The Biggest Risk To Digital Transformation? Underestimating The Human Factor

By August 31, 2021 blog No Comments

While referred to as “digital” transformation, the human factor involved in this process presents the greatest risk to what is perhaps the priciest investment most organizations will make in the coming decade. What catches many leaders off guard? The degree to which humans will impact its success or failure — humans who don’t all occupy technology roles as well as those who work outside their organization. Without an understanding of this risk to any digital transformation initiative and a deliberate effort to counter it, true digital transformation and the dollars invested in it are at risk.

For decades, we’ve heard doomsday predictions that technology will replace humans. If applied correctly, it will ultimately free humans to do what machines can’t. Humans are the connectors, those who must learn to ask the right questions, form the right relationships, break down artificial barriers and enable a new level of cooperation and trust that maximizes efficiency and is mutually beneficial for all involved. When humans truly grasp this mindset and our role in digital transformation, we’ll actually arrive in the tech age.


The transformation of any business, digital or otherwise, is done for one reason, optimization, which includes four critical elements: an original process, analysis, change and feedback. While technology can certainly enable change, without analysis and feedback, it’ll most often be less than optimal. This basic tenet has important ramifications on the digital transformation of complex workflows:

• Humans having been part of the original or current process means, of course, that the optimal solutions will include humans in the transition and very likely the ultimate outcome.

• Technologies that can be applied with knowledge (a model) and can learn after implementation are preferable to those that can’t.

• Machine learning today depends heavily upon access to maximum volume and variety of data, while learning will profit from velocity.

Technology platforms that bring access to the widest input of data and near-unlimited compute power will be the tool of choice to transform workflows in the 21st century. These platforms, however, will do nothing without the services that enable their application. Often the opportunity to leverage AI to make human decision-making faster or more accurate gets lost. When humans use technology built on AI, there’s more agility in process and workflow.


Companies expecting to thrive will need this agility to refocus their efforts. Consumers demonstrated the adaptive nature of the human spirit by turning to technology for their very existence during the pandemic. Their expectations changed, and they aren’t going back. They want a personalized experience and to be known across channels, whether retail, healthcare, grocery or government. They want to be met and known wherever they are. Digital transformation and the alignment of trading partners through neutral parties hold the promise of a future state of commerce that operates at the speed of trust, freeing companies to meet the rapid pace of change.

Through blockchain technology, which can provide a single, transparent source of truth, trading partners can operate and cooperate with trust — the lack of which slows transactions through redundant workflows and costs companies millions of dollars on wasted processes. Those found dollars can then be reallocated to areas that truly add value. AI allows platforms to be used for multiple industries and purposes. Consider delivery software powered by AI as an example. If it can be used to predict delivery times for a particular vertical, it can also be used for another vertical with completely different inputs, dependencies and workflows. The need to rebuild for each vertical limits scalability and is wasted effort.

One can easily get lost in projecting an impact on business by analyzing technology. It’s paramount that any transformation effort begins with a desired goal and backs into the optimal solution by using innovative applications of known technology building blocks to drive effort. The risk inherent in complexity is losing sight of this goal. Focusing industry experts on a problem and partnering with key orchestrators enables innovation that will deliver transformational impact. No technology has ever solved a problem by its mere existence. Humans matter.


The millions of professionals working on information technology today are producing incredible output. To apply this output to the millions of workflows built over decades of business requires that they cooperate like never before in an aggregate fashion to focus the “rays of technology light” on the “point of impact” to achieve the highest outcome. Success in this environment demands a mindset that functions much like a neural network, taking in the complex problem and its components on one side and joining it with technologists on the other side. Each has a role to play in separating technology from hype and activity from impact.

Why transform at all? To improve the human experience. To spend more time doing things of higher value and to move humans up the value chain. By focusing on relevant, personalized and optimized interactions that allow for richer experiences, we can reduce the friction and noise that result from the “stupid systems” that result if digital transformation is left to fall short.

At a time of rapid outbreak of Covid 19, there is a growing demand for working from home due to limited travel. As such, companies desperately need a platform that can make it easier for employees to work together and many Vietnam business consultant out there can help them to solve this problem, not only to help you save costs and time, but also improve the productivity of your business.


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