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Karla Jo Helms

Management

Cultural Transformation in Technology Can Boost Company Efficiency

The role of IT in post-Covid business culture

Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 13:03

Covid-19 has changed America’s workforce in a fundamental and most likely permanent way, and not adopting the “new normal” can be the difference between success and failure.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of American workers surveyed have said that given a choice, they would want to keep working from home even after the pandemic. What began as a necessity has resulted in a refashioning of how work gets done.

Many experts believe that employees will continue to prioritize flexibility and safety, with the expectation that many old paradigms will be reconsidered—from the five-day work week to the power dynamic between employers and employees. Additionally, that shift has brought about changes in the use of technology, which has in and of itself led to a cultural transformation in the workplace. Companies that do not adapt to this new reality are destined to fail.

“Some folks will work more efficiently remotely, and some will work more efficiently in the office,” says Greg Spencer, regional CTO for Technologent. “We think it’s going to be a blend of that. If companies can’t figure out a way to transform the way they operate their business, and that includes transforming their people to make that evolution, those folks will get left behind.”

Companies are changing the way they function via more robotic process automation (RPA), more IT reliance, bigger IT departments, and more cybersecurity. But employees may not be excited about embracing those shifts. Too often employees get comfortable with their current IT operations, and they don’t see how much a new approach can be more efficient. Companies need to overcome this fear of change by addressing its root cause: The concern that people will be left behind, and their jobs will disappear because of technological advances. Both training and counseling are essential to help employees embrace the transformation and ensure that companies remain agile and competitive.

Unfortunately, changes in automation, which are driving everything toward an application-focused approach, require companies to be patient in terms of realizing return on investment. Drawing the ROI models out requires that executives and the boards of companies play the long game, believe in that path, and support it. The process can take anywhere from six to 18 months before savings will be seen.

Employees affected by RPA and automation should be provided help and consultation to bring them up to speed on the new technology. Encourage them to view this change as a way to move to the next level of their job. When viewed as a career move, it gives them security and helps to overcome the fear of change. Technologent’s workforce has been using remote work for years and found that it leads to more productivity and efficiency. As a result of the pandemic, more people are now open to operating virtually. That doesn’t mean that remote connections don’t take discipline. For instance, co-workers can shut off the camera and “multitask,” shifting their focus, which can result in meetings that are not productive.

Due to this workplace transformation, remote work is no longer an issue for IT alone. Organizations must stop thinking of IT merely as a means enablement; it is just as vital as any other department of a company. Businesses must work together across the silos. “Your IT solutions company should provide the platform to enable businesses to make that shift, and offer guidance in that journey,” Spencer explains.

The world has changed, as has technology, and if companies do not adapt, they will lose reputation, ROI, or potentially go under. The solution is to adapt to this brave new world by aligning a company’s strategy and embrace this IT cultural transformation. To do this effectively, businesses need a platform to organize their journey as they create automation governance, operate the life cycle, shift from silos to organizing applications, and transform the way their organization thinks, develops strategy, and operates. Most of all, everyone within the company must participate.

Cultural transformation covers a lot of ground, from leadership styles to operational paradigm shifts. Traditionally, organizations have been very siloed in terms of technology skill sets, and technicians have been siloed from business owners. Today, there’s a big push toward bringing those two sides together and organizing around applications themselves. This way businesses are better able to track revenue and gross profits to the cost of those applications specifically.

“It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination; it’s a big cultural shift for most companies,” says Spencer. “But IT pulls the whole business together across those silos to create a unified team.”

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About The Author

Karla Jo Helms’s picture

Karla Jo Helms

Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist and Anti-PR(TM) Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors(TM). Helms learned firsthand how unforgiving business can be when millions of dollars are on the line—and how the control of public opinion often determines whether one company is happily chosen, or another is brutally rejected. Being an alumni of crisis management, Helms has worked with litigation attorneys, private investigators and the media to help restore companies of goodwill back into the good graces of public opinion. Helms operates on the ethic of getting it right the first time, not relying on second chances and doing what it takes to excel. Helms speaks globally on public relations, how the PR industry itself has lost its way and how, in the right hands, corporations can harness the power of Anti-PR to drive markets and impact market perception.