Digital transformation manages to exist simultaneously as an overused buzzword, a fantastical future destination, and the most important thing your business can do today.
“Digital transformation” is often described as a method for attaining better levels of employee productivity and engagement, and ultimately improving your bottom line. But clear guidance on how to actually pursue digital transformation is less documented, meaning organizations often don’t know where to begin or keep momentum once they do.
Unpacking the definition of digital transformation has been a key area of focus at this year’s Nintex World Tour.
You don’t get digitally transformed – it’s not a final destination. Customer expectations continue to evolve, competitors get better, technology keeps evolving, and so must you.Ryan Duguid, Nintex Chief Evangelist Tweet this
In this post, we explore what the digital transformation process really looks like, obstacles that businesses will face, and the tangible difference technology can make in your business’s transformation.
Not another definition of digital transformation
There are so many definitions of digital transformation at this point that it’s clearer to talk about what it isn’t.
Digital transformation is not:
- A specific technology
- A one-time project
- A destination
Digital transformation should not be confused with the act of digitization. You can move your entire business to the cloud, but if you migrate legacy systems and outdated information, your business will simply feel cumbersome in the cloud rather than on premises. You can turn manual processes into electronic ones, but if those processes are inherently ineffective then digitizing them won’t solve the problem.
Blockers to digital transformation
There are distinct blockers to digital transformation that organizations should keep in mind. The most pertinent are:
1. Lack of understanding and communication
Despite the noise, 47 percent of line of business employees don’t know what digital transformation is, while 73 percent of non-managers are completely unaware of their company’s digital transformation efforts. Businesses need to replace general, abstract talk of digital transformation with hard evidence and a plan of the first steps they can take to evolve.
2. A lack of improvement
Turning paper-based documents into electronic forms is important, but an unmanaged process can restrict any room for improvement. The same problems will persist electronically as they do on paper: delays in people responding, breakdowns in communication, etc. By first mapping processes, you can see what’s wrong and what can be improved. Then, when you do transform, you’re changing how you work, rather than just changing the technology.
3. Lack of the right tools
The traditional solution for process mapping has been to use Visio, PowerPoint, Word, or a SharePoint document library. These are capable solutions, but ultimately, they result in users creating disconnected sets of processes that are difficult to manage. As process management is not the traditional purpose for these platforms, it’s hard for people to find, collaborate on, and share documented processes.
Improving process in your business
As digital transformation is a constant state of evolution, there is no single technology that can transform your business. But there are technologies that can enhance how people work, how processes are conducted, how products are designed, and ultimately how much profit your business makes.
Process mapping has taken center stage at the Nintex World Tour. We are extremely excited about the power of process mapping and the potential it has to evolve the Nintex Platform.
Process mapping concerns the front-end of every process. It helps business workers understand the processes they are working on and extends that understanding across the organization. Process mapping gives total visibility to the people that work on the process, formally documenting the tasks they perform every day.
A complete process map can show them that an individual process isn’t working as efficiently or effectively as it could. This helps them understand how they can involve other departments or teams in the process for more collaborative work. It can also serve as training for new employees to learn how a department works.
Manage, automate, and optimize your processes
The addition of process mapping is one of many updates and integrations we’ve added to transform the Nintex Platform beyond automating workflows to providing end users with a comprehensive solution for process automation.
For businesses looking for somewhere to begin their digital transformation, process mapping is the important first step. Nintex Promapp® visually displays the interlinking parts to a process, as well as the technology it relies on and the people it affects. Every employee in a line of business can view, manage, and improve their processes, extending transparent and effective process management to every corner of the business.