As a (relatively) young and fast-growing tech company, we know all too well how important it is to keep up with the rapid evolution of technology. The industry inevitably has a reputation for forward-thinking innovation that continues to push the limits. And, that approach is something we’re determined to embed into the fabric of the Bynder identity. If we as an organization aren’t open to embracing new technologies—despite the obvious risks—then it’s only a matter of time before we’re left scratching our heads, wondering how we became the Blockbuster of the SaaS world. Yet an effective digital transformation strategy isn’t just about adopting the shiniest new tech tools and expecting them to work miracles. It’s also about making sure you have the right working culture in place to really reap the rewards.
For those who may be wondering: what is digital transformation?
Well, in simple terms, it's the changes brought about by the application of new digital technologies in the workplace. As a concept, it's something pretty much all modern industries have to face, which can be a daunting prospect for many companies. It inevitably implies the adoption of unknown technologies, the (often misguided) dread of automating jobs, and a shake-up of everyday workflows that can take people out of their comfort zone. And the stats back this up: research carried out by Microsoft revealed that 61% of employees admit to feeling some sense of anxiety when new technology or a new way of working is introduced into the workplace, and 59% feel that automation threatens their personal job security.
These figures should be a real eye-opener for modern business leaders, as it demonstrates exactly why organizations can’t afford to be passive when creating a strategy for digitizing their companies and staying ahead of the curve. But this complacency is all too common: less than half (44%) of IT decision makers from a recent study of 300 are confident in their organization’s vision for implementing a digital transformation strategy successfully. This lack of confidence often stems from many businesses mistakenly seeing digital transformation strictly as an IT-initiative. For organizations to really prepare for the latest and greatest new tech, it has to be a company-wide initiative that needs everyone—not just the guys and girls in IT—to embrace one clear vision for where the company is now, and how it can proactively prepare for the future.
Well for us, our designated R&D Club is one way we try to promote this mindset throughout the company. The forum-styled format acts as a breeding ground for creativity, new ideas, and experimentation. Consisting of ‘squads’ of employees that come from different departments, it helps information-sharing flow more freely without the constraints of departmental barriers—and ultimately—establish a more cohesive company identity.
The ‘ragtag’ nature of the squads then allow for many different voices to share their views on upcoming changes, how they aim to tackle them, and assess how new technologies fit into the overall goals of the business. That way, we’re regularly exploring new avenues, kickstarting innovation from the bottom up, and, ideally, preventing stagnation—a death-knell for any modern tech company.
At face value, the R&D Club may seem like a casual exchange of ideas between employees, but it has a tangible influence on establishing a clear strategy for implementing new workflows and tools—which the squad members then circulate to their own departments. And for us Byndies, it has been a huge success in creating a unified vision about where the company is heading in a transparent way:
As a Growth Hacker at Bynder, I’m constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help make sure Bynder is one step ahead of the competition. The bi-weekly R&D Forum has proved a great source of inspiration for new ways of working, while also gauging the impact of new changes from the perspective of many different people. The casual and open nature of the R&D Club makes me feel a lot more connected to the company and my colleagues.—Ariel Long, Growth Hacker
As world-renowned psychologist Carol Dweck puts it, digital transformation really reaps rewards when the whole organization approaches new challenges as “a shared struggle where mistakes are inevitable, and your team members and company have got your back.”
This attitude is crucial in unlocking new ideas and cutting out the fear of digital disruption that is all too common in the modern workplace. With technology evolving at an ever increasing rate, organizations need to create a company culture that doesn’t wait for change, but looks for change. Otherwise, your customers soon will.