Stay Ahead of the Pack in Digital Transformation


Posted on: Nov 17, 2015 by James McMahon

Driving the Digital Agenda

It may seem strange, but technology is no longer about machines. Consumers are no longer wowed by technology specifications; no longer left starry-eyed by the technical firepower within a device. Far more important is its functionality and how the tech will fit into their lifestyle.

A similar change has happened in the organisation. While the IT department of old may have focused on their time and effort on supplying a one-size fits all approach, centred around the desktop PC, today’s CIO knows that technology should be centred on the individual and their needs. This colossal shift in mindset has had an equally significant impact on working practices and, combined with the rise of cloud computing and mobile applications, has broadened our definition of the workplace.

No longer confined to the office, businesses and employees alike have become agiler. Most interestingly, it has been employees who have led this change. Demands to be empowered and given the freedom to work in whatever way suits them - be that at home or in office, on tablet or laptop – has put pressure on IT departments. Organisations are now placed in a difficult position, not wanting to temper employees enthusiasm to find new ways of working but without compromising the security of business’ critical data.

Despite demands from the workforce, this digital transformation can’t happen overnight. And while every CIO would love to be able to consider their legacy applications as ‘cloud-ready’ this simply isn’t the case. Small steps are needed.

Before any action is taken there are two crucial areas that need careful consideration in any successful transformation project:

    • The Pace of Change:

Traditional IT was built on refresh cycles – software and hardware replaced or upgraded each year. This is no longer the case – today’s reality is one of continuous change and CIOs need to prepare their organisations to understand this. Every industry is now moving at lightening pace compared with just two or three years previous; time is very much of essence, and it’s important to understand that the organisation needs to act immediately to benefit from the momentum when it is there and not six months later.

    • Managing a Workforce of Multiple Generations:

With the introduction of millennials, we now have up to four generations working in a single organisation and soon it will be five. This huge diversity of people means that cultural adjustments can be difficult. IT implementations are now the easy part!

It’s vital to ensure that the organisation is delivering the right experience for the right user. At its most basic level, this is about managing change carefully; don’t pull the rug out from under the feet of employees by axing critical services with little warning, even if you have another great application lined up. Spend time speaking with users, helping them to make the most of the tools you offer and listening to feedback whenever possible.

Identified as a leader in the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for End-User Outsourcing Services in Europe, at Atos we are committed to bringing the user-centric philosophy to life. It’s something I personally believe in – promoting a people-first approach to business – and I’ve seen it generate fantastic results when applied correctly.

Check out my next post to learn more about how digital transformation projects can help businesses find success through the unlikeliest of methods: failure!

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About James McMahon

Head of Atos Digital Workplace and member of the Scientific Community
James McMahon is the Global Domain Director responsible for creating Atos digital workplace services. He is an active member of the Atos scientific community and his special focus is on technology in the future workplace and how it can enhance people’s professional and personal lives. He currently keeps connected using a mix of laptop, tablets and smartphone. He uses the blueKiwi enterprise social network to share live ideas with peers and Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook to keep up with friends. He still likes to holiday in the west of England in one of the very few locations where there is still no mobile coverage.

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