Digital Transformation Starts and Ends with People

21 April 2023

By: Steph Powis, Client Partner

Category: Blogs

Digital transformation is the buzzword of the decade. It refers to integrating digital technology into all business areas, fundamentally changing how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers. Nonetheless, as newer technologies like AI gain in popularity, there are conflicting opinions on the impact of digitalisation on human connections. Business leaders may need clarification about the nuances between digitalisation and digital transformation and the right approach for their business. Should they leverage technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add value to their customers? Or they could focus on delivering more personalised experiences to exceed customer expectations and foster loyalty.

In reality, a true transformation would address all of this and more. For digital transformation to be successful, it needs to provide value to both the internal stakeholders using it and the external consumers experiencing it. While it cannot replace the human relationships established between brands and their customers, it can strengthen those connections through thoughtful execution and informed design.

So digital transformation is as much about people as it is about technology. So how do you design a digital transformation programme that can truly deliver? I suggest that people should be your starting point. 

Understand your customers

Digital transformation ultimately aims to improve customer experience, and understanding their needs and expectations is crucial – so this is a perfect starting point for any transformation programme. Through user research and data analysis, you will be able to:

  • Define your customer segments
  • Map out essential user journeys
  • Understand pain points and moments of truth
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in your product or service offering

Having all this data at your disposal helps you form an overall view of areas needing improvement and the possible value that could be achieved. This will help you prioritise your digital transformation roadmap by identifying low-hanging fruit and help you break down large initiatives into smaller increments based on customer value. 

To ensure you never miss a beat, incorporate regular customer research, testing, and data analysis into your processes. This way, you can continuously design and adjust your strategy based on changing customer needs. 

Engage your employees

For digital transformation to succeed, it is crucial to have adaptable and open-minded employees willing to learn new skills and embrace change. Although the process of transformational business change may be lengthy, there are strategies to encourage and expedite this progress.

One practical approach is to view employees as internal customers with needs, challenges, and ideas that can ultimately impact the customer experience. Establishing a culture of active listening and two-way communication can encourage employees to engage more openly and support the transformation process.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that all employees understand your customers.  Transformation requires widespread customer-centricity, where each employee has a comprehensive understanding of customer needs and is focused on delivering value or even surpassing customer expectations. Educating your employees about your customers and embedding a customer-centric mindset will put the customer at the heart of the business. This, in turn, can aid in removing obstacles and facilitating transformation.

Establish a culture where employees understand the customer, collaborate effectively, think creatively, and use technology to solve problems and improve efficiency.

Champion through leadership

People, by nature, are generally resistant to change. Moving out of your comfort zone naturally reduces confidence, and it takes great courage to question the traditional ways of doing things that may have existed for decades. 

For that reason, digital transformation requires strong leadership that exhibits bravery and creativity. Often, digital transformation will require you to make bold decisions – and the organisation will look towards the leadership team for reassurance. Leaders who are committed to change will be willing to invest in technology and people. They should be able to communicate the benefits of digital transformation, inspire and engage their employees, and create a culture of innovation and experimentation. 

Develop a leadership culture that champions transformational change and can inspire, support, and reassure the entire organisation. 

In summary, digital transformation is about implementing new technology and creating a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. It requires a people-first approach, where leaders and employees work together to drive change, solve problems, and create customer value. Technology is only a tool, and its success depends on its users. Therefore, digital transformation starts and ends with people.

Sagittarius is already helping businesses gain and retain Digital Maturity’s rewards to build an enduring competitive advantage. Let us help your business keep ahead of the Digital Maturity curve. Find out how we can design, deliver and amplify your digital experiences by emailing 

About Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an award-winning digital agency that helps brands create high-converting digital experiences. Established in the UK with over 40 years of experience, we’re a multinational team of innovators, visionaries, strategists, and problem solvers who will optimise your web experience and use data-led decisions to power up your CRO, content, and UX. We take a marketing-first approach to our development, baking in performance and measurement to deliver impressive ROI on your technology investment. We specialise in Sitecore as a complete or composable DXP platform and have our own Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy and training academy to empower your people.

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