Lay the groundwork for digital transformation
30 May 2018
For most organisations digital transformation (DX) is on the radar as a strategic goal, but the path forwards is often unclear, or the journey is just beginning. With digital transformation becoming a must both in the private and public sector, there is now a greater sense of urgency around all things digital than ever before.
Communication with customers and suppliers, the life blood of business, is undergoing disruptive change. Accepting text messages, email, and social posts is essential to meet customer expectations. The volume of digital input is exploding and must be processed alongside hard copy documents and traditional communication. But in most cases organisations are not prepared to handle the volume and diversity of multi-channel communications. This overload of structured and unstructured information can quickly lead to data chaos on a massive scale. Business-to-business customers, consumers and citizens want to use multi-channel communications interchangably and expect immediate (or at worst, same-day) response times.
Information managment (IM) technology gives organisations the tools to master data chaos and provide efficient, immediate access to information when and where it is needed.
Effective information management ensures profitability and business growth
Efficient data management speeds up business processes and saves processing cost, which increases an organisation’s profitability. Processing customer inputs and inquiries quickly and correctly is essential to deliver a positive user experience, which determines customer satisfaction and loyalty.
A workflow is only as strong as its weakest link
A business workflow is only as strong as its weakest element, which, for most organisations are manual steps in a process, often involving paper-based documents.
"Paper is a good place to start thinking about digital transformation, because it is the Achilles heel of most organisations. Paper clogs up processes. Paper creates disruptions to smooth information flows. Digital processes require digital information." John Mancini, Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM)
Digitising documents as early as possible in a workflow is a prerequisite for increased efficiency in a transaction. Accurately capturing business inputs such as customer information, digital and paper-based ones during this first phase of the business process has a significant impact on the productivity of the entire process. Business inputs that are not automated or are not well-integrated cause manual steps and are a huge bottleneck for digital transformation.
Deploying technology for digitising paper documents significantly impacts the productivity of business transactions – speeding up workflows and removing manual process steps later down the line.
Intelligent automation of business processes
The further automation of business processes is another key opportunity to enhance efficiency. Identifying the nature of business input, such as a credit card application, will initiate very different needs for data and process steps than, for example, an address change.
DX would not be possible without technologies that enable intelligent automation of business processes. There are a variety of tools at various stages of maturity designed to automate business processes. Information capture technology has significantly impacted the way we share and process business documents. Scanners are now becoming smart, connected appliances and offer huge potential to further improve automation. Technologies such as intelligent classification and automated data extraction to rapidly process business inputs are becoming more common. Other information management technology such as robotics process automation (RPA) is starting to gain traction and offers much potential for accelerating digital transformation.
Key first steps in digital transformation
Digital transformation starts with digital business inputs. Taking the complexity out of this essential first process phase is an important step in the successful implementation of a DX project. When deploying technology solutions, working with a vendor that offers an ecosystem of solution elements including a global network of partners, and not just a technology component, is key to achieve this.
While disruptive technology is at the core of enabling digital transformation, company culture also plays a key role. Many DX projects fail because they are not planned or managed well, or because the scope is too big – which makes change management an integral part of a digital transformation strategy.
When considering technology, focus on ensuring the right fit with your business requirements, having the right user experience during deployment and ongoing operation, and achieving the desired business results. This combination will ensure an effective DX project and will ultimately go a long way towards driving the success of your business.
To learn more about digital transformation, download the Alaris ebook “Turn your data into gold.”
For more information, please visit www.alarisworld.com
By Don Lofstrom, President and General Manager, Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business