Digital Transformation: The Next Frontier in Operational Improvement
| Time to read: 7 minutes
In 2018, The World Economic Forum said in their Digital Transformation report, “to succeed in the digital era, (companies) will need to become digital enterprises, rethinking every aspect of their businesses.”
Companies are realizing more and more that there is a need to push the envelope when it comes to their business processes, and, are shifting towards becoming more digitally-run enterprises. They have internalized that automating and streamlining business processes is a step towards creating more efficient workflows and increasing productivity.
According to a Gartner survey of businesses around the world across 15 industries, 47% of CEOs are being challenged by leadership to make progress in digital business, and 56% said that their digital improvements have already improved profits. Companies are either at the stage of inching in towards a digital transformation or are already operating at a more mature level.
What is “digital transformation?”
Would you say that the use of mobile applications is distinguishing the days of paper boarding passes at the airport? What about on-demand ride services like Uber… context-aware home thermostats... security systems - these evolutions in technology are changing the way we interact with the world. Everyday activities are being replaced by technology.
When it comes to the business landscape, business owners are taking advantage of technology because they are seeing that moving from manual efforts to digitized ones is a step towards improving their operations.
The right technology works to transform a company and give it a competitive edge. An enabling platform has the power to improve every aspect of an operation - from employee management to customer support. There is an opportunity to reach a new level of operations, and that level can only become more efficient with technology.
Moving towards Operational Excellence
Every business needs to have a foundation that lays out the brick-work for a vision of the future. In the pursuit of business process improvement, companies are focusing on a concept called “operational excellence.”
Operational excellence is the philosophy that embraces the notion that challenges have to be continuously solved as they arise in order to improve business performance. It is a mindset that needs to be present across the entire company. We need to know that we are making the best decisions with each step in order to move in small increments towards revenue growth.
Operational excellence means increasing market readiness, employee productivity, and the creation of more effective processes that can maximize efforts. Here are the three pillars of achieving operational excellence.
1. Create a digital transformation roadmap
Have a clear level of thought regarding the goals you want to achieve. This way, the processes that will be put in place will percolate throughout the company and be incorporated into daily functions.
Sit down with your team and set real, tangible goals. Where do you want to see the business in a year? Are you looking to double your customer base? Are you looking to invest more in improving your product? These questions need to be considered to keep a clear picture of how to go about achieving desired goals.
2. Encourage a digital-first culture
A digital transformation has to happen on a micro-level. Everyone needs to take part in transitioning their manual activities to an automated workflow that is enabled by a technology platform. When employees are encouraged, taught and trained on continuously working with the technology in their daily operations, it becomes possible to create a digital-first culture.
3. Encourage cross-functional collaboration
Would you say a lot of activities are overlapping between departments? Are workflows becoming redundant? Are your employees missing important steps? Are they disorganized and siloed? By breaking down the walls between departments, you can create complete visibility to all business processes in each department.
Case in point
McDermott International, an energy and utilities company realized that they had to transform their business to stay competitive. The energy industry isn’t known for embracing unfamiliar technology, but McDermott took the plunge and transformed its operation from the ground up.
From engineering to procurement, construction and project management, everything was digitized and standardized. Result? Every stakeholder gained visibility into the operation from a single data source. This single source of data allowed the energy company to gain real-time visibility into every single part of the operation, the productivity of employees and teams, and how the company functioned as a single unit.
It’s important to understand that the goal isn’t the digital transformation itself. Instead, what’s important is what the digital transformation accomplishes. Businesses that succeed in 2019 won’t be the ones with a collection of technologies for every single business function, but with a single one that embraces a stand-alone platform to manage all the internal business processes, and by extension, in relationships with customers.
The right operations platform can create a more effective and productive workforce and better customer experience. In fact, 62% say delivering an excellent customer experience as measured by customer satisfaction scores defines success as a digital-first business.
In today’s business economy, we need to be relevant in the way we approach business activities and workflows to break away from silos within the organization to enable collaboration between departments. The right technology can unlock business potential, and that’s what a transformation aims to do.
Say ‘Yes!’ to the adoption of a platform that will make your operations easier to manage. This will have a direct impact on ROI as you will be saving money in the short and long-term.
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