Driving people-powered change – taking care of the human side of the network transformation equation

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People are at the heart of creating change. Many businesses have accelerated their digital transformation programmes in the past year to meet human needs – to support employees working from home and delivering products and services in different ways to meet changing customer demands. Moving business applications and infrastructure to the cloud is giving businesses the scalability and flexibility they need in fast-changing times, but this is not just a technology issue.

Outsourcing to the cloud is not about outsourcing responsibility and ownership. Skilling up your people for digital transformation is important – a software-defined infrastructure will work best with skilled human support.

We spoke to 62 business leaders to hear their views on outsourcing digital transformation and the people challenge. Rick Casarez at eBay told us, “With outsourcing you can gain expertise immediately, without needing to go through the recruit cycle, saving time getting new people up to speed with your business requirements and your procedures. You can get a jumpstart as far as having an expert in that technology."

But he cautions, “After that, you still need your people brought up. Because at a certain point, if you want to take it in-house and not have that outsource element, you can't. You could pay for it forever, which is an option. But it's something that's got to be a business decision. And a lot of factors will go into it that are beyond the technology skills. What's the ROI on it?"

The good news is that something that might at first look like a training and change management overhead may be converted to a business benefit. At a time when many teams are still dispersed and employees are working at home, engagement can become an issue. Maintaining a common purpose for workers, while at the same time retaining individuals and attracting new high performing staff is a challenge at the best of times.

Offering training and career development opportunities that explicitly reflect the business' objectives can go a long way to giving employees that elusive sense of purpose. At the same time, it provides the business with a high performing and flexible workforce to match its high performing and flexible digital infrastructure.

Your business outcomes are the sum of your people's skills and the technology choices you make. Bringing your people with you on the journey to digital collaboration is vital for driving technology adoption in a diverse, dispersed workforce. It fosters a sense of shared purpose and ensures a bright future for the business and all its employees.

If you'd like to find out more about how digital leaders are taking care of the human side of network transformation, download our new eBook 'Daring to disrupt: Digital leaders transforming network infrastructures in 2021'. Part 2 of our daring to disrupt series shares the optimism and insights of digital leaders looking to get the best from their network infrastructures in 2021. Download the free eBook here.

Steve Coakley

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