People Management in the Digital Era: An Employer’s Guide to Risks and Benefits


This is the first in a series of articles under the theme People Management in the Digital Era. The series aims to help employers create a workplace and train a workforce that’s equipped to capitalize on the advantages of digital transformation without falling prey to the risks that accompany it — namely, cyberattacks.

Now more than ever, companies are racing to transform into digital organizations. It’s not just information technology companies and retailers, but also government agencies, healthcare organizations, and manufacturing companies. This process involves adopting and integrating digital technologies into every aspect of a business to streamline processes and enhance the customer experience. Going through a digital transformation puts your company at a competitive advantage. If you’re not leveraging technology, you’ll likely get left behind in an era that’s data-driven.

Digital transformation offers a myriad of opportunities for companies to leverage new technologies. However, digital transformation doesn’t come without challenges, especially as it pertains to talent management and cybersecurity. As a workplace changes, so must its workforce and risk management practices. There are many ways you can reach new heights in the digital era, but it’s crucial to understand the importance of properly trained staff and the potential risk of cyberthreats.

Transform Your Business Model

When it comes to business, whatever you do must be aligned with your company’s vision, goals, and objectives. The same goes for any plans of transitioning to a more technology-focused business. In fact, innovative leaders are taking another look at traditional approaches and reconstructing an entirely new business model to capitalize on opportunities driven by technology. A digital business model can lead to everything from a new digital business to digital globalization.

Digital transformation is not about merely changing technology; it’s about changing the way you do business. It also comes down to a basic understanding of how to deliver value in your industry. In business model transformation, strategic changes can facilitate significant growth. According to a survey, 60% of companies that took advantage of digital transformation were able to create new business models.

Netflix is a perfect example of how a company went through business model transformations to become the largest streaming service with more than 200 million subscribers in over 190 countries. In its decades of existence, Netflix went from an online DVD pay-per-rental model to a DVD monthly subscription-based model to an online video streaming model. Amazon (web services), Apple (iTunes music), Uber (taxi service), and many other companies have changed their offerings due to digital transformation. When compared to competitors, researchers found that digitally mature companies are 23% more profitable.

Digital Transformation Risks: While business owners may be great at creating new strategies and business models and pushing technology acquisition and implementation, it’s common for security to be an afterthought. This can leave software developers and information technology (IT) managers scrambling to ensure systems are secured from potentially harmful threats, such as cyberattacks and data breaches. When going through a digital transformation, it’s essential to have the right talent in place to cover all bases and minimize risks.

Transform Your Processes and Workflows

When it comes to digital transformation, a dramatic shift to automated processes is usually what comes to mind. Many people fear robots taking over jobs, especially in manufacturing. Although there is a shift toward artificial intelligence, it can’t replace the human element. Besides, reports have indicated that new technologies will actually create more jobs.

Automation is a key element of digital transformation in ways you may not realize. Rather than tasks being performed manually and isolated within specific departments, automated business processes lend themselves to workflows that are streamlined and cross-functional. Some of the benefits of incorporating automation into your digital transformation strategy include:

  • Optimized processes
  • More efficient workflows
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Elimination of human errors
  • Rapid response to issues
  • Increased cost savings
  • Maximized use of skill sets
  • Data insights and analysis
  • Better control of regulatory compliance
  • Full scalability as the business grows

Process automation also benefits customers by providing value and improving the customer experience. Nowadays, digital transformation is all about being everywhere anytime — consumers expect to get what they want when they want — and speed and efficiency are very important. For example, chatbots help companies respond to customer questions quickly while allowing employees to take care of other important tasks. Companies that went digital indicated that a top benefit of digital transformation included meeting customer expectations better.

Digital Transformation Risks:  Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation doesn’t necessarily require a complete overhaul of your current systems. Digital overhauls typically happen when leaders have FOMO (fear of missing out) or lack a strategy. If your digital transformation isn’t aligned with your business’s vision, your objectives will be unclear. In turn, digitization efforts will be confusing or all over the place, so you end up wasting time, money, and resources. In particular, integrating new technology introduces cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. The more people and devices that are connected, the greater the risk to your entire system. Network compromises can stem from improperly trained employees guilty of human error and carelessness to cybercriminals planting ransomware and stealing sensitive data.

Transform Your Organizational Culture

Sanquinetta Dover, founder of Dover Solutions, notes that “digital transformation is more than a technological change; it’s a people-centric movement.” Even though digital transformation is all about technology, the workforce plays a major role in ensuring everything runs smoothly. It’s also vital to empower employees through greater mobility and flexibility. Going digital is a must for businesses with remote workplaces and remote workers. In addition, there’s no easier path to globalization. Another reported benefit of digital transformation is that businesses can enter new markets at a faster pace.

Using cloud computing services to carry out a digital transformation has rapidly gained acceptance as well. Cloud-based platforms, systems, and software enable an increased amount of data to be processed and transmitted from many sources. The cloud allows remote teams to communicate internally between departments. In addition, employees are encouraged to seek opportunities to engage with customers and partners. Overall, a digital culture allows for better decision-making and increased operational efficiency.

Digital Transformation Risks:  The human element is important, but it poses several risks when going through a digital transformation because of the required new skills. Untrained employees could be negligent or tricked into allowing hackers to access systems, resulting in cyberattacks. Remote workers with mobile devices could inadvertently allow data breaches.

Final Thoughts

Digital transformation is a must if you want to keep up and have a competitive edge. As there are many benefits to transforming your company’s business model, services, and culture, there are just as many if not more network security risks. Fortunately, many security issues can be avoided with cybersecurity measures in place and staff properly trained on how to use new technology safely.

Dover offers a range of solutions in both staffing and training. If you need assistance with staff training during your company’s digital transformation, contact Dover Training Institute for more information.