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HR GLOSSARY

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HR Glossary | What is Digital Transformation?

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What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a term for the massive impacts that technology is having on organizations of all kinds. It suggests a strategic approach to the ways that technology will impact organizations and the recognition that decisions related to the use of technology need to be based on enterprise-wide needs, and not just the needs of individual business functions.

This shift in thinking is creating both challenges and opportunities for a wide range of business functions—including HR.

Digital transformation and the HR function

People are the foundation of product and service creation and delivery in any organization. In service organizations, in particular, people represent a significant investment. When people can be selected, trained, deployed, and evaluated effectively they can be more productive and their impacts more strategic.

People analytics is a critical part of any organization’s digital transformation. Organizations are coming to understand that people should not be primarily the focus of the HR function, but of the organization as a whole. The ability to use data to help make informed decisions related to human resources is critical today and will continue to be critical well into the future.

Steps in digital transformation

Successful digital transformation requires conversations at all levels and across all functions in an organization. Those directly impacted by digital transformation must support change initiatives no matter their level—the more people who share the digital transformation vision, the more quickly organizations can move forward. To be successful organizations need to:

  • Implement a change strategy based on data.
  • Deploy technologies that enhance change management strategies.
  • Develop continuous listening and feedback models.

Along the way, the most successful organizations will rely on data to help them manage, measure and improve their digital transformation efforts.

People and digital transformation

While technology plays an important role in digital transformation, people will remain a fundamental part of the process. The link between people and business strategy has never been clearer. A successful people strategy tied to a strategic focus on digital transformation will drive business outcomes.

About the author: Linda Pophal

Linda Pophal, MA, PCM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the founder and owner of Strategic Communications, LLC, and a marketing and communication strategist with expertise in HR and employee relations. With a background as a business journalist, her writing has appeared in the HR Daily Advisor, Human Resource Executive, and SHRM. She is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

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