87% of today’s businesses believe digital transformation is a competitive opportunity. While it certainly can be, there are some foundational business problems that software solution won’t solve.
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We’re living in a world where technology is everywhere, changing how we communicate, the way we work, and even how we collaborate. In an environment like this, it’s easy to assume the new technology is the answer to all of our business problems.
The right technology can do incredible things for a company:
Collaboration software can open the door to remote and flexible working, creating happier, more productive employees.
Artificial Intelligence could make it easier for you to access useful insights from your business data and use them to make crucial decisions.
Automation can take care of repetitive tasks and make time for more important things.
However, tech isn’t the answer to anything and everything that goes wrong in your organization. Tech isn’t the savior of modern business; it helps.
Some issues can only be resolved with a human touch. Here are five prevailing business issues you can’t solve with tech alone.
#1 Problems with Hiring Quality Employees
Customer service is one of the most important considerations for any business these days. If you’re not delighting your customers, you can’t hope to compete with the other companies in your industry.
While their new app might be useful for driving convenience for customers, it wouldn’t accomplish anything if there weren’t talented Baristas in Starbucks’ stores ready to make the drinks their customers are ordering.
If you’re struggling to find the employees, you need to give your customers the experiences they deserve. Piling more technology into the mix will only take you so far. If you need to hire better people:
Rethink your hiring strategy: Work with consultants, or rethink the skills and characteristics you’re looking for in team members
Transform existing employees: Transform mediocre employees into superstars by listening to their feedback and offering training when necessary
Focus on diversity: Stop trying to hire copy-pasted employees. Explore opportunities for hiring people from different backgrounds. Diversity breeds innovation in any business.
#2 Poor Organization and Workflow
If people aren’t productive in your business, then adding new technology to the mix won’t solve that problem.
For instance, when LEGO went through a period of expansion between 1970 and 1991, they suffered a steady decline in sales, because of a poor marketing strategy, misalignment between teams, and a lack of inspiration.
It wasn’t until the company brought their teams together in a more effective and innovative way they came up with new ideas. If your internal departments lack proper organization, then even the best technology platforms won’t solve that problem.
However, if you can give your employees guidance on improving their operating efficiency, then you will get the benefit of new ideas and opportunities.
When LEGO restructured their teams and giving people the freedom to connect all over the workforce, they discovered new ways to market their products. LEGO mobile applications, games, and movies were born, leading to a huge increase in margins.
#3 Outdated Processes
Outdated processes are one of the most common issues that plague companies today. The most common transgression that leads to operating systems or software misbehaving and systems not working correctly is the lack of regular updates.
The reason why major upgrades and updates are postponed is that companies don’t want to deal with the adjustment period.
If an old system isn’t working, we believe that all we need to do is implement something newer and more effective.
However, to implement new technology effectively, Ford also had to invest in the right adoption strategy for their team. When you’re replacing outdated processes, it’s not enough to implement new tech and hope for the best. Businesses need to make sure they have a strategy in place that will introduce employees to new processes and help them generate the best results with that updated technology.
#4 Limited Communication and Collaboration
Today, collaboration and communication apps are more popular than ever before. Global Market Insights predict that the market for collaboration tools will soon be worth more than $60 billion. These tools can help companies of all sizes to evolve by helping remote and distributed teams to improve their efficiency.
However, there needs to be good communication in the workplace before you can hope to adopt these new apps.
If your team members don’t know where to turn when they need help with a project, or how to reach out to their colleagues, then you end up with disjointed silos. These isolated silos become even more problematic in a remote working environment.
While collaboration tools can help to some extent, it’s essential to make sure that your teams feel comfortable talking to each other too. Consider investing in:
- Communication training sessions
- Cross-departmental meetings and conferencing sessions
- Team-building strategies
Without these, your teams will crumble and fall apart.
#5 Information Overload
As the workplace continues to evolve, with new apps and tools appearing all the time, information overload is becoming a serious concern for some employees.
According to IBM, we’re creating an average of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. From interactions with customers to emails and messages through enterprise chat tools, employees have a lot of noise to keep on top of.
Throwing another digital tool into the mix won’t quieten the information overload – unless business leaders make sure they’re implementing the right strategy to align their workforce.
For instance, when the Director of Global International Communications for the AON brand discovered that the company’s 69,000 employees were struggling with disjointed messaging and conferencing services, she launched an in-depth audit.
Through surveys and focus groups throughout the global brand, the director discovered a way to design a communication environment that worked better for every employee.
AON now sends every employee a personalized newsletter based on what they need to know about the business, keeping information overload to a minimum.
For transforming any business environment, technology is valuable – but it’s not the only component involved in true business evolution. Companies also need the right fundamental plans and structures in place to get the most out of the innovations they’re exploring.
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.