Understanding the five stages of digital transformation
Modernizing your intranet or creating a digital workplace from scratch can be cost-effective strategy to drive employee productivity. In order to know where you're going, it’s important to know where you’ve come from, where you currently are, and where you want to be on the digital maturity scale.
We've created a journey map for digital transformation which consists of five stages of maturity. Organizations don’t always follow a linear progression from one stage to the next. In fact, it’s possible to blend or skip stages, especially when undertaking large digital workplace initiatives. The point when organizations really start to transform and realize true economic benefits is when they surpass the company intranet stage and embrace the concept of the digital workplace and enable a corporate destination.
Stage 1: Applications – Personal Productivity
This is the most basic stage of digital transformation where the IT group cobbles together a variety of tools (generally free) to help improve communication and information sharing within the organization. Employees are also selecting their own tools as there is little IT governance or oversight.
Stage 2: Basic Portal – Information Sharing
This rudimentary intranet is essentially a file repository and allows for simple communications. Its purpose is to make information available to everyone. Top down, mostly static, and focused on organizational news – it’s a place employees go to access a small pool of information provided by a small number of people.
Stage 3: Social Intranet – Connections
The social intranet is an employee-driven intranet. It generally uses a bottom-up approach with employees having a large say in design, layout, and structure. It focuses on driving culture and engagement in the organization using a feed strategy. It is very interactive, offering personal tools like chat, blogs, commenting, rating, and likes.
Stage 4: Modern Intranet – Organizational Productivity
The modern intranet is all about promoting productivity. It combines top-down with bottom-up communication and includes some social features for two-way and group conversation. By enabling file sharing and instant messaging, it moves collaboration online and out of email. The intranet becomes the place to work, to create and share information, and to connect with colleagues.
Stage 5: Engagement &Transformation – Digital Destination
This is where we stop talking about intranets and start talking about a digital destination. It’s the stage where business transformation happens. A comprehensive digital workplace creates a dynamic hub for the entire organization – it's a place where employees can start their day, get their work done, and socialize. It allows people to communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge across any divide – whether it’s different departments, levels, or locations. A thriving digital workplace looks and feels like your company culture and brand, helping to drive employee engagement and alignment.
Adapting to your employees' needs
Whether it’s the ubiquity of the telecommuter or the shifting generational demographics of the workforce, it’s harder than ever to foster corporate identity and culture. The rise of "Bring-Your-Own-Everything" has been great for productivity, but it's also created new issues for IT, challenged traditional communication models, and increased the risk of data loss and security breaches.
Most IT decision-makers imagined that the intranet they invested in some time ago (whether it was SharePoint, a homegrown solution, or something else altogether) would be enough to meet their company’s needs for years to come. Chances are, that’s not the case. In fact, that aging solution may have been impeding productivity for a while now.
As a general guideline, if employees aren’t using it or see it as a nuisance, it’s not working for your organization. The problem is this you’ve already made investments in your intranet or collaboration technology. You’re hesitant to flush it away, but your “solution” isn’t helping anyone work smarter, faster, or better. So you need to ask yourself: Are you really saving money, or are you wasting it?
What are your options?
Replace and migrateSome homes are simply too outdated to justify fixing. Just as you would put your house on the market, buy a new home, and move all your belongings, you can make the tough decision to close down your old intranet, migrate the important data, and start fresh with a smarter, more modern solution.
Integrate solutionsOther homes have “good bones,” so you renovate the bigger areas and simply maintain the rest. Merging your legacy intranet with the clean interface of a modern intranet makes it easy for employees to securely search, access, and download information that continues to be stored where you’ve always kept it.
Ignore, do nothing, and hope it goes awayOf course, some homeowners opt to do nothing. They simply cross their fingers that there are no costly catastrophes down the road. But when it comes to your intranet, trouble can start to brew in the background, and the cost of small fixes and setbacks can start to accumulate. Not to mention the potential costs you might incur if you don’t adapt your tools to keep up with your competitors.