reflections on a modern architecture building, museum  in  Netherlands
PHOTO: Christian Fregnan

There's been an interesting shift in digital transformation and how enterprises are developing strategies over the past year. Like all other areas of technology, COVID-19 and its impact over the past 12 months has profoundly changed the way enterprise leaders have approached it.

In the past, digital transformation was defined by the digital technology leaders were using to transform services or businesses by replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes, or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.

To a certain extent that is still true. Technology drives many of the practices that we expect to see in the digital workplace and the C Suite is still investing heavily in technologies to achieve business goals, especially with so many workers still working from home.

However, over the year we have noticed a change in focus. Enterprises are looking at the ‘human’ aspects of transformation in a way they have not looked before. There has always been an awareness that technology would have an impact on the way people work and behave. What appears to be different now is that the emphasis now is on human impacts first and using those considerations to figure out what technologies organizations need.

It is no surprise, then, that the most popular CMSWire in the digital transformation space this year was about why culture change is needed to drive change within the organization. In the post, Melissa Henley, director of customer experience at Laserfiche, cites a McKinsey survey that pointed out that the shortcomings in organizational culture are one of the main impediments to company success in the digital age.

So, will organizations change their cultures in the coming year? It is hard to know how the pandemic will impact this element of the enterprise, but many commentators in our top posts on digital transformation over the past year seem to believe that culture change is both inevitable and necessary. Here are the Top 10 posts:

10. How COVID-19 Has Changed Digital Transformation Strategies

COVID-19 changed how we work and changed what we work with. It has even changed the strategies that have been put in place to move enterprises from traditional business models to dispersed digital workplaces. Digital transformation is no longer what it was. The days of long-term development of transformation strategies and their slow, careful implementation are a thing of the past.

9. The Digital Transformation Struggle Is Real

Time and time again we see organizations invest heavily in both the cloud and new technologies yet fail to see significant increases in productivity. The phenomena are widely acknowledged, but we cannot put a finger on why it keeps happening.

8. Building Blocks of a Digital Transformation Maturity Model

Dennis Robinson looked at trends emerging at the end of 2019 and saw the solidification of certain trends, some of which have been in the works for a few year, but which combined, are pushing businesses to embark on digital transformation journeys.

7. Is Digital Transformation Due for a Slowdown in 2020?

As part of its year-end predictions, Gartner forecasted that through 2021, digital transformation initiatives will take large traditional enterprises, on average, twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated. Gartner said large organizations will struggle with digital innovation as they recognize the challenges of technology modernization and the costs of simplifying operational interdependence. Smaller, more agile organizations, by contrast, will have an opportunity to be first to market as larger organizations exhibit lackluster immediate benefits.

6. What 8 Months of COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Digital Transformation

Remote work is reshaping business through 2020 and likely for many years to come. However, the rate of digital transformation to cope with this new remote working world has been breathtaking. Not all transformation initiatives work out though. This has become clear over the past eight months as COVID-19 has forced millions of workers to stay home.

5. 5 Things We’ve Learned from Digital Transformation in the Last 5 Years

Customer expectations have changed substantially in the last five years. They now expect real-time and personalized responses, greater ease of use, and accessible digital and mobile channels. As customer expectations have shifted, so have organization’s digital transformation strategies, as well as their understanding of what works and what does not.

4. Digital Transformation Efforts Stall Without Cultural Change

Digital transformation has changed a lot about how organizations operate. Customers expect higher quality services delivered faster. Yet when it comes to digital transformation, successful organizations understand that technology is just an enabler — that true transformation only comes by transforming the mindsets and skillsets of leadership teams and frontline employees alike.

3. Digital Transformation: Why Now?

It is hard to avoid the phrase “digital transformation” in technology articles these days. The thing is we have been in the digital age for at least 40 years. Companies have been transforming with the use of digital technology for a long time now. For example, in 1986 the New York Times covered "Digital’s Surprising Revival" which investigated the business transformation of Digital Equipment Corporation.

2. 3 Ways HR Can Lead Digital Transformation

Human resource departments are more important than ever in shaping corporate culture to support digital transformation. HR is essential when it comes to influencing and sustaining the future of work. No longer can leaders in HR departments sit on the sidelines and wait for those in the C-suite to adopt a culture of technological innovation and digital transformation that serves the company and its stakeholders. Each passing day brings a greater sense of urgency when it comes to making necessary change in the corporate digital environment.

1. Why Culture Change Is Essential for Digital Transformation

Shortcomings in organizational culture are one of the main impediments to company success in the digital age, according to a recent McKinsey survey of global executives. The survey highlighted three digital-culture deficiencies: functional and departmental silos, a fear of taking risks, and difficulty forming and acting on a single view of the customer. Even in technology-focused companies or departments, such as IT, these three deficiencies are often commonplace.