Synergise culture and tech to fuel business transformation

Data collected by Telstra has found that the majority (85%) of senior decision-makers see the high value of tech implementation in their business.

However, alongside boosting tech uptake, prioritizing culture could lead to a significant 44% increase in revenue next year, the research suggested.

The study was commissioned to explore the relationship between technological and cultural elements of business transformation.

UK business leaders overwhelmingly believe that boosting tech uptake is an ’empowering force’ when it comes to staff delivering value for their organizations.

However, the findings suggested that culture and people-centricity are critical components of business growth and success, with 36% of UK tech decision-makers highlighting it as ‘critical’.

Data suggested a pressing need for these to be aligned with the company’s digital transformation strategy to deliver real value.

Technology implementation can be used as a tool to both reinforce and change culture within their organization, leaders agreed – highlighting the importance of designing transformation strategies with technology and people in mind.

Findings around transformation drivers recognized change was increasingly proactive and driven from within. In fact, technological change and cultural change were considered more important to achieving successful business transformation than external business drivers, such as macro socio-economic events, competitor activity and analyst recommendations.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK has experienced unprecedented levels of digital transformation. When asked which factors are the most important in affecting transformation, respondents ranked several people and culture-related options – company culture (20%), open culture (18%), flexible working (18%) and hybrid working (17%) were among the most important.

Speaking about the findings, Rob Robinson, Head of Telstra Purple EMEA, commented: “Our research shows that without proper consideration of people and culture, digital transformation is destined for failure. At the very least, there is a high risk of a prolonged transformation and marginal gains from what should be a facilitator of enormous benefits for the business.

“The findings show that prioritizing culture alongside technology change can exponentially increase revenue – combining the two can generate gains of 44% according to our respondents.
“At a time when we’re facing significant economic uncertainty and the threat of a global recession is looming large on the horizon, it is essential that employees are empowered to deliver value for their organization.”

Despite the recognition of technological, people and cultural change, there is, still some uncertainty about how these factors influence one another, the data found.

Respondents were split on this issue, with less than a quarter (21%) suggesting that changing culture enables the adoption of technology, whereas 19% suggested that it is technological implementation that drives cultural change.


Around 19% said implementing tech and changing culture should be done in tandem to deliver purposeful business transformation. The findings suggest a synergetic relationship between technology and culture, with one defining the other or complementing each other to deliver business transformation, growth, and success.

Respondents were clear however, that training (29%), staff resourcing (27%) and fostering collaboration (26%) are among the cultural factors that are considered most important to achieving business transformation goals.

Robinson added: “Digital transformation programs have cost organizations millions, but the key ingredient to successful change has always been the people in the business.

“Culture and technology are two sides of the same coin when it comes to business transformation, and unless employees buy into the strategic intent of the program, then executing it will be like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

“Designing transformation strategies with people in mind is invaluable to achieving your goals.”

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