Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we highlight the significance of workforce preparedness in having a successful digital transformation journey.

The role of workforce preparedness in digital transformation 

2018 was a busy year for CIOs across the globe, especially when it came to orchestrating large-scale organizational transitions. Over the past few years, most global enterprises have embarked on some form of digital transformation (DX). Reducing paper use, increasing social media outreach, and using online training methods have all been identified as key DX initiatives.

Digital transformation definitely sounds like tech jargon, but the individuals driving it will tell you that DX is not just about technology. Technology by itself does not help in transforming an organization as a whole. One of the key teachings that DX brings is that large-scale structural changes require repeated and sustainable efforts across all business verticals. These efforts boil down to one thing: the workforce that rides on top of all these verticals.

One of the prime obstacles to DX is a lack of adequately skilled workers. Most organizations tend to focus on the technological aspect of DX, which means the workforce often goes unsupported. Simply put, the workforce is what drives digital transformation, but it’s often inadequately equipped to do so from a work culture, mental preparedness, talent, and skill set perspective.

With that being said, here are some interesting reads from across the internet on why the workforce is deemed an integral part of DX as well as how to include your workforce in your DX plan:

  1. Digital transformation is about people, not technology
    Digital is about technology, but transformation is about people and motivating teams to change their mindset. Justin Wright, Americas CIO of Arcadis, explains how he handled the challenge.

  1. The digital transformation of learning: Social, informal, self-service, and enjoyable
    Technology has long been used to improve how we learn, but today’s digital advances, particularly with social media, have taken learning in powerful, new, and—for some—entirely unexpected directions.

  1. Gartner Identifies Six Barriers to Becoming a Digital Business
    Gartner has identified six barriers that CIOs must overcome to transform their organization into a digital business.

  1. 7 secrets for getting digital transformation right
    A technology-first approach to digital transformation is a recipe for disaster. Start instead by overhauling your organization with a customer-centric end goal in mind.

  1. More effective digital transformation through the power of your own people
    The old model of escalating decisions up and down the management chain does not work any more. Business leaders can delegate the responsibility for projects to business and technology specialists to eliminate the fear of failure.

An enterprise’s DX efforts can be deemed successful once the people driving this movement are ready to embrace continuous change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. The key focus for decision makers should therefore be creating and fostering a collaborative work culture. This work culture needs to motivate people to adapt to changes continuously in order to eliminate operational silos and bottlenecks. The ability to adapt to trends and technological opportunities breeds innovation, while allowing the organization to stay relevant and sustain changing market demands and behavior.