Digital transformation is a hot topic that is being widely discussed and one of the critical themes people professionals identified as impacting the current and future world of work, according to the CIPD People Profession 2030 report.

But what exactly is digital transformation? Why does it matter? How can employers and people professionals prepare themselves, and their organisations, to embrace it and to derive maximum advantage from it? This series of articles will explore these questions, combining the practical implications drawn from in-depth research and study, with the insight and experience of people professionals who have taken crucial steps in digital transformation.

This series was written by Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser – Data, Technology and AI at CIPD.

The author and CIPD would like to thank:

  • The people professionals and academics who brought this series to life with their candid stories and insights. 
  • Colleagues who worked behind the scenes to produce the series. Including shaping the themes for the series, sourcing contacts, editing articles, designing icons, uploading them to the web and promoting the series on social media. 
  • Our partner Personio for sponsoring this series, suggesting relevant Personio resources and introducing us to people professionals to speak to. 


In particular, we are grateful to the 35 experts and professionals in Europe, the USA and the Middle East who gave their time to be interviewed for this series. Below in alphabetical order are the names of those who agreed to be acknowledged. 

Rachel Ashmore | Fay Bocock | Amanda Boswell | Deirdre Breen | Sophie Brown | Leah Carter | James Davis 

Michael Ellis | Jamie Fox | Sarah Hay | Joe Hayes | Gary Hazel | Laura Ibbotson | Andy Jenkins 

Professor Gerald Kane | Dominic Keogh-Peters | Willem Kistemaker | Heather Lee | My Lindholm 

Margaret-Ann Love | Laura Miller | Marianne Moberg | Calliope Nikolakopoulou | Laura Phillips | Shane Prendergast 

Professor Sarah Robinson | Marc Shiels | David Swanagon | James Francis Williams | Hannah Wysome

Behind the scenes

Grateful thanks also to CIPD colleagues who supported the production of this series, including:

  • Fiona McDermott, former Senior Project Executive, CIPD Ireland, for the thought-provoking discussions that shaped the themes for this series. 
  • Derek Tong, Intelligence Content Manager, for editing the articles and seamlessly joining the dots in the publication and promotion of this series.
  • Zainab Oyegoke, Communications and Campaigns Manager, for coordinating the communications and social media activities.
  • Edd Pickles, Digital Designer, for creating the beautiful icons for this series.
  • Liz Dalton, Intelligence Content Analyst, for the detailed work on the webpages.
  • Colleagues in the UK, Ireland and UAE for connecting us to people professionals to speak to. 
  • Colleagues in our Research, Policy and Learning teams for reviewing articles related to their areas of expertise before publication.



Thank you to our sponsor Personio for supporting this series. Special thanks to Andrea Schätzl-Naeve, Regional Marketing Manager, for introducing us to some of our expert contributors.

Our series begins with an explanation of why digital transformation matters to people professionals. Using Kane et al’s research, we explain what it is and how to do it effectively. In the second chapter, the Group People Director of Axiom Telecom in the UAE shares his organisation’s digital transformation journey from a traditional bricks-and-mortar retailer, wholesaler and distributor to a predominantly digital platform distributor. The focus in subsequent chapter shifts to digital transformation within the people function. We organise people professionals’ stories in these chapters by specialist functions such as HR information systems, recruitment, and learning and development. Where applicable we share the impact of change on their organisations. We will conclude the series with reflections from experts and acknowledgements of the people professionals who have contributed to the series. 

Recognising the very real challenges of screen fatigue and time constraints facing our readers, we’ve sought to publish this content in short, individual chapters rather than as a single, long-form report. After the initial launch of the first three chapters, we will look to publish subsequent chapters monthly, completing the series in early 2022.  

We hope that the experiences shared in this series inspire more people professionals to take a proactive role in the digital transformation of their organisations and people functions. And in doing so, change the notion that the people function is not regularly involved in decisions to invest and implement new technologies, as uncovered in past CIPD research

Read the latest article in our series below.

Previous articles in this series

Personio is the all-in-one HR software for small- and medium-sized companies. Based in Munich, Madrid, London and Dublin (as well as Amsterdam, beginning this fall), Personio’s mission is to make HR processes as transparent and efficient as possible so HR can focus on the most valuable assets in the company: the people. 

The Personio solution includes human resources, recruiting and payroll and supports all core HR processes every business needs to do. More than 4,000 customers in over 80 countries use Personio. In January 2021 alone, Personio received a $125 million Series D funding. With a valuation of $1.7 billion, Personio has ‘unicorn’ status and is the most valuable HR tech company in Europe.

Explore our related content