The word "partner" is significant when it comes to employees and technology. When you consider a new employee for hire, how he or she will work with other members of your team influences your decision. You also consider how he or she will interact with clients. In other words, you focus on the various partnerships that will result from your new hire. To make the most of a digital transformation, it helps to view technology in a similar way. i-SCOOP notes that technologies cause behavioral changes which lead to disruption.2 Just as new hires can influence behavioral change in other employees, technologies can affect the way your employees behave based on how the technologies are aligned — or out of balance — with both your employees' work styles and your business strategies.
Analyzing employee skill sets will help you determine what technology is most effective in driving your business strategy. In fact, you should consider employee skill sets before you consider any technological solutions. Every employee has specific skills that can be used in tandem with other employees — who preferably have complementary skills — to accomplish tasks. A technology-employee partnership can be viewed in the same way: employee skill sets should match up with technological functionality that addresses their needs.
Let's say you have consultants who are industry experts that are more than capable of converting new customers. However, to meet your business-expansion goals, you need to retain more clients. As you investigate your consultants' skill sets, you find that, although they can engage customers and close deals, they don't have access to customer data that could help them better understand your current clients' pain points. Based on your consultants' proficiencies, you determine that if they had easy access to specific client information, they'd be able to effectively address and resolve client issues and help you reach your client-retention goals.
In this example, you might look for a digital solution that will fill the gap by bringing client information to your consultants' fingertips — enabling them to make more informed decisions quickly during every client-consultant engagement. You could also start exploring your consultants' needs to help ensure you create the most valuable technology-employee partnership possible. This may involve finding a solution that lets them access data remotely, or creating a customized dashboard that brings customer data together in ways that lead to more insights about the clients' needs.
All businesses have unique needs and goals, which is why considering how you and your team can partner with technology is so important. Once you figure that out, you can get more granular by considering the tasks your technological solutions need to perform.