Digital Transformation – It’s just as much about Culture as it is Technology

Without any question, Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated the digital transformation efforts for many businesses. Much of the recent research and analysis conducted says the same, with digital transformation being one of the key board agenda points for most C-level executives.

A significant driver of this is that organisations are looking for complete solutions to allow more teams and people to collaborate and work together. In these extraordinary circumstances, businesses have had to adapt and work remotely (some doing this better than others).

At the same time, there has also been a greater emphasis on customer centricity – trying to provide a single ecosystem for clients and partners to transact and do business.

And within this, digital technology plays a critical role – but just as important is culture.

The culture of any business is really what makes it unique and aligns everyone to the same goal and vision. There are multiple components to business culture, but my focus below will be on three that, in my opinion, are fundamental – especially in the context of digital transformation.


The leadership teams are probably the biggest single contributors to the culture of any business. The vision and goals they set determine the strategy that they themselves, along with their teams, will follow.

Therefore, it is vital that they clearly outline and provide their vision to the rest of the business. If their colleagues and teams buy into this vision, it automatically will align everyone in the same direction, increasing the chances of successful change through digital transformation.


To start with, management is different to leadership. Whilst leadership is about outlining the mission statement and vision of the business, management is all about implementing it by empowering employees to make decisions.

The way that management teams act and behave, how they listen and communicate, and how they set goals and build plans to achieve those will directly be absorbed by and impact the rest of business.

So, if managers can clearly show their teams the goals they have set, the plans to achieve them and provide efficient communication channels, then execution becomes much more effective, again increasing the chances of a successful digital transformation.


As I’ve said many times before, people are the backbone of any organisation. They determine success or failure as they are crucial to every part of any business.

Hence, their adoption and buy-in are key. And the underlying factor in this is team culture: Are they collaborative? Are they fully inclusive – or trapped in self-focused silos?

If people are included from the outset of these transformations and understand how they benefit from using these technologies, their willingness to adopt them will be higher – maximising the success of digital transformations.

So Culture is key?

Well yes… Any transformation, digital or otherwise, has to fundamentally change your understanding of what is happening in your business and what its impact will be. They must be done with a long-term view, where at the core, it has to be an enabler to drive greater value.

And part of that is bringing people with you by clearly outlining your vision to them, empowering them to make decisions and getting them to adopt digital technologies by identifying how they benefit.

That part is purely to do with culture and that’s why it’s just as important as the technology in any digital transformation.

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Author – Qasim Kirmani, CEO of Wurqi
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