Companies must become more digitally mature
Attaining digital maturity, however, is not a straightforward process.
Digital transformation is a process that describes the transition to digitally-driven:
- Business models
- Cultures and approaches
These changes are also called digitization or digitalization, depending on the context.
Regardless of the exact term, they all refer to the same process – organizational changes that help businesses become digitally mature.
Differences in perspectives result in different digital transformation strategies, such as:
- Optimizing the customer experience and user journey
- Gaining an edge with innovative strategies or technologies
- Modernizing IT infrastructure
- Increasing efficiency of existing business processes
The transformation strategy in question will naturally depend on the business, its needs, its marketplace, and other factors.
However, one thing is clear … digital transformation is no longer an option.
The Digital Skills Crisis
Digital transformation is fueling another major trend in today’s marketplace – a widening digital skills gap.
Some have even termed this a crisis.
Here are a few data points that illustrate this trend:
- According to some CEOs, the skills gap impedes innovation and progress
- Amazon recently committed $700 million to retrain its employees
- Governments and organizations alike are specifically tackling the digital skills gap
The skills crisis is a directly result of digital transformation.
After all, each transformation initiative includes stages such as:
- The deployment and implementation of new technology
- Managed changes and projects
- Employee training and education
These endeavors come with their own costs and challenges.
Training, for instance, is one of the most important elements of digital transformation.
Digital adoption refers to a few things:
- Choosing and deploying new software or tools
- Implementing the software and integrating it into business practices
- Utilizing those tools to their fullest extent
Such a detailed definition is important – it draws the line between merely installing new tools and making full, productive use of those tools.
Any business concerned with ROI should care about this distinction.
Achieving full software ROI is an essential outcome for any digital transformation project.
Maximizing software’s potential, therefore, requires:
- Effective, rapid deployment of software
- Sophisticated, well-structured change management
- Cost-effective training that produces results
As mentioned, digital adoption and transformation projects come with their own set of costs and obstacles.
However, good digital adoption programs achieve net positive results.
Most critically, though, the cost of not transforming will eventually lead to obsolescence.
Digital Adoption Platforms
Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are the most effective tool in your digital transformation arsenal.
These platforms are tools that provide automated software training and in-app guidance.
They help with digital adoption by:
- Offering on-demand user training and guidance. Tutorials, AI chatbots, and in-software guidance provides contextualized learning. Users learn only what they need to know, exactly when they need to know it.
- Analyzing behavior and provide insights. Tracking users’ behavior reveals sticking points in the software. This data can help optimize training and increase training metrics.
- Automating mundane, tedious tasks. The most advanced DAPs can also automate tasks and further improve software ROI.
The DAP was pioneered by WalkMe and has exploded in popularity since its inception.
Gartner, for instance, recognized these platforms as an essential tool in today’s complex, digitally-powered workplace.
Reaching Full Digital Maturity
What happens when companies achieve full digital maturity?
On the surface, it would seem that fully digitized companies can do away with digital transformation.
And, in one sense, this is true.
But from another perspective, their journey is just beginning.
Here is why:
- We are at the cusp of another technological revolution, involving technologies such as AI, blockchain, AR, VR, and quantum computing.
- In the digital and post-digital world, change is continuous – it does not end even after an organization has become fully digitized.
- Continuous digital progress requires ongoing adoption and employee training.
Digital maturity, therefore, doesn’t mean throwing away digital transformation tools.
Instead, it means integrating these tools into the very fabric of the organization.