At this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference, I had the chance to meet with the folks from Microsoft about digital transformation.
Digital transformation is the idea that technology can help individuals solve their digital and non-digital problems. It’s about making processes more efficient and effective using technology. And it’s important because, according to this infographic from Microsoft, two-thirds of global CEOs will have digital transformation as part of their business strategy.
One of the big takeaways for me was the part of the infographic focused on nomadic workers. Obviously, I picked up on it because I feel like I fall into that category. But I also believe that many professionals today wantthat flexibility, even if they’re not a freelancer or consultant. And there are resulting benefits to organizations in terms of employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, productivity, etc.
For organizations to fully leverage the advantages that nomadic workers can bring, I believe they need to prepare employees using training, development, and coaching. We can’t simply say, “Poof! You can work from anywhere now.” Trust me. It’s not as easy as it looks. Nor is it easy to manage.
For example, there are what might be considered simple processes that have to be completed differently. Note taking is a great example. The way I take notes in my home office should be different from the way I take notes when I’m traveling. When I’m on the road, I have limited space and paper is heavy, so I would like to rely on my technology for much of my notetaking.
Now you might be saying to yourself, “Sharlyn, it’s notetaking. How hard can it be?” But taking notes on a laptop has been a new experience for me. Microsoft wanted me to experience my own “digital transformation” (LOL!), they very graciously gifted to me a Microsoft Surface Book. Even though I’m familiar with the Windows operating environment, it’s a new device with a new way of doing things.
For example, the Microsoft Surface Book has a pen/stylus which I’ve never used before. I’m learning how to take notes in a whole new way. In fact, I downloaded a very informative ebook “The Innovator’s Guide to Modern Note Taking” to help me learn tips to maximize my productivity.
I’m using the notetaking story as an example of how organizations and employees need to view digital transformation. We can’t just give employees new equipment and expect miracles. We need to show them how to use it for maximum productivity. Even the smallest activities can be transformed with technology. And when a whole bunch of small activities are transformed, the result is huge!
Infographic used with permission from Microsoft.12