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9 Nov 2023 • Tom Haley

How digitally forward is your organisation?

I recently came across a Docusign report (2023 Digital Maturity Report) which benchmarks attitudes and perceptions to digital maturity among 1,800 business decision makers in the UK and Europe.

The report appealed to me because, having pioneered the use of Docusign on a major international construction project in 2020, I saw the way it transformed an administratively burdensome contract execution process and made it simple and easy to use for both parties to the contract.

The productivity benefit was unbelievable and, more importantly, it gave each party to the contract what they deserved: an executed contract (something which I find, unfortunately, is not always the case).

I am always intrigued by business transformation issues, so I found the report to be an interesting read.

I had always considered digital transformation to be primarily a productivity and performance issue but what struck me about this research was the people element of this issue, as the research identified that:

  • workers spend 12 hours per week on low-value repetitive tasks, 8 hours of which could be automated; that is one day per week, 20% of the working week, which is being lost.
  • employees want to replace days spent on low-value administration work and replace this with high-impact work.
  • 78% of respondents believe they are more digitally advanced than their organisations, and almost two thirds believe there’s a skills gap in their organisation around technology and digital skills.

The report identifies that this pent-up frustration is leading employees to seek new job opportunities, with a third already planning to leave their jobs to work for more digital-forward companies.

I reflected on the “time and money” barriers identified in the report as the reason business leaders have not invested sufficiently in digital transformation. I am unconvinced this is the root cause reason and it occurred to me that maybe the underlying reason is business leaders do not know how to tackle this part of their business transformation or, even, do not know where to start.

I can see why this might be the case because, for most, these are unchartered waters. There is a lot of advice available, apps, systems, processes etc.

The right solutions for a business are not always easy and, in my experience, businesses try to add more whereas my advice would be to work smarter by using what you have already. Often the data is there already and it’s just a matter of working with it to extract the right insights.

For those grappling with the issue, a concluding thought to ponder: those who are looking to win the battle for talent should consider that the right digital infrastructure adding value to their business, and empowering employees to achieve more, will attract the best talent.

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