TECHNOLOGY puts the world at our fingertips. With a click and a swipe, we can have a pizza delivered, book a flight to our desired
destination or find a date.
But the way we work seems stuck in a time warp. In the office, we deal with clunky, complex processes that frustrate and demotivate
employees. Demotivated people don’t bring their best to work. The technology we use at work has to catch up with the real world for
organisations to thrive.
As technology disrupts nearly every industry and sector, businesses worldwide are confronted with a single, possibly existential,
question: How do we make this digital evolution work for – and not against – us?
This is where digital transformation comes in. Once a corporate buzzword, digital transformation is now a strategic imperative.
What do we mean when we talk about digital transformation? Digital transformation goes far beyond chasing the latest bit of tech or
plugging gaps with widgets and apps. This is the type of misguided interpretation that leads to wasted investments in technology.
True transformation requires thinking holistically about how to integrate digital workflows into every aspect of the company; all while
putting employees at the heart of the process.
John Donahoe, the CEO of ServiceNow, a Cloud computing company, said: “When I say digital transformation, I mean digitally
connecting with customers, providing a better digital experience for employees, and using digital workflows to drive productivity and
“This means businesses can dedicate their scarce resources, talent and capital to innovating for their customers – and not dealing with
the complexity of running a global enterprise.”
And yet, with this renewed focus on customer experience, heightened and enhanced by advanced technologies, organisations can
make the mistake of overlooking the employee experience.
Donahoe said: “You can’t deliver a great customer experience, unless you have great employees. And in this day and age, you can’t
attract and retain the best employees, unless you provide the best employee experience.”
Today’s employees are also sophisticated consumers who expect high-quality, high-tech, customer-centric services and experiences.
Stefan Sieger, the head of Customer Experience and Digital Delivery for Group Operations for Swiss Re, one of the world’s leading
reinsurance companies, said that every one of their 14 000 employees in 80 offices around the world deserves the same customer
experience at work that they get in their private lives.
“We want to focus on the ease of interactions, removing any friction and giving employees an easy way to work through internal
processes,” she said.
“Our employees are really, truly knowledge workers, so my team has to make sure they can focus on their work and are not
distracted by operational and administrative processes. To do this, we created a one-stop shop where employees can get all the
services they need to focus on their work.”
The workplaces of tomorrow will be mobile-centric, consumer-like and employee-focused.
Real-time insights (thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning) will continue to accelerate human potential and decision-
Intelligent technology that predicts where things are going, working alongside integrated, digital workflows, will help businesses stand
out from the crowd. And consumer-grade mobile experiences at work, the kind we’re used to at home, will soon become the norm. So too
will supercharged productivity and efficiency.
Successful digital transformation is hard work. Organisations have to redesign and digitise their workflows with employees at the core,
and mindsets have to shift across boardrooms and borders. But it will lead not only to greater efficiency and profitability, but to increased
happiness, engagement and retention of staff. It’s a continuous journey and an ongoing strategic necessity, but it’s worth the ride.
ServiceNow is a Cloud computing company.