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The state of digital transformation in 2019

In the tech world, the last decade has been unlike any in history. We’ve seen digital transformation progress at an astounding rate. Big data and the cloud have come into their own, AI is advancing, and enterprise IT has never been so effective. Global businesses are taking advantage of these fundamental advances every day.

We recently published the report Process Discovery, Automation & Intelligence: Essential Technologies for Digital Businesses, for which we commissioned 451 Research to look at the key drivers of digital transformation. Below are some of the highlights of our report and a look at both the threat of digital disruption and the state of digital transformation.

Removing the stumbling block of manual processes

Businesses have different goals and needs, so digital transformation strategies can take many approaches:

  • Transforming: creating new businesses and new business models.
  • Transitioning: boosting efficiency through new technologies and methodologies.
  • Tactical: responding to specific customer opportunities and to challenges created by rival businesses.

These approaches embody an organization’s overall attitude toward digital transformation. Will they actively seek to improve, follow others’ examples, or simply react to what happens?

To gain deeper insights, we categorized organizations and their digital transformation in three groups: leaders, learners and laggards.

  • Digital leaders tend to seek out change.
  • Learners follow the example of leaders.
  • Laggards are resistant to change.

Digital automation platforms

When it comes to the state of digital transformation within organizations, leaders are embracing digital automation platforms (DAPs). One of the chief reasons is to reduce the number of manual tasks at their organizations.

We found that Digital Leaders are prioritizing the reduction, if not the elimination, of manual processes. They are looking to eliminate “as much as 71% of their manual processes in the near future,” up from 40% in 2018. This leap in expectations signals that increasingly powerful tools are empowering organizations in their digital transformation journey.

Giving the people what they want

Questions about customer expectations formed a significant part of our research. Remaining agile means finding a way to offer customers truly exceptional products and services. As noted in the report:

While there are many ways to create competitive advantage, the study of modern industry-leading enterprises reveals a common denominator. These firms do the same things as their rivals but differently. Or they do different things that customers acknowledge as superior to rivals and, thus, award those firms their business. In other words, “how” an enterprise delivers value that customers recognize as superior determines its competitive advantage and thus market success (or lack thereof) — and another word for “how” is “process.”

The most valuable processes in most organizations are its customer-facing processes. We found that digital leaders, learners, and laggards alike view customer service and support as top priorities — but are their digital transformation initiatives reflecting this?

Well, yes. Some 68% of leaders, 63% of learners, and 56% of laggards say that customer service and support processes are leading their digital transformation initiatives.

Picking the perfect process

DAPs have many functions and can be used for many purposes, so it’s important that organizations understand where exactly they can optimize their workflows. The key to implementing automation is to

treat your processes as assets from the very beginning. To really understand their value individually and collectively, processes must be inventoried and managed in the same way as any physical asset.

Think of process optimization as a three-step process:

  1. Cataloging and mapping processes using a project asset management platform.
  2. Evaluating existing processes using process discovery and analysis — for example, business process analysis tools.
  3. Implementing DAPs and rolling out automation throughout the organization.

There are many different roads to success, but they all follow this rough pattern. Any digital transformation initiative needs a great deal of time invested in order to be successful. Picking processes to automate without doing research is an unlikely method for success.

Digital transformation in 2020

Looking forward to the next decade, the key to digital transformation in 2020 is creating and leveraging new competitive advantages. Customers are making choices in an increasingly saturated and competitive market, and businesses must find ways to become indispensable.

Beginning to treat processes as valuable assets is an important step toward success.

At Nintex, we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with process automation. We commissioned the research cited above because it sheds light on exactly what businesses need. Helping your organization get a competitive edge in this dynamic business landscape is what we do.


To learn more about how Nintex can help your organization and get ready for the future, get in contact today.


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