Walking the talk: We prioritize people over technology, and you should, too

“Becoming a leading-edge technology adopter opens up incredible opportunities for us. And we must be open to learning, making mistakes and course corrections along the way. Progress, not perfection, will be a new technology mindset for PwC.”
— Bob Moritz, PwC Global Chairman

At PwC, we live by our global mantra of progress, not perfection. And it was front of mind when we embarked on our journey to become a digitally enabled network of firms and change the way we work.

Organizations today are under pressure to do more with less. It’s no wonder many are turning to new software and cloud technologies to help drive efficiencies, open new sales channels, extend customer reach and increase revenue. They’re powerful motivators for investment.

Unfortunately, few companies are able to achieve the benefits they expect from cloud technology transformations. In fact, 75% of digital transformations fail to generate returns that exceed the original investment. Of those that fail, 70% are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioural change.

Follow along with PwC’s digital enablement journey over the coming weeks.

Why do so many projects fail?

The answer is simple: investing in technology isn’t enough. Powerful tools and innovative technologies are all well and good, but if people don’t adopt new ways of thinking, working and selling, then new solutions won’t help. That’s why the top priority of our front-office transformation approach is to get our people to embrace digital by focusing on adoption.

By putting people at the centre of front-office transformation initiatives, companies can get people excited for the new ways of working, make sure everyone understands the benefits to both the company and to their specific roles, encourage the right behaviours and, ultimately, drive stronger, more valuable relationships with the customer.

How do we know our approach works? We use it ourselves.

Strategy, not technology

Over the past 100 years, we’ve evolved into a global network of firms that spans 158 countries and employs more than 236,000 people. With significant cultural, geographic and generational diversity, it should come as no surprise that our team members have used many different structures, processes and technologies to manage client relationships and do their work.

But as times changed, we knew we had to change, too. We established a global strategy to help us become a digitally enabled organization better able to respond to the needs of our clients. As a part of this vision, we set off on a journey to transform how we go to market and to develop the tools and skills we need to thrive in a disruptive business environment.

This is why we decided to embrace Salesforce, a critical component to achieving our three goals:

  • Build stronger, more trusted relationships with our clients
  • Achieve time savings for both our people and our clients
  • Improve our sales discipline to increase our pipeline and wins

We knew from the get-go that Salesforce was only an enabler. To truly achieve our global vision, we needed to focus on getting our people to embrace an entirely new way of working.

Digital enablement: biggest challenge and biggest opportunity

On paper, rolling out Salesforce was one of the largest technology implementations we’ve ever conducted across our global network, and it was the largest Lightning deployment for Salesforce in 2017.

But let’s be honest: digital transformation isn’t really about technology. The key to success was enabling our organization to become globally consistent while remaining locally relevant to achieve our shared vision. We also needed to manage an array of operational complexities, cultural differences and communications approaches.

As we mentioned earlier, we knew going in that most large transformation projects fail because of the lack of adoption. We’ve experienced this ourselves, and awareness of our past mistakes drove us to put most of our effort into digital adoption. Failure wasn’t an option; our internal front-office transformation was mission critical.

And we could only succeed if put our people at the centre of the journey.

3 critical success factors

Our journey to digital adoption was developed based on the recognition of three highly critical success factors:

  • Full alignment and leadership buy-in: We knew if we didn’t get our network of people — including territory leaders and key engagement teams — involved in the transformation, we would fail. Our leaders would make or break our ability to achieve value from Salesforce. From the start, they helped us with our strategic vision so we could connect our global ecosystem and do business in new ways.
  • Helping our people succeed: We understood that the technology in and of itself would not make us transform. We had to focus on developing our team’s skills and encourage new ways of working so they could embrace Salesforce.
  • Demonstrating value: We recognized the traditional ways we’ve managed change in the past (a communications-centric approach) wouldn’t work well given the scope and complexities associated with this transformation. We needed to establish innovative ways to foster an understanding of value regardless of an individual’s location or role.

Getting it right

Adoption is the key to getting the business value you’re looking for — and we’ve already seen benefits. Our single global instance of Salesforce has helped our teams build stronger, more valuable relationships and improved client experience. And it has all led to higher performance and increased win rates.

To our great benefit, partners worldwide have become the most engaged user group, driving change within their own teams.

Sharing our approach

Over our Journey to digital enablement series, we’ll give you an inside look at our approach to accelerating digital adoption. Hopefully, our journey inspires you to move forward confidently with your own transformation.

Find out how our digital enablement approach can help you on your journey. Contact us today.

Next post: 5 reasons your people will make or break your digital transformation




70% of failed digital transformations are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioural change. PwC's digital enablement approach helps drive employee adoption of new technologies to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

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PwC Front-Office Transformation

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70% of failed digital transformations are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioral change. PwC's digital enablement approach helps drive employee adoption

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