Podcast Episode 5: Making the Digital Transformation

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many businesses to shut down and local, state, and national governments have required organizations to allow individuals to work remotely if able to do so.  Are all businesses able to make the switch?  What does a digital transformation mean and is your company prepared?  

The types of questions we’ll be trying to answer today are what type of people do you need and how do you manage and lead them through a digital transformation? What tools and technologies should you be adopting throughout this process? And of course, what business processes need to be created or perhaps adapted to ensure a successful transition? 

  • Chris Casale: [00:05:22] Let’s talk about the first leg of management, which is people. And we thought this would be the most important place to start because really your people are the ones that drive everything. So if you can’t get your people on board successfully with the digital transformation, nothing you implement in the way of tools and technology or changes to your business processes is going to be able to fix that. COVID-19 has thrown everything into flux. A lot of people had to work from home. And previously if you talk to individuals, it’s something that they dreamed about, right? Oh, I’d love to work from home, eliminate the commute time, work in my pajamas, you know, set my own hours. You hear about all of the things that they would love to do, but very seldom does the reality match up with that dream vision of what working from home is like. A lot of individuals are having to balance their home life with their work life. 
  • Chris Casale: [00:07:04] So individuals have to find a balance between their work life and their home life. And in addition to that, they’re also trying to balance, you know, less than ideal working environments in the office. You might have your workstation configured in a way that lets you be very productive. But at home, you might be dealing with less than reliable Internet connections or perhaps, you know, outdated hardware. And those are lots of issues that can come up that can hinder the person’s ability to work from home. So the key here, like it is anytime you’re dealing with your employees, is empathy. You have to be able to understand and relate to what it is that they’re dealing with. 

What are some of the challenges of digital transformation?

  • Chris Casale: [00:10:01] One of the other challenges of digital transformations is tools and technology for a lot of us that work in the tech space. We’ve adapted to a lot of cloud based solutions and we’re very mobile. Right. But a lot of businesses might still have, you know, they might be remoting into their computers at the office or maybe they’re dealing with technology that they physically have to be at the office or at a plant or a certain location to be able to use. So how do you make…how do you have the digital transformation if that’s the case? Well, not always possible, obviously, if you’re dealing with a big manufacturer. Equipment, somebody has to be there to use it for a lot of offices and other other working environments. There are plenty of tools to help support the digital transformation. First and foremost, that comes to mind is video conferencing. 

Many businesses are adapting to Digital Transformation on the fly.

  • Chris Casale: [00:13:04] It’s sort of interesting, but a lot of organizations I’ve been hearing about during this time didn’t even have policies that allowed individuals to work from home or if it did, allow them to work from home. It didn’t have anything that addressed their needs when they were working from home. So that’s going to be step 1, right? Review your policies and procedures. Are you addressing all of the issues and concerns that can come up with having your staff work remotely once you get past reviewing all of your policies, mostly your H.R. policies? The next thing you’re going to have to look at is your business processes. 
  • Ryan Smith: [00:14:50] Not only Chris, we talked about how digital transformation has affected from the business environment. What’s interesting, too, I think on the personal side of things, we have seen digital transformation in the sense of video conferencing. We talked about it from businesses. But just from a personal standpoint, eMarketer actually came out and talked about the increase in certain apps and video conferencing just to reach out to friends and to family through this face. Time went up 47% during this pandemic. Facebook Messenger was #2 at 44%. You know, we’ve talked a lot about Zoom and Zoom for businesses, whether it’s, you know, using your team, reaching out to clients or you know, having schools, you know, teach their classes through it.
  • Ryan Smith: [00:19:38] If we look back to the Great Recession of ’08-’09, it was a lot of businesses evolved from that. And they’re still sticking around 10 years later, which is one of the big, you know, was at 90 percent. Don’t make it 10 years, something I’m sure somebody will know with it. That correct. That is on that the businesses that came out of the Great Recession are still being used and part of the digital transformation. So something that kind of parallels this that goes along with it. Just think about this. What came out of that? Groupon came out, believe it or not, Venmo came out of this in 0 9. We talked about WhatsApp that came out in 2009. Facebook later acquired it. Instagram came out in 2010. Facebook later acquired that. So when we’re looking around at what came through this, you can see Uber 2010, Pinterest in 2010. So even through this Slack came out in 2009. When you look through this, these are things that we’re now using through the next sort of recession in pandemic. So not only are we transforming how we’re using these different tools, there could be opportunity to develop and create new products that will last through the next 10 years.

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