Digital Transformation – Getting it Right the First-time
Digital Transformation is everywhere. It’s disrupting the way enterprises communicate with their customers, suppliers, and even internally with their very own employees. It is affecting every facet of the business world and yet many view it is an unimportant and confusing buzzword.
While it is true that Digital Transformation can take many forms and its exact meaning is quite broad and depends significantly on your company’s needs, there is one benefit which remains the same with every successful implementation, reduced costs and increased productivity.
Through undergoing Digital Transformation, enterprises will gain tremendous cost savings, improve customer service and employee productivity, alongside a whole host of other benefits, such as:
Increased customer satisfaction
Improved efficiency and productivity
Greater flexibility to change processes
Continuous improvement (even once the initial transformation ends)
However, you will only see these benefits when a Digital Transformation initiative is implemented correctly and successfully. As such, if it is not executed correctly, your expected ROI will take longer to achieve.
And so, before undertaking this journey, we should all be asking ourselves, how do I get it right the first time, ensuring that the ROI outweighs the investment?
The first step to this is understanding the fundamentals of Digital Transformation and what can be achieved.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is a very broad topic and everyone has their own definition of it. For instance, according to Wikipedia, we can view Digital Transformation as “the novel use of digital technology to solve traditional problems”. Essentially, Digital Transformation is the method of replacing traditional manual processes within your business with digital processes.
The manual business processes that can be replaced by Digital Transformation come in many forms.
Business Process Automation:
Accounts Payable Automation (Automated processing of paper and electronic invoices), Digitisation (Converting paper forms and files to digital documents), and more.
Communication/Customer and staff experience:
External communication with customers (E.g. Customer Portals, webchat)
Internal communication between employees:
(E.g. an intranet or unified communications system for your remote, interstate, and international workforce)
And many more
In most cases, the first and most effective step towards Digital Transformation is to replace manual processes with technology. We call this 'Business Process Automation'. Essentially BPA is the process of ‘going paperless’ or reducing (and removing outright) your organisation’s reliance on paper-based communication.
Implementing Digital Transformation, getting it right
First of all, a little context. As the CEO and Founder of the PNORS Technology Group, I have been involved with a significant number of Digital Transformation initiatives, including our own internally.
Furthermore, I have witnessed firsthand many successful Digital Transformations, all of which have greatly benefitted organisations (including ours). However, I have also seen many more that have failed, often due to simple, easily avoidable errors.
To ensure that Digital Transformation has a successful impact on your business, I suggest every business undertake the following framework:
Digital Transformation initiatives must be led by the C-Suite; the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, and CTO. Why? Not only does the outcome result in substantial change in the way your organisation communicates, but also substantial changes to your organisation’s processes as a whole. It can lead to great cost savings and dramatically increased employee productivity, which is the KPI of most C-Suite leaders.
Develop a roadmap
The first step in any successful Digital Transformation is to develop a successful roadmap. This will include exactly what it is that your business wants to achieve by implementing Digital Transformation and the criteria with which you will measure success. If you are not sure about this, talk to your IT providers, they should be able to help you. If they can’t (or are unwilling), change your IT provider.
Allocate sufficient resources
The greatest single failure in Digital Transformation initiatives is not allocating sufficient resources, both in terms of the technology required and more importantly, the number of staff required. It is this criterion that I most often see neglected and thus leading to a failed implementation. If you do not possess the required workforce internally, then you must outsource them on a casual basis, as once the Digitisation is complete – or even partly complete – your organisation will possess sufficient resources itself to complete the remainder of the project internally.
Train your staff adequately
It is vital to the success of your entire overall Digital Transformation initiative that you adequately train all your employees to correctly and efficiently use the new technology and implement the changed business processes. A successful Digital Transformation initiative needs to include plans for training employees in new and changed methods, all while continually securing their adoption and buy in. I suggest looking into embedding vital communication directly into your business process for improving both employee efficiencies and customer experience.
Seek continual improvement
If you choose to undertake Digital Transformation internally, you probably won't get it right the first time. Set yourself an objective (such as enhanced customer service) and implement new technology towards this goal and continuously seek to improve your technology adoption. A true Digital Transformation does not stop; technology is continually improving and so must your processes and methods.
Keep the human touch
Your customers are open-minded regarding the involvement of automation in their customer service experience with your organisation, provided that this automation is an enabler and improves their experience. The moment that this automation becomes an obstacle to connecting with a live specialist when required (or even just wanted), it has failed. You must not (and cannot) rely entirely on automated processes for customer communication. It will alienate your customers and ensure that their perception of you is entirely negative.
I am sure that through implementing the above points, your organisation will achieve a successful and worthwhile Digital Transformation, which will allow your company to grow at an exponentially faster rate, with the massive burden of paper overflow removed.
The PNORS Technology Group provides end to end IT solutions to help our clients achieve their desired objectives and provide growth opportunities for everyone working in the company to reach their full professional potential.
Paul Gallo – Group CEO & Founder, PNORS Technology Group
Paul is a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record of creating and transforming businesses into enduring, profitable enterprises.
In 1982 Paul established Disprax Pty. Ltd. to coincide with the development of the now highly successful business management solution, Timber Industry Management and Marketing System (TIMMS), a software solution specifically designed for the timber industry.
Since then, based on industry insights and market trends, Paul has strategically extended his portfolio through the acquisition of Pacific Commerce in 2002, Datatime Services in 2009, Netway Networks in 2010 and WilldooIT in 2016.
Paul has extensive experience across all facets of company management, with specific expertise in sales, management, and leadership. As Group CEO Paul oversees the strategic direction of the PNORS Technology Group