How innovation drives digital transformation

How innovation drives digital transformation
CompanyNet's Taras Young explains the need for digital strategies that account for people and culture

Caspar Herzberg |

This article was originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of The Record. 

It’s tempting to believe that digital transformation can happen simply by investing in technology. But transferring outdated processes and broken business models to a new platform won’t make them work – it just makes them outdated and broken in new ways.

Smart business leaders recognise that technology is only part of successful digital transformation. Innovative organisations are considering the employee digital experience, and consistently putting their people and culture first.

The diffusion of innovations model predicts that the bulk of organisations fall into groups known as the early and late majorities. They are happy to carry on as before, doing things how they’ve always been done, until the weight of change is so great that they have to acknowledge it.

Whether that business change is rejected, or taken up and transforms the organisation, relies on the groundwork by those leading the innovation. At CompanyNet, we are fortunate to work with a number of forward-thinking organisations who are making a success of this ­culture-first approach, blazing a trail of innovation for the majority to follow.

We work with NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), who provide services critical to supporting our national health system. Three foundational principles drive NHS NSS in their goal for digital transformation: technology should provide employees with a holistic working platform; their environment should encourage collaboration, and their culture should support the adoption of a digital workplace.

Underpinned by user-focused service design and more agile development of processes and tools, this strategy is leading to a better employee experience and improved business efficiency.

We also work with Scotland’s national water body, Scottish Water, who practiced a ­user-centric approach in implementing their new Office 365 digital workplace. Workshops were conducted with a cross-section of staff, leading to the creation of an ‘Early Adopters’ group. This group helped build an intranet based on our Kira platform, and a new Yammer site.

These cornerstones of their new digital workplace were then rolled out to the rest of the organisation. By working closely with staff, and bearing their needs in mind, Scottish Water enjoyed huge take-up of the platform. It is now creating deep business transformation across the organisation.

These organisations are proving that grounding their digital strategy in a user-first, ­culture-first approach is a clear path to wider, lasting transformation.

It’s time more forward-thinking businesses joined them.  

Taras Young is marketing manager at CompanyNet


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