In the Post-COVID Workplace, Digital Transformation is Now Occurring Daily

If 2020 had a theme it would probably be “shift.” Consumer behavior shifted overnight. Offices were shuttered. Businesses radically altered their business models – reconfiguring manufacturing lines for jet engines to manufacture ventilators and from gym equipment to face shields. And employees had to lean in and accommodate changes as coworkers were furloughed or let go due to Reductions in Force (RIFs) – in some cases as work volumes increased.

And just like the myriad aftershocks that follow a major earthquake, there’s likely more shifting to come. In the post-COVID era, digital transformation is now being practiced near daily. Over 80% of companies now say accelerating digital transformation is a strategic necessity, according to a BCG report.

Business leaders must seek to transform their operations day by day – making continuous improvements and incremental changes to stay one step ahead of needs and requirements. But digital transformation at the pace of change can be overwhelming. How can IT and business leaders keep up with the velocity of change?

About five years ago, Forrester analysts talked about the emergence of the insights-driven business. This prestigious group of companies, they observed, were growing eight times faster than the global GDP and at 30% year-over-year and were tracking to amass $1.8 trillion in earnings by 2021. These organizations were systematically harnessing insights across their organization and implementing them for ultimate competitive advantage.

Back then, we were aggregating and analyzing customer data to improve customer acquisition and retention. But today, organizations are in a race to disrupt themselves and turning the power of analytics internally to optimize workforce effort.

And they need to turn the ship without leaving employees drowning in their wake. Being attentive to the quality of life for employees has never been more paramount, given the fact that 40% of workers surveyed say they’ve experienced burnout during the pandemic, and 42% of say their stress levels are currently high or very high.

Industry analyst firm Futurum Research, in its report on Workplace and Digital Transformation; 9 Key Insights Impacting the Future of Work, says, “At the end of the day workplace transformation is about enabling change, the ability to adapt, and preserving and growing the workforce needed to thrive and remain competitive in a global economy that is increasingly under pressure and increasingly competitive.

“Most organizations are focused to some degree on workplace and digital transformation but there is ample opportunity for improvement. The process is a journey and its ultimate success is predicated on balanced investments in the areas of people, processes, and technology.”

The ability to understand work activity and capacity in the organization has never been more critical as companies need to navigate, shift and pivot to finetune operations to match the organizations’ work capacity and talent base with the work volume and business requirements.

Today analytics gives companies the ability to aggregate thousands of data points from every corner of the enterprise to provide an unprecedented level of operational visibility around people, processes, and technology. With these insights, organizations can gain a multifaceted view of Enterprise Effort, to understand next best actions to support data-drivendigital transformation.

The automated collection of data can then be analyzed to determine trends and other key insights. The result is unprecedented visibility into the effort and utilization of people, processes, and technology.

With this information, organizations can understand specifically what efforts and activities generates the most return on investment – to then prioritize those activities. They can also understand organization drag – what issues or processes are creating bottlenecks, and even what resources are being underutilized. They can also improve employee engagement, collaboration, and workload balancing, and understand what technology is being used in the organization, and how it’s being used.

Business needs are changing daily. To transform organizations to meet this challenge requires balancing the needs of workers with the goals of business and supporting both via technology. With analytics, organizations can rise to the challenge with the right resources in real-time, while forging a people-first workplace.

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Brad Killinger is the CEO of Sapience Analytics, a vendor of knowledge workforce analytics solutions. Sapience Analytics’ technology is used by more than 200,000 users in over 90 enterprises across 18 countries to move the needle on employee engagement, organizational productivity, and business profitability.