Home Business Insights & Advice Digital transformation: How communication can accelerate digital culture

Digital transformation: How communication can accelerate digital culture

by John Saunders
11th Aug 21 12:02 pm

Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword. An initiative 77.3% of CIOs say they will prioritise in their budget is not something you can trifle with. Side-lining it can be at the peril of an organisation.

One big problem brands face while trying to initiate digital transformation is overcoming the culture of the organisation. It’s not uncommon to have employees resisting efforts at digital transformation initiatives; often, the problem stems from a lack of effective communication.

According to a study by Forrester, culture and talent are two big reasons that lead to digital transformation failures. If your organisation does not focus on digital and innovative culture, you are sinking resources into the wrong avenue by attempting a digital transformation.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the sum of the processes you go through to reimage your business by adopting new technologies such as AI, machine learning, AR, and VR; integrating a new digital culture as well as updating legacy systems such as technologies, computer systems, and application programs to reinvigorate and improve how organisations conduct their operations.

Every organisation has set values, behaviours, and characteristic ways of carrying out operations, these define the organisation’s culture. To run an efficient organisation, you must have a tacit code of conduct that guides your employees to act appropriately and take decisions that are centred on your organisation’s objectives and strategy.

When you ignore culture, you are working towards total failure with your digital transformation project. A good digital transformation program must take into consideration the following

  • Processes include the new technologies you have to integrate, the old technologies you need to revamp or overhaul, and the new culture you must adopt.
  • Employees – Do you need to retrain some employees? Is there any need to hire new employees? Do you have to outsource? Do they understand why you need to go into transformation?
  • Customers – How will the transformation impact their experience? Did you do proper research to ensure what you are embarking upon is what they actually want? Do you have a good channel of communication with them? Will it address their pain points?

Digital transformation revolves strongly around digital culture, and to succeed in your effort, you must open up a two-way channel of communication.

Why do you need a digital culture?

According to a study, close to 80% of the companies that took culture into account posted very positive performances, on the other hand, organisations that took culture for granted were not able to achieve such performances. The reason is not farfetched, digital culture gives employees the leverage to arrive at decisions quickly.

Employees know that the focus is on the customer and everybody is on the same page. If your culture is digital, it becomes easy for you to attract talent from anywhere in the world, people want to associate with a creative environment and the opportunity to freely add value with greater autonomy. Digital culture is a beacon for millennials.

The impact of communication

Digital culture is about the people, the employees, and the customers. Both must understand what you have set out to achieve, and this boils down to good communication.

Good communication is the key that unlocks your digital transformation. If you don’t have an effective communication strategy, your whole process will be chaotic, employees will misunderstand one another, and customers you intend to improve their experiences will be left in a state of desolation.

Customer loyalty is very crucial to the survival of your business, especially if you have to remain relevant in the face of global competition. Where you believe that your quality product will do the job, your customers must understand what you are up to.

Those changes you have thought up may be good, but you need the buy-in of your customers to ensure success. Whether the changes are subtle or holistic, you may have problems with your customers if their input is not sought.

You must open up a two-way channel of communication with them. You need their feedback, customers can easily be asked to send in reviews so that when you embark on digital transformation, they will understand that what you have set out to integrate into your business is what they have suggested through their reviews.

On the part of the employees, right from the day of onboarding, you must have done a lot of work to attenuate them to the culture of the organisation, making some sudden dramatic changes can throw them off balance. While digital transformation is mostly looked upon as the “baby” of the CIO, it must transcend across the whole organisation for any success to be registered.

The CEO is at the helms of affairs and must ensure that everybody understands what is required. Take for instance where some certain aspects of the transformation initiatives have to be outsourced and the time zone varies, it is the responsibility of the CEO to make employees that will be affected understand the need for a shift in operational hours.

This calls for some sort of sacrifice, it will lead to a shift in culture, but it will be for the good of both employees and the customers in the end. Change in digital culture can be a daunting task, and you need careful strategy and planning, the key to a successful change is, however, communication.

Digital transformation is of high essence to every organisation, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, but you must not plunge headlong into it, you need to take time to ensure that every employee understands why there is a need and, more importantly, how it affects them. The body language of the CEO is very critical to how other employees key in.

The attitudes, values, and behaviours of senior managers play important roles in convincing employees to put their whole effort into enhancing a digital transformation.


Communication will enhance commitment from employees and heighten their beliefs. The essence of two-way communication is to ensure that information flows from the top to the bottom and the other way round.

You must create the opportunity for the junior workers to air their views, their contributions can mean a lot. Where you differ on strategies, you need to make them see it from your angle, it should be more of conviction rather than bossing.

What you need is communication, and an effective one.

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