Digital transformation is constantly in the news, and becoming a growing concern for more and more businesses as they realize that they must undergo digital transformation in order to properly position themselves in the future. According to a 2017 survey, 64% of respondents stated that a digital transformation was essential to driving profits. 75% claimed that they had a Big Data strategy, and 70% claimed that they had an IoT strategy.

Successful digital transformations, however, are not entirely digital. The human aspect, not only the new technology, is key to the transformation.

Value Placed on People over Technology

Unlike technology, humans have the capacity to think creatively. Technology simply does not have the ability to think critically and create new inventions. Every individual is unique and has their own talents, but technology systems are normally exact replicas that process information in the exact same way. Time and time again, the collaboration of a diverse team has been proven to be instrumental to many companies’ successes.

Humans form deeper, more personal connections with other humans instead of machines. These relationships are especially important in areas such as customer service. Technology is best when used as a tool to create better experiences for people, and is a conduit for meaningful connections. After all, machines will never be able replace people when it comes to personal connections.

People Are the Driving Force

Because people possess the ability to think creatively and form personal relationships, the most successful digital transformations are driven by people, and not the new technology itself. Humans are the most important factor in digital transformation and without them, technology and machines will fail. After all, technology is incapable of operating completely independently. People are responsible for its maintenance, upkeep, and solving any other problems that arise. Even artificial intelligence must be trained by people.

People who are invested in their organization will work hard to ensure its success.

Leadership That Is Invested in People

Although at first glance it may seem counter-intuitive, CIOs who are overly invested in technology are not the leaders whose businesses will undergo a successful digital transformation. Instead, it will be the leaders who place people first that will usher in this new era of digital transformation.

These leaders will empower their employees instead of treating them like robots, and value their creative and emotional inputs instead of becoming frustrated when people act unpredictably, or “human.”


Businesses will thrive most when they implement a digital transformation yet still place value on people over technology, remember that individuals are a driving force, and gear their leadership towards humans and not technology. After all, it is the collaboration of people, and not technology, that is instrumental to digital transformation success.