Kathy Gibson reports – Digital transformation hinges on a meaningful connection between systems, workforces, customers or communities.

“If you haven’t yet made that connection, you haven’t transformed,” says Colleen Alber, technology evangelist at Hyland, speaking at the Hyland Summit in Johannesburg today.

When it comes to the remote workforce, 97% of people surveyed say that they would like to continue working remotely for the rest of their career.

When it comes to customer experience, studies show that customer experience now outweighs product and price in a buying decision, with 86% of buyers saying that they will pay more for a better customer experience.

“So connection is key: connection with systems, workforces and customers,” Alber says.

“Thanks to Covid-19 we have lost a lot of the personal connection but, at the same time, it has spawned digital experiences that can also be meaningful.

“I urge people to value a meaningful connection over perfection,” Alber adds. “Don’t worry about the technical solution being perfect, but allow those connections to come first.”

In fact, studies show that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy and promote good mental health, she points out.

“So it’s time to evolve our digital transformation strategies away from technical perfectionism towards connection,” Alber says.

“The strategy has to be about making that meaningful connection, and thereafter the systems will fall into place.”

These connections must encompass systems, workforce and customers, Alber explains.

Some of the business challenges include disparate systems, switching between multiple applications, difficult-to-make business decisions, and manual indexing.

The reality is that most business systems are siloed, each with their own ecosystems. “But we have to connect and streamline them so there is a single source of information,” Alber says.

“Connection is why we are here. We are hard-wired to connect, and it gives our lives purpose and meaning.”