Digital transformation means reimagining your business in the digital age. This includes both investing in technologies and bringing cultural changes that will help your organization become more intelligent and competitive on the market — and in 2020, it’s no longer a nice-to-have.
What is digital transformation?
First, there was digitization, when we moved from analog to digital, so we essentially said goodbye to the following everything on paper. After welcoming digital files and folders came digitalization, where we had to improve the ways we processed digitized information.
Digital transformation brings in a much broader perspective as, albeit the name can be misleading, it’s not only about technology but very much about a cultural change, as well.
While digitalization still revolved around doing the usual but better and faster, digital transformation is about a holistic change in how you do business. Essentially, it’s the reinvention of your organization, the workflows, the chain supply, improving employee’s capabilities, and of course, introducing tools, apps, or integrated software for the full potential of better customer experience.
Regarding the technology, the main initiative here is automation that can help with a broad range of processes. It can eliminate the need to update files manually every time, introducing and improving cloud storage systems. It can automate sending repetitive emails, certain legal and accounting tasks, or back-office transaction processes.
Robotic process automation (RPA) does this best by dealing with tasks with a higher speed and accuracy, reducing the costs of business processes, freeing up employee time for true-value-based functions, and ultimately improving customer experience.
How is digital transformation helpful, and why is it inevitable in 2020?
Other than living in a digital age and the need to keep up with it, there are several reasons for putting down a vote next to digital transformation.
When you think, plan and build digitally, that results in a more agile and flexible company, and in 2020 that seems more than a current need for every organization.
We can break down the essence of this transformation two-fold, regarding customers and employees, although it’s worth noting that they go hand in hand.
The customer expectations
Transforming your business processes starts and ends with the customer. This is a mindset change that challenges the status quo. It’s the feeling that you have to do things in different ways and the urge that you have to stay relevant for the customer.
PWC’s consumer survey revealed that 46% of customers would stop doing business with a company if their employees lacked the knowledge to help them, and 35% said they would walk away from a brand they like even after just one bad experience.
This is essential data that needs to be acknowledged, as, in 2020, customers are simply everywhere (email, social media, phone, chatbot, website forms, etc.) because they can, and they expect you to be there, too.
If you don’t adapt to it, you’re risking the chance of providing an excellent customer experience by missing the opportunities every other time. According to the PWC study, they want speed and efficiency (80%) and knowledgeable and helpful employees (78%) as the top two expectations.
For companies to meet these expectations, an option is automating and streamlining business processes, such as robotizing repetitive business tasks. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a suitable option for you to achieve your business goals faster and increase your ROI (return on investment).
The employee empowerment
As mentioned above, while these changes target the way you deliver customer experience, they are deeply rooted inside your organization. If you want to provide high-value, you need your employees’ skill sets and workflows to be implemented accordingly.
Under the umbrella of transformation, you can improve the efficiency and productivity of employees with automation, so that their workload gets rearranged in a way that’s beneficial for them and where they can manage data better.
Again, RPA is well suited for this process in 2020. From mapping, how much time employees spend in different software and tasks, through calculating the automation potential for the employee’s workload to launching and monitoring automated workflows in the system.
Deloitte’s automation study revealed that this way, 50% of the tasks can be affected so the employee can now spend half of their time with higher-value work. It also concluded that “RPA empowers people to increase their unique value, connect more fully with the purpose and strategy of their organization.”
How to lead digital transformation in your company?
As Adobe’s Digital trends report concluded, digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers. In fact, 56% of CEOs, in a Gartner study, said that digital improvements have led to increased revenue.
It’s important to highlight that these results require teamwork. Such transformation affects both the C-suite and the workforce, and it also needs their assistance underway.
1. The Chief duties
Executives and managers must lead in creating an environment that ensures the best possible outcomes, including:
- Identifying the needs and laying out the strategy: it is possible that at first, only the critical areas of the organization has to be transformed, instead of the full company
- Setting (and measuring) the goals: putting down goals that will allow measuring success and ensuring that employees also understand why the transformation is needed and how it’s going to benefit them
- Communicating a clear change story: sharing information on how the transformation will proceed, phase by phase, step by step
- Deciding on the optimal technology: bringing in the type of technology help that is best suited for the transformation
- Appointing technology leadership and training staff: ensuring that skilled leaders are on the field to control the transformation day by day and provide employees with the resources needed for their more effortless involvement in the technology and cultural change.
2. The employee duties
Apart from following the laid out strategy, employees don’t exactly have strict duties in the transformation. They are more in the position where they have to adapt to the changes which can include:
- Learning a new way of thinking: the future of work won’t arrive until the employee mindset changes, so they have to be open to shift their old patterns and give space to new ones
- Participating in training: different employees have different levels of knowledge of the incoming technology, and the sooner they learn using it, the shorter the adaptation period will be
McKinsey identified the workforce’s digital capabilities importance in the transformation. In their study, respondents were 1.5 more likely to report a successful digital transformation when developing their talent and skills were in place.
- Keeping an open, proactive mind: just because the strategy comes from above, it doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that employees cannot create ideas and plans on what the transformation should include or how it could go down more smoothly in their departments and roles.
Digital transformation is primarily a business transformation where technology and culture change are interconnected. Although there are several ways to proceed, in 2020, a form of automation must be part of the puzzle that will help improve and empower the workforce and form a better customer experience, as its two main pillars.
If you’re ready to set out on your automation journey, start your free 14-day trial of ElectroNeek’s RPA platform and lead the digital transformation!