Digital Tech And Digital Transformation - And How It Influences Workplaces And Culture In Incipient Organizations

By Ritesh Kant, CEO, Novatium Solutions Pvt.Ltd

Ritesh Kant, CEO, Novatium Solutions Pvt.LtdDigital technologies, pervasive connectivity, exponential computing power, easier access mechanisms are some of the digital influencers to the contemporary work force. The work force itself is increasingly young, millennial and adaptable to digital means of working and interaction. Organizations are benefiting; productivity increases attributed to digital tech, the ability to be always “on”, the ability to increasingly share and collaborate, data that is real time and updated. Digital tech and digital means of working have their own interventions and influences on organization culture - the expectation by staff to be able to use their own devices for instance. The interventions and influences however are different on work places and ways of working in incipient and emerging organizations, their impact on culture in incipient and emerging organizations is also different as compared to organizations that are larger and mature; in terms of size, scope, operations, locations, number of people et al. Three instances, among many, of differing interventions in such organizations are as follows:

“Organizations need to have a productive, digital culture and incipient and emerging organizations more so. Such organizations are better placed and more amiable towards embracing digital technology and digital culture, they are nimble and have less established procedures”

Technology as the enabler and the disabler: In mature organizations, workforces can integrate and collaborate better; with collaboration tools, knowledge portals, Skype, Go-To-Meetings, Hangouts and alike tools. Dispersion in location is less of a challenge. Established ways of working get reinforced and work is more efficient with such means. Incipient and emerging organizations may however necessarily have to pay more emphasis on the face to face, touch and feel ways of working, interaction and collaboration; in such organizations initiatives burgeon, change and shift, innovation in operations is necessary and ways of working are less established. Digital aids, hence are tools to assist the in-person and personal mechanisms and may not have the predominance, as they would have otherwise, to reinforce established ways of working.

Digital technology as the stress buster: Digital technologies enable access to organizational information, emails, work spaces on devices of the employees’ own choice and at all times, thus enabling an employee/ worker to be always “on” and engendering a culture of perennially being “at” work. In incipient and emerging organizations, with the often necessities of changing and immediate deadlines, frequent reset of priorities, multiple role plays and responsibilities and with lesser people to delegate to, the ability to be always “on” is an a aid; but can often become addictive and the culture of being always “at” work can be a steamroller. Incipient and emerging organizations need to exercise due judgement in providing due balance so that the not so salubrious effects of always “at” work can be mitigated. That such organizations necessarily have to pay more emphasis on the face to face ways of working, which mitigate being available virtually through digital means, in addition compartmentalising work into shorter packages and outcomes can enable employees and workers to be always “at” work through digital tools, in spurts, rather than perennially.

Digital tech and its impact on organizational branding- as employees perceive it : Innovation, making an impact, and a feeling of belongingness are factors that employees feel motivated with and thrive upon: an incipient and emerging organization is better placed than others on these and can immensely build and leverage this to attract and retain talent. Digital technology and digital transformation should be harnessed by such organizations more to make innovative and impactful contributions and less towards process adherence and process efficiencies. The capital for incipient and emerging organizations is talent, which should be buttressed by the right and contextual use of digital technology. The converse is also true, the pervasiveness of digital tech, availability of information and the omnipresence of social technology such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Glass door et al, makes the brand of an incipient and emerging organization more fragile. The brand itself is incipient, and negative information, corroborated or otherwise, on such social technologies, can destroy the brand leading to the talent capital feeling that the brand is unattractive and undesirable to be associated with.

Organizations need to have a productive, digital culture and incipient and emerging organizations more so. Such organizations are better placed and more amiable towards embracing digital technology and digital culture, they are nimble and have less established procedures. They should however be focused and careful about embracing digital technology and the culture that it engenders, in ways that suit their emerging and incipient status and ways of working.

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