As businesses face increasing challenges during this pandemic, one thing is certain: the most digitized organizations will survive and thrive in a digitalized world. This is not just a theory. It’s the consensus of CEOs and CIOs who spoke with Forrester CEO George Colony when addressing the impact of the coronavirus.
Virus or not, we’ve been on an automation journey for a long time, and many business leaders are still seeking ways to drive end-to-end digital transformation; yet many of these initiatives are failing, not because of technology, but because of organizational change.
Sometimes, it’s because the right people are not at the table. Other times, it’s because the ones driving innovation don’t have a deep understanding of the business processes and the intended business outcomes. Many times, it’s because the technology was put first — ahead of seeking the right business outcomes. Outcomes must be defined first, then organizations can put the right technology in place.
The notion of focusing on “outcomes first, technology later” was a recurring theme throughout Rob Koplowitz’s presentation at the FastFWD virtual event. He also laid the groundwork for four key strategies every organization should consider as they approach their digital transformation initiatives.
Four key strategies to help your business thrive in a digital world:
1. Centralize your strategy for process improvement
When you need to include several different parts of the organization and you’re dealing with hundreds – if not thousands – of process improvement initiatives, routinize for scale. Have a common, systemic way of managing and orchestrating your work.
2. Automate for outcomes, not for the sake of automation
Establish the business outcomes you want to achieve and work backward from there. Understand exactly what you want to accomplish and then lean on technology to be your guide.
For example: To onboard new customers in a completely digitized way through a voice or mobile interface. This isn’t simply an output – like deploying 500 bots – but an actual business outcome achieved by deploying those bots.
When identifying tangible business outcomes, start by focusing on the customer experience. Use a customer journey map to deeply understand the internal workflows behind every step that your customers undertake, and find areas that can be optimized. Utilize the power of process analytics – as well as the input from your internal committee diagrammed above – to be one of your guides.
Lastly, have a technology base that allows you to be agile and adapt to changing situations.
3. Engage a new class of “developers”
The term “developer” is in quotes because these are not your traditional developers. Instead, they’re business experts within your own organization. They will become the deep, significant partners you need to help you drive change and automation across the organization.
This does not mean that you’re unleashing your business experts to build and release any kind of app they want. Instead, the developers will provide input and help you manage the technology by providing valuable insight into the modeling environment when you develop prototypes and iterations.
4. Establish and centralize a technology governance model
If you truly want to drive process continuity across the entire organization, standardize your architecture. This is not to create a way to “always say no;” but to make sure you have a common way to develop applications, train users, and access data – and to model that across your organization’s technology boundaries.