Business leaders who have completed digital transformation projects across their entire organisation report significant increases in employee engagement compared to those with more limited initiatives.
In a new SAP study, 64% of executives with broad-ranging digital initiatives say their employees are more engaged, compared with 20% among organisations that have completed transformation projects in single business areas.
Successful transformation depends on people, highlighting the importance of workforce investments in driving digital business performance.
“4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart”, a digital transformation executive study by the SAP Center for Business Insight group and Oxford Economics, surveyed over 3 100 global business decision-makers to examine the priorities driving digital transformation projects.
The results show stark differences between organisations that have completed transformation projects and those that have yet to adopt digital strategies:
* 83% of digital transformation leaders expect digitalisation to change talent management over the next two years. That figure compared with only 37% of organizations that have yet to begin digital transformation.
* Respondents who completed digital transformation projects across their business have a more crystalized vision of the potential benefit across their HR processes, with 71% saying digitalisation will make it easier to attract and retain the best talent, compared with 54% of other respondents.
* About 52% of the businesses that have undergone digital transformation projects said they planned over the next two years to create new roles to reflect technological imperatives, compared with only 32% of companies that have yet to undertake digital transformation.
“Today’s leading businesses are putting their employees at the heart of their digital transformation strategies,” says Greg Tomb, president of SAP SuccessFactors.* “This research shows successful digitalization depends on people, with the most innovative and forward-looking companies committed to investing in their workforce to ensure they are properly equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”
Other key findings from the report include:* Over a third of global companies believe that talent management and development are key drivers of digital growth. Some 31% agree that investment in employees’ digital skills would be the most important factor in increasing revenue in the coming years.
* The banking sector showed the greatest commitment to increasing investment in digital skills over the next two years: 48% listed it as the most important factor to driving profit growth, while 45% of the professional services sector rated improving employee engagement as the most important profit-driving factor.
* Digital transformation has had a greater positive impact on talent retention and development on US-based organisations than on those of many of their global counterparts. About 19% of US businesses surveyed said technology updates have completely or somewhat transformed their talent management processes, compared with only 8% of UK businesses, 7% of German organisations and 5% of Mexican businesses.
The study shows that a commitment to digital transformation pays off. Compared to other companies surveyed, digital leaders have stronger revenue growth and profitability today — and expect that advantage to continue over the next two years. In fact, digital leaders expect 23% higher revenue growth than all others in the next two years, and 80% of leaders say transformation efforts have increased profitability versus 53% of all others.
“Digital transformation is about more than investing in the latest technology,” says Edward Cone, technology practice lead at Oxford Economics. “People matter most — how they work, what they know, which skills they need in a changing workplace. Most companies have only begun to address these human factors, and those that fall behind may never catch up.”