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People are at the heart of effective digital transformation
Anna Gilfillan

As technology continues to move forward at breakneck speed, it seems we’re all being told to consider a future where digital automation will at best make all our jobs redundant and at worst unleash Arnold Schwarzenegger upon us.


Whatever the future, if the media is to be believed, it’s only a matter of time before what we perceive as our uniquely human skills start to become surplus to requirement.

What we definitely know to be true is that, as digital technology starts to revolutionise all aspects of everyday life, its impact on businesses and how they operate is unprecedented.

At Multiply we’re starting to see the effect of this across numerous clients that we work with as the lines between digital marketing, brand marketing and IT become increasingly blurred. Every day we find ourselves in conversations where our unique blend of brand, digital and technical knowledge offers an ever more valuable perspective on developing strategic solutions that will deliver the right impact for their customer base. 

Avoiding the Jumble

However, what’s also clear is that whilst everyone wants the benefits of digital transformation to take their businesses forward, the messy business of delivering it is often where the problems begin.

As eConsultancy’s 2017 Digital Trend’s Report points out, initial confidence from the businesses willing to declare themselves ‘Digital First’ organisations have somewhat wavered over the past few years from 14% to 11%. They suggest ‘’that as more organisations delve more deeply into delivering connected and digitally integrated experiences for their customers, many have come to realise the full extent of what being ‘digital first’ really means.’’

To be fair, businesses have some huge gambles to make…. Where to invest? What to invest in? How does it improve performance? Does it reach our audience in the right way and will it still be the best solution in 5 years’ time? Plus, all these different elements need to seamlessly integrate to provide an elegant solution for the target consumer and not create a jumbled mess of bits and pieces like a badly constructed toy aeroplane.

Digital Vision

And as the drip-drip of the digital tap has now turned into a tsunami, those who have worked their way up to the top of traditional big business organisations, may not necessarily be those with the most relevant perspective to deliver what the business requires. They are lacking the digital native experience most under 30s take for granted. There’s a reason why the digital Svengalis of Silicon Valley look like they’re barely out of school.

Based on this, it’s understandable why the reality of delivering effective digital transformation versus the ambition can be a daunting prospect. However, there is an obvious, if slightly old-fashioned place to start and it’s not about technology, disciplines or process, it’s about people and collaboration.

Having the right people and talent together is the foundation stone on which true digital transformation can be achieved. Whilst employing certain specialists is a given, more than that people need to come armed with the right attitude and a can-do mind set. To deliver effective change and inspire an audience takes bravery, team work and a natural curiosity to think about things differently and break the rules.

Besides, individuals can’t afford to be precious about sticking with tradition and the way things have always been done; otherwise they’ll become obsolete. Because let’s face it, their customers certainly aren’t resting on their digital laurels, they are the ones setting the pace. Instead people need to think about channelling what they know into creating a new way of working and be the architect of how this is delivered. Standing in the way of change at whatever level, holds businesses back and in the long term delivers failure.

Grasping the Nettle

Right now in a complex political and economic climate, Britain has a golden opportunity to lead the way in delivering the blueprint for responsible digital transformation for business. By investing in people, we will be able to evolve workforces, create new jobs and enable smarter working to meet the challenges the digital future will present. We need to embrace our role as the architects to improve things for the better rather than stand helplessly by as ill-informed decisions are made based on money, short-termism and a lack of understanding.

At Multiply, we understand this more than most. Our teams are constantly striving to develop best in class digital services tailored to support our clients and their needs. Whether we’re using augmented reality as part of inspired mobile learning solutions, developing industry leading digital trade support facilities, or making considered technology choices for some of Britain’s best loved brands, we inspire our people to be bold, to challenge the status quo and put the right solution in place. 

So, rest easy people, I think when the robots do finally arrive, we’ll still be the ones calling the shots.



eConsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing: Trends Report 2017

Forbes Article: ‘Digital Transformation is about People’

A Brave New World? Why business must ensure an inclusive Digital Revolution November 2016

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