June 30, 2020
Lenovo has published a new study which claims that organisations are placing business and shareholder goals above employee needs during their digital transformation. The research, conducted among 1,000 IT managers across EMEA, suggests that just 6 percent of IT managers consider users as their top priority when making technology investments.
According to the research, when businesses implement new technologies without considering the human impact, many employees become overwhelmed due to the complexity and pace of change, with 47 percent of IT managers reporting that users struggle to embrace new software.
The report claims there is an understandable desire for businesses to embrace digital transformation, such as Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things, as soon as possible. The benefits these promise – innovation, improved productivity, reducing cost and greater customer experience most importantly – are tantalising for any organisation, but their true potential is completely untapped if adoption is purely led by business goals.
“Times are changing rapidly, not only for businesses, but the technology industry as a whole.”
While successfully implemented technology should act as an enabler for employees and businesses to achieve greater things, a poor strategy can see technology become an inhibitor – hampering users whose needs have not been carefully considered and catered for. Almost half (48 percent) of respondents reported a negative outcome where technology implementations have actively inhibited their teams’ ability to operate.
Businesses need to focus on people, offering everything from comprehensive training, to change management, while ensuring leadership KPIs, robust policy and strategy and thorough rollout analyses are aligned with a people-first ethos, the report says. Businesses should also ask people-centric questions during any adoption process – is this technology intuitive, will it solve rather than create challenges for employees, will users get a good experience. By taking these steps, businesses can realise the benefits new tools promise, seeing greater productivity and driving innovation. 52 percent of IT managers surveyed are optimistic about emerging tech’s ability to deliver improved productivity.
However, with 21 percent of users reporting new technology has actually slowed down processes, it is imperative for businesses to embrace the right technology at the right time. It’s also vitally important businesses consider everyone in the organisation – from those who use it every day, to the IT teams implementing it, to the boardroom decision makers.
Organisations are currently re-evaluating how they operate in order to thrive in the next normal. Being a responsible business must now be a priority – placing human impact on the same level as achieving business goals. With 62 percent of IT managers reporting their investment decisions are entirely business-centric, it will require a fundamental mindset shift for many businesses.
However, as flexible working policies are embraced in order to provide more support to employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, a people-first approach is beginning to emerge, with 70 percent of respondents seeing more emphasis within their organisation on responsible business.
Giovanni Di Filippo, President of Lenovo’s Data Center Group, EMEA, says: “Stripped of office walls, we are seeing organisations place greater emphasis on the wellbeing of their employees, and it’s heartening to see this shift in priorities from being all about the bottom line. But the study shows that this is only the beginning.”
“If there is a change of heart and mind within the industry, taking a people-first approach to IT adoption, we will see positive change for both organisations and wider society. Happier employees, greater productivity and a faster pace of innovation – these are the benefits of placing people at the centre of IT decisions.”