After two years of accelerated digital transformation, around half of IT leaders Global: 50%; APJ: 45% say their organizations know what it takes to digitally transform a workforce, but after such rapid change, many employees are now facing a challenge to keep up the pace, according to a new Dell Technologies survey. What’s more, more than two-thirds of 10,500 respondents from 40+ countries believe their organizations underestimate how to engage with their people properly when planning transformation programs.
The results highlight how the recent period of rapid transformation is leaving businesses and their workforce in need of time to recharge, reflect, and refine before embarking on new or iterating projects. Despite the huge progress and efforts of the past few years, the research highlights how there is still a potential for transformation to stall as Global: 64%; APJ: 72%; India: 69% of respondents believe it is their people’s resistance to change that can lead to failure. Over half of Global: 53%; APJ: 62% of respondents fear they will be shut out of the evolving digital world due to a lack of people with the right authority/vision to capitalize on the opportunity – this is when an as-a-Service model becomes a favorable option for many businesses.
“To build a better future that works for all, we need to recognize that business success and employees’ wellbeing are inextricably linked. Our latest research highlights that sustainable digital transformation happens at the intersection of people and technology. To achieve an effective breakthrough, organizations should consider a three-pronged approach. First, provide employees with consistent and secure work experiences, not defined by where they work. Second, help drive productivity by augmenting human capabilities with technology tools to allow employees to focus on what they do best. Lastly, inspire employees through an empathetic culture and authentic leadership,” said Amit Midha, president, Asia Pacific & Japan, and Global Digital Cities, Dell Technologies.
“Businesses in India need to assess their digital transformation journey. While they are considering smart IT choices for growth in the digital era, strengthening the workforce and being empathetic to their challenges need to be addressed to realize optimal productivity,” said Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies India.
“Real-time success can be achieved only when a business can manage workloads and upgrade data science skills through talent. Indian businesses need to be aware of the changing workplace dynamics and IT skills needed to face the challenges and prepare for the future of work. Businesses can’t transform without the right technology wielded by the workforce effectively. Our Breakthrough study shows that this isn’t happening enough.” he added.
Now is the time for organizations to take stock before embarking upon new digital transformation projects, ensuring their workforce is supported and has clarity on the next stage of implementation.
Benchmarking readiness for digital change
Dell Technologies and independent behavioral experts studied survey respondents’ appetite for digital change and found that Global: 10%; APJ: 7% of the workforce – from senior business leaders to IT decision-makers and staff – are pursuing modernization projects. Further, less than half of Global: 42%; APJ: 46% are slow or reluctant to embrace change.
This is how the global workforce is comprised today:
|1||Sprint: Will chase innovation and trailblaze technological change.||Global: 10%; APJ 7%|
|2||Steady: Poised to adopt technological change, selected by others.||Global: 43%; APJ: 41%|
|3||Slow: Inclined to hold back and observe / deliberate.||Global: 42%; APJ: 46%|
|4||Still: Tend to anticipate problems and resist proposed technology innovations based on perceived risk.||Global: 5%; APJ: 6%|
The study charts a path forward. It signposts opportunities for businesses to focus and keep pace with transformation, with breakthroughs happening at the intersection of people and technology along three frontiers:
Businesses performed tremendous feats to connect, collaborate, and conduct business online during the pandemic. But they are not finished.
Around three-quarters of Global: 72%; APJ: 78%; of respondents say they need their organizations to provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to work anywhere (along with the autonomy to choose their preferred working pattern). In fact, they worry their people might be left behind because they do not have the right technology to shift to a highly distributed model (where work and computing are not tied to a central place but occur everywhere).
The technology alone is not sufficient. Businesses also need to make work equitable for people with different needs, interests, and responsibilities, including the Global: 76%; APJ: 78 of employees that would like their organization to do any of the following:
- Clearly define their ongoing commitment to flexible work arrangements and the practicalities of making it work Global: 40%; APJ: 46%
- Equip leaders to effectively and equitably manage remote teams Global: 43%; APJ: 45%: India: 38.7%
- Empower employees to choose their preferred working pattern and provide the necessary tools/infrastructure Global: 44%; APJ: 47%
People’s time is limited and there are now too few qualified candidates for open roles. To address these strains, businesses can delegate repetitive tasks to automated processes and free-up people to focus on enriching, higher-value work.
At present, Global: 37%; APJ: 32%; India: 25.8%; say their work is stimulating and not repetitive. With the opportunity to automate more repetitive tasks, Global; 69%; APJ:74%; India: 76%; would look forward to learning new, sought-after skills and technologies, like leadership skills, courses in machine learning, or focusing on more strategic opportunities to elevate their role.
However, businesses with limited budgets are concerned they will not be able to advance their workforce and compete.
At their heart, businesses must build a culture, modeled by empathetic leaders, that treats people as their greatest source of creativity and value.
The research shows there is still work to do and empathy has to inform decision-making – from simplifying technology for approximately half (Global: 49%; APJ: 52%) who often feel overwhelmed by complex technologies, to tailoring change programs to individuals’ skills (Global: 41%; APJ: 50% of employees believe their leaders do this).
Fieldwork was conducted by market research company, Vanson Bourne, from August–October 2021 across 40+ locations from all regions of the world.
Base: Dell Technologies conducted a survey with 10,500 senior business decision-makers, IT decision-makers, and knowledge workers (employees involved in digital transformation) across 40+ countries. In Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), 2,900 respondents across 11 locations were surveyed. The APJ locations include Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.