Ink vision IT transformation
Even though our daily lives are full of digital technology, many organizations still operate the way they did 20 years ago. Last month we worked for a business making millions, and were stunned to find out they ran their key software on MS-DOS – and they are not the only one. Apparently, digital transformations are hard and keep many companies in the digital dark. These companies are losing out though on a huge opportunity: with digital transformation comes the chance for people to do what makes us human, to do what makes us exceptional: to use our creativity.
We believe the future is bright and full of potential, that’s why we’ve made it our mission to playfully guide people in the right direction. The field of digital transformation has proved to be particularly benefitting from our design approach. That’s why we’d like to share 3 key interventions to guide your company through a digital transformation.
So, what are the 3 key interventions?
1. Have the transformation fit the purpose of the company
This is about people not seeing the benefits of technology. It’s about people being afraid to lose their jobs. Therefore, you need to understand your point of departure, anxieties, and wishes. Address fears and anxieties, research wishes. Make technology fit peoples wishes. IT is only valuable as a means to an end – when it’s not used, or when it’s not user friendly, it’s a huge source of frustration.
Most e-commerce and it-workers would like to focus on optimizing strategies further and spend more time on researching and deploying new systems, if there weren’t digital performance issues. Every company wants to seamlessly blend digital, physical business and costumer experiences while improving operational efficiencies and organizational performance. That is hard to do.
In the changing process, it is important to make clear to everyone in the company what the new IT strategy is, that you are heading to. To do that everyone has to understand the new way of working.
At Arcadis we made an interactive platform to create a bigger picture for employees of the whole IT project, so the story could be told to anyone in less than 10 minutes. With different animations and storylines included.
Everyone has to understand the current way of working, only then the purpose of the company is well understood. To give a solid answer on peoples fears and doubts. It sounds simple, but mostly companies don’t know what implications it has. An interactive platform shows clearly how the IT-transformation worked out, and what way the company will go.
2. Communicate clearly; simplicity is key
This is about explaining technology as you would do to your grandma, not to fellow IT-workers. Speak clearly, use business speak, not IT-speak. Also, don’t go in all the messy details; sketch the bigger picture.
A study by Dynatrace involving 1239 independent global IT and business professionals has found that IT-complexity and performance challenges are killing digital transformation initiatives. 48% of the participants ‘’stated digital performance challenges were directly hindering the success of digital transformation strategies in their companies’’ (Dynatrace, 2017 p. 6) 3
When they asked respondents, what was causing the performance challenges, most said that the increasing complexity of their IT-environment was the major problem. (Dynatrace 2017, p. 8)
Focus in IT changes is mostly too much on technology and not enough on humans working with it. With an oversight view – a bigger picture, can become clear how different components of IT function in the whole company. Which department is central, and which department only supporting.
One of our partners, a worldwide health and beauty retailer, asked us to make a clear overview of their new IT Architecture. The company’s IT Department wants to stay ahead in this field by offering their Business Units (the retailers) an innovative IT Architecture. One of the problems they were facing was the fact that it is hard to communicate about IT products and services. There are many ways to show the organizational structure, but a bigger picture that aligns the whole IT organization was missing.
Ink Strategy organized a design program to align IT people with the desired vision. Starting small with the front-end, we slightly broadened the scope, pulling in more and more people in the process involving all IT parts at the company. Creating an understandable overview for all employees.
3. Make it fun: design an engaging story to guide employees through the journey
This is about the importance of a change story or metaphor to make it fun and to ensure the right mindset and expectations. A visual is a way to let people experience the potential of a digital transformation, to involve everyone in the company. So that the process becomes an experience.
Sometimes the change process is forced upon employees and gives a feeling that it happens far away from daily work, while it concerns all people in the company.
At UBS in Singapore we did a session to create a story for the new IT structure. There were different IT sections that worked individually, who were threatened to be flooded by waves of new international IT-legislation. The merge and renewal of IT together became the story of a yacht. With a lot of space and comfort on the deck for the clients, a strong engine and a ‘talent pool’ in the back of the yacht and more specifications on different levels of the yacht concerning it-changes within UBS. All to steer the ship in the right direction on the horizon.
At the office is also a whole room established that is called ‘The Bridge’. People can gather there to get updates about the changes that are going on, or to discuss issues that arise because of the change process. The ship sparkles not only your imagination, but also makes it accessible.
In that way, the people get involved in the process, and the process becomes an experience.