With 85% of people demanding that organisations offer digital methods of signing agreements and purchasing products, there has never been a better time to take the breaks off your digital transformation strategy. Question is, how do you do it without breaking IT?
The good news is that it’s certainly possible. But to get there, it may require a mind shift, particularly if your organisation is aligned to a way of thinking that’s common amongst many.
The problem with previous approaches
In the past, IT has proven to be something of a hindrance to digital transformation. It’s understandable – their remit is to be security-conscious and risk-averse; the IT department is rightfully cautious. Yet this caution leads to its own issue: rogue departments who choose to embark on digital transformation projects without IT’s green light.
In fact, 2017 research conducted by DocuSign found that in Australasia, 46% of business professionals felt their own IT department was a roadblock to digital transformation. Over half (53%) chose not to consult their IT department at all when embarking on a digitisation project. What’s more, 60% of teams claimed to have complete autonomy when it comes to taking on new digital projects.
Yet, increasingly, organisations are realising the risks of rogue departments doing their own thing. They have seen interoperability, communication and security suffer. And they are doing something about it.
Strong leadership required to facilitate change
With the demand for digital solutions now acute, clear leadership is required to achieve a more cohesive approach. Forrester has predicted that 2019 is the year that CIOs reclaim the reins for leading and orchestrating digital transformation initiatives. IT’s time is nigh.
Interestingly, though, recent research from DocuSign found that two in three people in Australia think of mid-level staff within their workplace as the hero for change – not the C-suite. It points to an optimistic future where mid-tier workers collaborate for change, with the CIO behind them every step of the way.
The CIO or leadership team’s role in digital transformation could be seen as rallying the troops; aligning different departments’ needs into a singular vision; and removing any tech roadblocks that were previously in place to make it as easy as possible for departments to drive digital transformation. Once that’s done, it becomes much easier for workers to become heroes for change.
Implementation of eSignatures are a case in point
Take eSignatures as an example. Customers are clearly demanding that businesses digitise their systems of agreement so they can sign on the dotted line quickly, digitally and securely.
To respond to this demand, business leaders should become champions for change. They should be encouraging and supporting line managers to lean on eSignature technology to automate and connect the end-to-end processes required to complete an agreement. And they should be making it easy for users to integrate eSignature technology into whatever existing platforms or solutions they use.
Despite the brakes coming off, checks and balances can, and should, remain. Security and risk must be carefully managed, and IT has ultimate say into whether any new solution could potentially lead to a breach or misuse of facilities. Still, caution alone is no excuse for obstructing progress.
That same Forrester report predicts that 2019 is the year that digital “goes surgical”, moving from enterprise-wide efforts to incremental changes that improve margins. As this eSignature example shows, a few simple changes achieve a transformational effect. And, rather than individual departments going out and pursuing their own digital agendas, a culture of progression is promoted in which all departments are aligned to a singular vision.
It’s a win for the IT department, who is seen as an enabler of change, rather than a hindrance. It’s a win for users, who gain access to the best technologies for their needs. And, ultimately, it’s a win for the business thanks to time and cost savings and better customer experience.
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