Digital Transformation is a term used to explain how digital technology can alter and improve processes in an organisation, across all functions. It can be best described as an overhaul or reimagining of how you operate and should take into account every aspect of the workplace; particularly its culture.
As well as improving and streamlining processes, the goal of digital transformation is to get the full value out of digital technologies and elevate customer experience and user journey. Organisations will often employ a digital transformation expert to support this.
Some more obvious examples of digital transformation include the invention of mobile-first banking or the introduction of Click and Collect to the retail sector. However, the digital transformation of a business can be on as huge a scale as Amazon’s evolution from bookseller to global superstore. On a more tactical level, the type of digital transformation you might notice day-to-day could include the optimisation of case management systems, dispute automation, the implementation of automated data capture systems or the adoption of improved service models.
It’s fair to say that whether B2B or B2C, a wide range of industry sectors benefit from digital transformation every year. Digital transformation is however perhaps more noticeable to the outside eye, where an organisation deals with a large volume of external stakeholders. For example, businesses which deal with employment disputes, legal claims or helpdesk queries.
In these types of scenarios, digital transformation and business automation can completely elevate the level of service. By implementing artificial intelligence and automation, for example, inbound calls can be triaged in a much more efficient way, freeing up staff to concentrate on much more complex operations and redirecting expertise to where they can add greater value.
All too often though, organisations can be cautious of digital transformation. Perceived risks include concerns about cyber security or worries about resources such as people and time. Existing legacy systems, bad data and a poor understanding of software functionality or processes can lead to businesses avoiding digital transformation projects altogether.
So how do you balance the benefits with the risks of digital transformation? Despite the initial upheaval, long-term, digital transformation will almost certainly add value and might even give your organisation a competitive edge. The key to mitigation then is to appoint effective digital transformation experts; people who can utilise the most effective project management tools and adopt an agile approach to risk management. Your digital transformation specialists should also have some appreciation of the complexity of your sector. For example, if you operate in a highly regulated industry or you are subject to public sector regulation.
In our own digital transformation projects, our approach incorporates User Centred Design (UCD). This is a five-step process which starts with discovery and analysis before we specify problems and outline solutions. Evaluation and iteration also help us to fix elements of the service which didn’t perform as well as was expected.
This robust yet flexible approach takes into account that organisations are complex, that stakeholders have different needs and that barriers or pain points can be identified at any stage in a project - particularly where it is being run concurrently with other organisational projects.
A digital transformation project can be a huge undertaking which requires fundamental changes in a business. Ultimately though, it adds value as it gets to the root cause of problems, ensures stakeholder buy-in, improves the quality of your data and more. Working with the right people also means that day-to-day operations can continue with minimum disruption.
If you’d like some expert advice on how digital transformation could work in your business, get in touch with us for an informal chat.