Top Tips for achieving digital innovation in the workplace | Cloud industry forum

Top Tips for achieving digital innovation in the workplace

By Simon Aldous, Head of Channels, EMEA, Dropbox

With an increased demand for agility, flexibility and an environment that supports and encourages collaboration, you could say we have reached the ‘age of the employee’; an era where digital tools and services are necessities for employee happiness and business success - not just nice to have’s. 

Workplace technologies, like cloud-based solutions, are the enablers here, creating huge opportunities for businesses wanting to grow faster and more securely. For IT leaders, it presents an opportunity to become a sought after employer – attracting the best talent in a skills-deficient market - and provides teams with the right tools and services to do their job. 

However, for those companies yet to embark on a digital transformation journey, the challenges are clear, stand still and fall behind, or move to fast and risk spinning out of control.  

So how do you find the right balance? We spoke to 10 CIOs, CTOs and IT decision makers from companies such as Channel 4, Marks & Spencer and DHL. All have experienced hurdles along their digital transformation journey, but all haven’t looked back since implementation. Here are just three of their top ten tips for implementing a digital innovation strategy, to read all 10 you can download the whitepaper here.

  1. Get the CFO on board from the beginning

    Modern technologies can offer endless opportunities for a business, but that means nothing if the board doesn’t buy in. According to Mark Evans, Head of IT at RLB, it all comes down to making IT a business decision. His advice is not to get too involved with the technology and instead focus on the business benefits. As such, Mark says you need to involve the CFO right from the offset, demonstrating how a new solution like a cloud model would reduce costs, allow for flexible working, encourage collaboration amongst teams and improve business agility.  
  2. Make sure it's something your employees want to use

    Outside of the workplace, employees are digitally-savvy. The devices, apps and technologies they use in their day-to-day lives have helped them build a digital skillset that they want to apply to their work lives. This is why Kim MacGillvary, VP of Customer Experience at DHL Freight suggests that any business embarking on a digital journey should test the maturity of their organisation before considering an investment.

    By testing solutions and processes in the field – not only amongst employees but with customers too – organisations can capture vital feedback from the people who will be using the technology every day and shape an IT implementation to suit.   
  3. Prove it's not scary

    For large, established organisations operating on a network of legacy technology, ‘change’ can be daunting and being risk adverse is not uncommon. This is why Clifton Cunnigham, CTO at TES Global says it’s not just about updating and replacing IT systems, but transforming company culture. One way of doing this is to establish a team of like-minded people who can act as internal technology advocates, empowering them to own products, deliver change and measure its success. Clifton says this type of team is there to dispel, proving to others that the solutions do work; they help pave the way so that the transition is smooth and simple for the rest of the business.  

Whether it’s convincing the board to back you financially, understanding the needs of your workforce, getting buy-in for your next IT investment, or encouraging user adoption for new tools you can guarantee someone else has faced it before.  

To help you embrace digital innovation in your workplace, share their journey, explore the challenges they’ve faced, and discover their advice for overcoming your own by downloading our whitepaper “Top Ten Digital Innovation Tips – from IT Leaders, for IT leaders.” 

About the Author:Simon has a wealth of experience building channel businesses, since he began his career at Ingram Micro 25 years ago. Since then he’s set up channel distribution networks for Toshiba and Polycom and spent eight years at Microsoft. In this role he was responsible for growing the SMB audience through Distributor, VAR and Breadth reseller channels, as well as growing Microsoft’s Hosting business alongside partners who provided Microsoft’s Infrastructure, Platform and SaaS products. He also was part of the original team that worked on bringing Office 365 to market through the syndication model with large telco’s such as BT & Vodafone.
Simon has previously helped build and develop some of the world’s leading channel programmes. At Dropbox, he is responsible for the company’s EMEA channel strategy, scaling growth via the channel, driving revenue and establishing a strong brand presence in the SMB customer segment. 
Outside of work Simon is a keen age group cyclist and triathlete and during the winter months can be found umpiring on the hockey field for his local club.