People-led transformation — the shifting priorities of digital strategies Global from Unit4 Communications May 12, 2021 | 3 min read Share Research shows that business and IT leaders are looking at digital transformation with fresh eyes. And they've spotted a fork in the road. The question is, which way is your strategy taking you? Like many companies, you've probably had to adapt your operations in radical ways over the past year because of the pandemic. But how has it shifted the priorities of your digital transformation strategy? Something fundamental has changed within companies — and time is of the essence. New research from Unit4 shows that many organizations are not just accelerating their efforts when it comes to digital transformation, but rethinking their approach. Shining a spotlight on people Before the pandemic, goals such as reducing costs and improving efficiency were key drivers for digital transformation. Getting more from IT system integration, taking control of data, and strengthening compliance were key objectives. While these goals remain essential, the COVID emergency did something else — it shined a spotlight on people and how technology influences their ability to perform well. In a profound strategic shift, business and IT leaders are recognizing that a people-led approach in enterprise applications is the right one. Put simply, more and more business leaders now believe digital transformation is about people, not technology. The technology gap The Unit4 research surveyed thousands of employees, and revealed they want modern technology that enables remote and flexible working; helps improve their productivity and collaboration; and automates processes to help them deliver high-value work. Yet only the minority of people have these, showing that more work is needed by organizations to provide them. The research also showed that when it comes to breakthrough tech, leaders have a different perception to their employees. More than half of decision-makers think they are innovators or early adopters. In contrast, only a quarter of employees agree. And many users say the applications they use outside of work are way ahead of their office tools — 42 percent say their workplace technology is less straightforward than the technology they use in their personal lives. However, change is happening. It seems that decision-makers are watching, listening, and responding. A major shift in thinking Research points to a major shift in thinking among the decision-makers surveyed. When it comes to their enterprise application strategy, their top three priorities are now remote working, collaboration, and productivity. It seems that the experiences of the past year or so have underlined the importance of people and their role in a company's fortunes. For once, decision-makers and users are becoming aligned. In fact, the vast majority of leaders can now see an intrinsic link between people and technology in the workplace; they recognize how enterprise applications are important for retaining people, not just managing them. Speed is of the essence too. Researchers found that the COVID effect has forced meaningful boardroom discussions and accelerated the enterprise application strategies of the vast majority of organizations. A wide range of gains are envisaged, from adding new functionality and enabling people to become more productive, to exploiting the flexibility and agility of the cloud. In fact, more than two-thirds of decision-makers expect to be fully cloud-based within the next two years. Transformation is being led by people Today, a consensus is emerging as organizations reflect and process what they've learned in the pandemic. As they approach a fork in the road, all the arrows point one way: decision-makers see transformation as being led by people. Visit our dedicated webpage to learn more about the research and discover how you can let your people lead your transformation. You will find a wealth of resources which summarize the findings on how organizations across the world are planning to modernize their enterprise applications, including a short overview video, an infographic and a more detailed online eBook. You can also explore the Unit4 technology that will help you deliver a people-led transformation. Dive into the research and learn how to let your people lead your transformation. Sign up to see more like this Unit4 Communications More from Unit4 Communications Financial and people planning work together to maximize organizational growth IT and software consultancies can win more business and drive service excellence Professional services in 2023: the SPI view Why the digital Nonprofit of today needs to prioritize data to succeed Financial forecasting and analytics best practices Increasing collaboration between the Office of the CFO and the CIO adds value The power of adaptable and flexible workflows How can CFOs navigate 2023's turbulent market conditions with confidence? The continued need for resilience in the public sector How can data storytelling better inform financial decision-making?