Employees are overlooked in digital transformation processes, study claims

Just 5% of IT managers consider employees as their top priority when making technology investments, which stifles productivity and causes staff to become overwhelmed.

That's according to a new study from Lenovo, which surveyed 1,000 IT managers from the UK, Netherlands, France, and Germany.

The research that employees are often overlooked in the process of digital transformation, with the majority (62%) of respondents reporting that their investment decisions are entirely business-centric.

This leads to new technology slowing down processes instead of improving them, according to a fifth of employees. Lenovo suggests that, in order to experience the full potential of the newly-implemented technology, businesses should ask people-centric questions during the adoption process.

The study also found that flexible working policies introduced during the coronavirus pandemic provided employees with a greater level of support, signalling the emergence of a more people-centric approach. In fact, 70% of respondents have observed more emphasis within their organisation on responsible business.

President of Lenovo’s Data Center Group for EMEA Giovanni Di Filippo said that, although “organisations place greater emphasis on the wellbeing of their employees, (...) the study shows that this is only the beginning”.

“If there is a change of heart and mind within the industry, taking a people-first approach to IT adoption, we will see positive change for both organisations and wider society. Happier employees, greater productivity and a faster pace of innovation – these are the benefits of placing people at the centre of IT decisions,” he said.

However, for the time being, many employees still feel overwhelmed by the complexity and pace of digital transformation - almost one in two (47%) IT managers reported that users struggle to embrace new software.


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According to Di Filippo, “data and technology cannot be transformative without humans bringing it to life and giving it purpose”.

“We want businesses to think human by investing in ‘Smarter Technology for All’. As for vendors – it’s time to think beyond what they make and consider who they make it for. If people are put first, we know the benefits and desired company outcomes will be great.”

The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown can also be credited with accelerating transformation plans, with digital technology enabling the overwhelmed NHS to keep providing vital services to millions of patients.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.