The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 put much of the world on its back foot. Global economies began to shutter as quarantine measures forced businesses to close their doors. As a result of the pandemic, many of the largest corporations in the world were forced to adapt through rapid digital transformations to continually serve customers. The same story can be said of mom-and-pop businesses, as well. Krishen Iyer is an entrepreneur from California who graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Public Administration and Urban Development. Now a professional in the marketing and development industry, Iyer has put together his thoughts on speeding up digital transformations in the workplace.

Krishen Iyer's Digitization Efforts: Progress, Hardware, and Infrastructure

Digitalization efforts over the course of the pandemic have been borne out of necessity. Due to lockdown measures and safety efforts, many organizations are for the first time trying to safeguard their business and its continuity by putting together increasingly makeshift digitalization efforts. For businesses looking to succeed on the fly, overcoming these hurdles as they manifest, Iver believes that there are three core levers for the successful acceleration of digitalization.

Krishen Iyer points out the three levers of digitalization. These were developed over the course of a two-year research study on some of the largest and most successful banks in Europe. Focusing on replacing banking systems, this survey involved 60 interviews with professionals and stakeholders at every level of the operation. Throughout these interviews, it was possible to identify complexity-in-use or the struggles that employees had acclimating to new digitization systems.

What is Complexity-in-Use? - Complexity-in-use describes how easy it is for users to learn and interface with a digital tool. A higher level of complexity-in-use will require more instruction and a longer implementation timeline.

Complexity-in-use can be amplified by several different scenarios. For example, a higher level of complexity-in-use may revolve around advanced data input fields as well as an advanced overall understanding of the system. Take a look at how a data entry clerk may work with a system versus the level of comfort that a sales clerk has with their POS system. The former requires a deeper understanding of the system and will thus require more advanced implementation efforts.

Put plainly, complexity-in-use will vary based upon the pre-existing knowledge required for an employee to accomplish their task. A loan application form will require a better understanding of the financial industry as well as the different algorithms involved. A simple POS system will be significantly easier to install and implement.

Krishen Iyer on Implementing Digital Transformations in the Workspace
(Photo : Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Accelerating Digitalization Through Three Levers

Establishing digitization efforts is about more than developing concepts behind the scenes; it is about putting them into play correctly. To successfully incorporate new digitization processes into your business or workplace, consider the following levers as steps toward success.


Conduct Your Due Diligence

Prior to implementing any new process at work, consider conducting your due diligence, says Krishen Iyer. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to create a complexity heatmap that lays out, step-by-step, the tasks and levels of complexity that your organization requires to be accomplished.

A complexity heatmap will outline the key steps, actions, and outcomes related to the implementation of a new system. When utilized with colored fields, this heatmap can offer an ideal way to represent the difficulty of digitalization. Pay more attention to tasks that feature higher levels of complexity-in-use as they will demand more of your time.

Design Your Step-by-Step Plan

Now, it is time to direct our attention to organizational resources at the lower levels of complexity-in-use. Tasks that reside in the lower levels of complexity are considered "quick wins," processes that can quickly become implemented with minor delay. These digitalization investments tend to pay off rather quickly as they require little governance and have high levels of adaptability among even the newest of staff members.

Quick wins offer much more than a simple boost to your company's bottom line. Krishen Iyer believes that quick wins can have a profound psychological impact, boosting company morale along the way. Quick wins are vital to long-term success as many digitalization efforts are as much a marathon as they are a sprint.

Personalize Transformation Efforts

Transformation efforts don't end after a digital process has been erected. Whether you're installing a new POS system or updating the way paperwork is processed in your system, focus on developing tailor-made transformation efforts. What does this mean? You should meet your employees where they are at, guiding them through the new system while tackling any potential difficulties along the way.

Utilize your complexity heatmap to decide how much time, effort, and attention each task requires from a managerial standpoint. Certain tasks are more social and will require hands-on support from a manager while others are more self-guided. Organizations that follow these levers can properly respond by spending key resources where necessary, avoiding unnecessary waste along the way.

About Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer was raised in California, where he graduated from Bullard High School in 1998. After graduating from SDSU with his B.A. in Public Administration and Urban Development, Iyer established Managed Benefits Services, a marketing and consultancy firm that provides support to insurance agencies and companies. Most recently, Krishen Iyer has been focused on developing his newest project, the MAIS Consulting Firm to support companies in the insurance distribution industry.