Going Beyond Digital Transformation in the Future of Work

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    In this technologically-driven world, it is almost impossible to not be associated with tech in your everyday life. You may not be working in tech company but you are most definitely working in a tech-enabled company so there is really no running away from the buzzword – digital transformation. 

    For some companies, they have only just begun the journey of transforming digitally, whereas for some others, have moved beyond the digitisation. So what’s next after digital transformation?

    Keith Block, co-CEO of Salesforce at Dreamforce 2019

    The transformation is just the tip of the iceberg. It is just the first step that many companies take in their quest to reinvent their businesses. According to Keith Block, co-CEO of Salesforce, at Dreamforce 2019, there are three element shifts brought about by digital transformation.

    1. Technology Transformation

    The companies that go through digital transformation will see themselves going through the technology transformation as well. Companies have to prepare their staff to be in learning mode and re-skill them to help them stay relevant. Adam Geneave, Chief Customer Happiness Officer, AirAsia, shared the challenges with handling customers’ enquiries. Before streamlining the communication channels into one single platform, customers can expect to wait for 45 minutes for replies on Live Chat, up to 2 weeks for responses on social channels and 1 month for email replies.

    The change has allowed Adam to re-deploy the customer service agents to the right channels and re-skill them in communicating with customers before transiting them to other relevant teams.

    2. Business Model Transformation

    Meet Tally, the inventory robot at Decathlon Market Street, San Francisco

    With transformation, companies will see a shift in their business model too. Decathlon, one of the largest sports retailers, has began the journey of digitally transforming their business by introducing RFID check outs and inventory robot, Tally to their business in San Francisco. This move has helped them to shift the manpower deployment and align with their brand focus to be more customer-driven. The time saved at checkouts and inventory stock taking have allowed the staff to spend more time interacting with their customers and helping them better. Keith added that it is imperative for businesses to reinvent and leverage on the technologies available, in order to keep up with the transformation.

    3. Cultural Transformation

    At Dreamforce 2019

    The last and the most important, to Keith, is cultural transformation. He believes that “as a CEO, you are the chief of transformation.” All the transformations come down to changing the culture and thus affecting people Companies who have underwent or undergoing the digital transformation, has an obligation to the society in the way they use and manage data. The implementation of technologies to help with the digital transformations are not to replace human workforce, but to better help them become more productive and contribute more efficiently and effectively at work. It all starts with the CEO taking the first step, assuming the role in fulfilling the obligation to the society and the people.

    To further reiterate Keith’s emphasis on cultural transformation, Adam explained why the hardest part of digital transformation is cultural change. The challenge is “getting people to understand that tech is to enable them, not to replace them.”