If your organization’s digital transformation includes introducing your employees to a cloud-based business software solution, you can’t afford to underestimate the role company culture plays in the process. Take it from Brian Solis, who claims “company culture is either the number one catalyst or inhibitor to progress.” By now, the cloud-culture connection is practically conventional wisdom, as digital innovation and success go hand-in hand.
Business leaders are eager to practice culture-change management alongside technology implementation—but no one says it’s easy. In fact, Gartner’s recent Chief Data Officer Survey reveals that “cultural challenges to accept change” is the top internal roadblock to the success of chief data officers today. It’s a roadblock that can most certainly be overcome.
While you can implement a cloud-based business system without addressing company culture, why not take the opportunity to do so? Read on for insights and best practices for achieving employee buy-in, successful uptake of new technology, and other indicators of a successful technology-inspired culture change, whatever these might be for your organization. In part two, we will explore the process for managing change as you head to the cloud.
Understanding the Cloud-Culture Connection
On the surface, introducing new technologies to your workforce might look like a simple shift toward automation, cost-savings, and increased productivity—and it is! Consider the far-reaching impacts of adopting a cloud-based financial management and accounting solution. But it also represents a new approach to data management, a new approach to decision-making, a new approach to achieving a competitive position in the marketplace, a new approach to customer service, and a new approach to managing employees and their responsibilities—and this is just for starters.
Introducing new technologies sends a clear message to employees—it tells them you’re committed to business growth through digital innovation—and your new approach requires new thinking: a new mindset for everyone from the C-Suite and beyond. If “innovation” my means of technology isn’t already one of your company’s core values, it’s time to undertake a culture change.
Consider how the Institute for Digital Transformation describes the result of a culture change:
- A culture of an empowered team passionately engaged and invested in the long-term success of the business.
- Everyone is focused on pro-actively eliminating non-value-added activities and their costs on an ongoing basis.
- The vision and direction of the organization are clear to all, and every individual understands how to best contribute to the achievement of the goals of the organization and is empowered to act.
- Every employee is engaged in watching the startup community, other industries, your customers, and your competition for new developments or uses of technology that might be adapted by or against your business.
Indeed, your new cloud-based business software (and other technology) is going to contribute to the long-term success of your business—but there’s a learning curve that needs to be addressed first. Your employees need to become “one” in a mindset that drives the progress-yielding behavior change. Everyone needs to understand why change is necessary, how it will be introduced, and what the new approach asks of them. In other words, simply having the technology and processes in place isn’t necessarily going to lead to the results you’re hoping for.
When It Comes to the Cloud, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Bringing your business into the cloud is a challenging process, no matter how many benefits exist. As you make the move to the cloud, it’s important to lead the charge at your organization with an effective plan. In part two, we will discuss the process of managing change, offering advice on how to lead a cultural shift.