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An intranet and Office 365 should be part of digital transformation

Digital transformation is a popular way to describe the important journey for many organisations who are seeking to leverage technology to drive exponential growth, introduce new services, change their own business model or dramatically change the customer experience.

The focus for digital transformation can be internal, but also external with an impact primarily experienced outside the company. However even in those cases where the primary focus is on transforming the customer experience, it almost always requires a similar change on the inside. Not only do organisations need to change the way they carry out processes and collaborate, they also often need to change the mindset of employees about using digital tools.
Intranets and Office 365 often prove to be essential for digital transformation, driving the internal change required to transform the experience of employees as well as customers. Lets explore five of the key ways this happens.

Leading the change

Digital transformation, whether its on the inside or the outside of the company, requires change management. And change management requires an effective digital communication platform which all employees can easily access, and which delivers the appropriate messaging
An intranet can facilitate the leadership communications to inspire and motivate employees and give the context to any wider change. It also provides very specific information about whats coming for example about new processes, new services or new technology being introduced. Ideally the intranet should also deliver specific and relevant content to different groups.
Of course, effective change management for digital transformation will need more than an intranet, but a successful, engaging communication channel is essential.

Breaking down silos

Usually digital transformation requires teams that havent worked together closely before to come together through new groups, virtual teams and streamlined processes and workflow. Therefore, a common theme in digital transformation is the removal of silos, often exacerbated by poor communication and digital channels. These silos can act aa barriers to digital transformation.

A social intranet provides an excellent platform to provide the kind of flexible, agile, team and group communication and collaboration which digital transformation needs. Hierarchical, geographical and functional silos are no longer a barrier.

Sometimes more efficient processes are also required. Office 365 and even custom-built requirements can support the specific internal workflows and processes need to establish new external services for customers. For example, teams can start to digitize processes using web forms and workflow.

Being able to work in a more agile way

Removing silos also opens the ability to work in a more agile and speedier way. This can be important for digital transformation where the ability to react to customer need, respond to market conditions and seize opportunities very quickly can be a real source of competitive advantage.

To be able to react rapidly not only requires digital capabilities which can be deployed quickly to clients, but also allows employees to communicate and collaborate quickly and efficiently with each other.  Companies who have more traditional lines of communication, usually based on hierarchy, may find it very difficult to respond quickly to the market.

A great intranet and Office 365 is critical for facilitating agile working across different locations, allowing teams to spot and react to opportunities, and then work together to design and deploy products and services.  For example, tools such as Microsoft Teams or Wizdoms community spaces allow teams to collaborate more easily on projects or incubate ideas and bring them to fruition within Communities of Practice.

Helps increase digital literacy and confidence

Digital transformation is as much about a new mindset among employees as it is about working in different ways. Employees need to get comfortable with the idea of using digital tools beyond email, not only to drive any new processes, but to also encourage their colleagues to work in that way too. Digitally-confident employees can also encourage customers to adopt digital tools.

Increasing digital literacy and the mindset can then help drive adoption, collaboration, innovation and many of the other qualities associated with transformation.

A social intranet like Wizdom and some of the other Office 365 toolset can work very well in getting teams and individuals to tangibly experience the benefits of using digital tools, see the possibilities and get used to working collaboratively. This can lay the foundations for some of the potentially more intense and complex changes associated with transformation and embed some of the accompanying digital behaviours which employees will need.

Drive innovation

Innovation can also be a core part of digital transformation where organisations develop new ideas to work more efficiently, improve customer services and introduce new products and services. It only takes one exceptional idea to have a highly significant impact.

When you deploy an effective intranet and Office 365 you may be making available a sophisticated, digital platform to all employees for the first time, including frontline employees who may not have had access before. When everybody can contribute ideas and give input (and is encouraged to do so), organisations can leverage the insights and knowledge from all parts of the workforce, including those who directly interface with customers and know them the best. Those ideas can lead to digital transformation.

Intranets contribute to digital transformation

External digital transformation starts from within. An intranet makes an important contribution, not only as a communication channel but also to enable faster collaboration, drive innovation and change the mindset of employees.

When considering digital transformation, it is important that organisations dont just consider the external change required, but also the internal change needed too. Deploying an excellent intranet is a great way to help support and drive digital transformation and change.

The original article was published here

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