Fed employees say culture of innovation needed for digital transformation
- At 90%, almost all of the 500 federal employees surveyed in a new report said they believe that security and privacy issues are road blocks in technological innovation. Global consulting services company ICF's Federal Digital Trends: Landing the Next Moonshot found that more than half of the respondents had experienced a cybersecurity incident.
- In the report's other key findings, the majority of respondents said the government's priority should be perfecting technology to improve citizens' user experience. More than 90% of respondents said the government should overhaul the IT procurement process. The same amount of people said they thought improving technology's usability should take precedent over its development.
- Although the report acknowledged HR's role in advancing the digital transformation, respondents listed HR last and IT first in identifying departments that support digital initiatives. Respondents also identified barriers to digital transformation's success, including security concerns, outdated policies surrounding digital technology, lack of skilled staff or relevant talent, complexity of the project and lack of time to explore the technologies' full capabilities.
In its report, ICF recommends the federal government overhaul its culture to harmonize with digital technology: "Creating a culture of innovation requires encouraging staff within agencies to think outside the box and empowering them to follow through on new ideas by providing targeted support," the report said. Its suggestion is one that HR professionals and experts have repeated to HR Dive, and not just in regards to technology. Employers can't ignore culture — if they do, it could be at their expense.
Change of any kind often requires culture reconstruction. As the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found, digital transformation is only possible with the support of a thriving digital culture. BCG evaluated 40 digital transformations and found that healthy digital cultures grow from five key values: delegation; collaboration; bold actions; more action and less planning; and engagement with customers and partners.
HR leaders are aware of the digital transformation's evolutionary effect on the workplace. An overwhelming majority of HR executives acknowledged that the digital transformation would change their organization's operations forever, according to a study by The Hackett Group. Organizations must put in place the resources that will allow HR, IT and other leaders to advance the transformation — and organizations need HR leaders to help move the transformation forward as the overseers of human capital management.