South African software company e4 wants businesses to embrace digital transformation due to the Covid-19 pandemic dispersing the workforce.

Chief information officer (CIO) of e4 Fikile Sibiya said it was imperative that every company has a roadmap for this transformation.

“Organisations in diverse industries are transforming their business models by embracing modern technologies to enhance their product offerings, client experiences, and ways of doing business.Though this shift was already happening pre-pandemic, it has sped up considerably since 2019,” said Sibiya.

The CIO said the analogue-to-digital transformation is occurring at a fast pace, and the existing workforce often does not have the requisite skills to keep up with the evolution.

“Bringing the workforce along on the organisation’s digital transformation agenda involves improving the skills of the workforce, at all levels, to understand and effectively work with and apply digital technologies.”

Sibiya said the roadmap is an investment in technologies that will empower the workforce, which will result in major improvements in employee engagement and business performance.

The company said technology is the foundation of digital transformation, but the workforce is the driving force. Sibiya said a roadmap gives clarity on the organisation’s transformation vision and helps the workforce create a link between their work and the organisation’s strategic objectives.

“It also empowers the workforce to make informed decisions that support the strategic imperatives of the organisation. Moreover, it provides a clear guide on skills and knowledge gaps and how to address these.”

To begin digital transformation, Sibiya said, organisations first need to galvanise the workforce.

“Organisations, therefore, need to clearly define and articulate the vision and the goals for the transformation and draw the link between the overarching strategy to the day-to-day activities of employees.

“Organisational leaders must also design a compelling experience for employees. This can be achieved by organisations implementing digital tools to make information readily accessible.”

Sibiya said using a blend of technologies is important because they assist in employee productivity, engagement and efficiencies.

“While building a culture of digital curiosity, cyber-security needs to be built into solutions as data breaches have recently become a big concern for almost all organisations,” said Sibiya.

These technologies include communication and collaboration tools, work/task management systems, document management platforms, virtual assistants and data analytics.

“The transformation journey should also be collaborative, and the workforce needs to be active participants. Employees have the best understanding of the on-the-ground customer experience; they know the flaws or weaknesses in business processes.

It is important for organisations to encourage employees to be invested in the transformation by leading the innovations.”


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