Workforce transformation that empowers your people

Strategy & Transformation

Photo of Ian Sheen

Ian Sheen

Technical Lead - Strategy and Transformation, Telstra Purple LinkedIn

It’s not controversial to say a company’s greatest asset is its team. Your people are your business – and their ability to succeed is central to your organisation’s wider success or failure.

Getting the best out of your team is critical. That’s why it’s notable that economists at Warwick University found that that happy employees work harder. In fact, happiness made people around 12 per cent more productive. The study found that happy workers increase their productivity without impacting on their work quality.

That productivity isn’t contingent on working longer hours. A recent Microsoft experiment in Japan saw a 40 per cent increase in productivity and multiple reductions in operating costs, despite the team reducing their working week to four days.

Considering those trends, it’s particularly concerning that people are often overlooked when it comes to digital transformation.

Take our recent Disruptive Decision Making research, which provides insights into digital transformation decisions and their impact on key organisational goals. We found that respondents managing digital transformation projects around the world focus strongly on technology understanding when it comes to decision-making ability, and the accruing results. They rated themselves the weakest when it came to people and processes.

Yet, that is not true of every organisation. In fact, the numbers revealed that the most digitally mature companies are set apart precisely because they are more likely to focus on people and processes than technology.

Brilliant things are more likely to happen when you integrate your people with your digital transformation projects – and ensure you keep the purpose of the project front of mind from its very outset.

Take our customer, London City Airport, for example. With the airport now handling millions of passengers rather than the thousands it was originally designed for when built in 1987, the company’s IT team knew it needed to digitally transform to keep up with traveller expectations. This would let it meet the airport’s objective of doubling passenger capacity within 10 years, as well as improving passenger experiences and reducing travel times.

The team worked with us to develop a “smart airport experience” with the promise of 20 minutes from “train to gate”. That means passengers could expect to be at the departure gate within just 20 minutes of arriving. That is a purpose with real impact on people’s lives.
It was also critical to ensure the digital transformation did not interfere with the day-to-day running of the airport during technical and procedural changes.

This meant taking the customer viewpoint from the outset of the project – which is where organisations have the most challenges in their digital transformation projects according to our research.

Instead, Telstra and London City Airport focused on running the project in true partnership both internally and with our key technology partners. The scope of work covered the closure of existing onsite data centres, the transition of core applications and services into managed co-location and a full refresh of the LAN.

Through a foundational focus on people and purpose, and a strong partnership to implement the right technology, London City Airport was able to meet all of its ambitious goals. And travellers were able to land, leave, and feel happier about their airport experience – in barely a quarter of an hour.

The learning for all of us is clear. By bringing your teams, customers, and partners to work together, we can empower our businesses to be more productive and more successful. And we can create digital transformation that not only helps your business thrive, but also contributes to a bigger purpose to improve people’s lives.


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