Crucial Steps to Integrate Digital Transformation Solutions

Crucial Steps to Integrate Digital Transformation Solutions

5 Crucial Steps to Integrate Digital Transformation Solutions

Like other technologies, digital transformation solutions are also proliferating at an exponential rate. Are the companies aware of the ways to integrate it?

With the increasing adoption of personal computers, enterprises started to focus on digital transformations for improvising their products and services and minimizing expenses. Digital transformation is a key contributor to the success of an enterprise and can be obtained through proper company-wide alignment, design thinking, and adoption of advanced technologies.

Steps to be taken for digital transformation

1• Identifying the goals of digital transformation

First, the enterprise’s level of digitization should be properly determined. Further, the enterprises should try to align the present state and long-term digital objectives. Every enterprise, with distinct requirements, has a different set of transition targets. However, this is a critical step towards organizational synergy.

2• Building a digital transformation strategy

Fix a clear goal and build a feasible game plan that includes choosing areas of improvement and starting to incorporate digital systems from those domains. The goals of the enterprise are required to be a step-by-step procedure, and business might fail due to some actions taken in a hurry.

3• Making decisions on important technologies enablers

Enablers, like Analytics, IoT, Cloud, AI, and VR, are a crucial driver for a successful digital transformation. Organizations need to do researches and should decide on which enabler will be best suitable for the enterprise.

4• Establishing competent technology leadership

Changing projects can turn out to be a failure without leadership support. Hence, the CIO that is greatly supported by the leadership team and has a good business impact of digital transformation as a KPI can make a considerable difference between an unsuccessful and successful transformation.

5• Training the staff and incorporating a digital culture among the enterprise

Without the cultural change in the organization, the enterprise can miss to witness the next technology revolution and need another huge transformation effort to catch up. There have been three significant cultural changes noticed recently in the companies that have obtained digital transformation.

 Workers are boosted to resolve issues.

• The enterprise is connected and responsive across departments better than before so that workers can return rapidly to the changing needs of customers.

• Workers are ready to take risks. However, in case a risky action leads to a breakdown, the employees are ready to learn from the failure.

No wonder digital transformation solutions are of great benefit to the organizations. Therefore, the organization should not take too long to introduce it into their companies.



Digital Transformation: Start with Workflow

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the buzz phrase you will hear if you attend any IT conference, sit in a meeting with your CEO or have a conversation with your peers in 2016.

What exactly is digital transformation all about? It’s about creating the future for your organization—strategically evolving your technological foundations, digitizing your businesses, creating process efficiencies, providing services to an increasingly mobile customer base and workforce, seamlessly integrating with vendors and business partners, and creating transparency and a quality customer experience.

The question is: Do you want to be the disrupted or the disruptor? So, where do you start?

Start with Workflow

Does your organization have a workflow engine, a business process management system (BPMS) or, in the best case scenario, an intelligent business process management system (iBPMS)? If you don’t, I strongly suggest you purchase one now!

​  While technology can and does create innovation, it is the people and business processes that still drive change, disruption and transformational behavior  

Do you want to go paperless and have insight into organizational processes? Workflow is foundational and a launch pad to digital transformation as it creates opportunities for innovation. It provides a means to digitize forms for internal and external customers, allows you to automate your processes, gives real-time visibility into your process cycle times, and creates opportunities to optimize processes as you adapt and evolve.

Digital fulfillment, automation and enhanced customer experience are key tenets to both workflow and digital transformation. And, BPM provides the framework to optimize your processes from the metrics provided.

People and Process Still Rule

Digital transformation is accomplished by leveraging technologies — workflow is the technology. While technology can and does create innovation, it is the people and business processes that still drive change, disruption and transformational behavior.

Lean Six Sigma principles and the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) process still apply to process improvement and optimization. Workflow provides the process transparency, metrics and information management for people to manage process performance optimization. And, workflow actually makes Lean Six Sigma tools more effective by providing clear insight into processes. Adoption of workflow technology by your employees, customers and partners is pivotal to success.


Almost all workflow, BPM and iBPM vendors provide mobility tools for routing, approvals and digital forms management. Your workforce is increasingly mobile and collaborative, and your customers demand a mobile experience that provides the same feature richness as a web or desktop application. Therefore, picking a workflow vendor with an extensive mobility toolset is of the upmost importance.

In My Experience

I have implemented workflow solutions in both the defense and the financial services industries, and I’ve learned digital transformation through workflow is industry and vendor agnostic. Regardless of the vendor or industry, the results are the same:

• Significantly reduced process cycle times
• Transparency into process bottlenecks
• Process optimization

Those results lead to reduced costs, far less paper and significantly improved customer experience. The best part about workflow solutions is once you successfully implement a single business process workflow, then the process of realization for additional workflows—regardless of the line of business or functional area—becomes easily repeatable.

Where to Begin

1. Select a few appropriate vendors. Review standard IT resources, reports and periodicals for vendors that meet your criteria. Will this be a business-driven tool or will it require IT-driven involvement? Are IT development resources required?

2. Set up three to five vendor calls. Evaluate the vendors on business need and choose wisely. You want to select a workflow vendor that is willing to partner in the creation of the first workflow. A good vendor will put skin in the game to bring both business and IT staff up to speed on tool usage, workflow creation and workflow optimization. Select a vendor that can provide best practices and use cases on adoption.

3. Once a vendor is selected, immerse your staff in the tool. Whether business-driven, IT-driven or both, the tool must be usable by the staff it is intended to support. I have seen many workflow projects and implementations fail because those who are primarily responsible for using the workflow tool don’t receive necessary training. It takes tool-specific knowledge, business process knowledge and process optimization knowledge. I recommend using IT and business staff who are knowledgeable in Lean Six Sigma methodologies–this creates a common vernacular for IT and business teams to communicate goals and expected outcomes of workflow technologies.

4. Start small—go after the low-hanging fruit. We all know of a project in digitization and automation that will save us hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, but that’s not the workflow project to start on! Generally, the large projects take too long to realize tangible results. So you should start small and select an appropriate business partner who is willing to be a change agent. This provides the IT and business partners the opportunity to learn the tool and create organizational buy-in. Also, the best place to start any workflow effort is in finance. Finance teams make great partners in expressing the benefits to internal organizations by verifying the results.

5. Repeat step 4 and go incrementally larger in project scope. Once you obtain the first success with workflow, your ability implement additional workflows become much easier. Change can become exponential!

The Future of Workflow

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a major role in the future of workflow optimization. iBPMS workflow solutions are already providing suggestions to optimize your workflow and create greater transparency into workflow processes and, eventually, AI engines will automate workflow optimization. So you should have your processes ready! If your organization is seeking digital transformation, start with workflow.


Digital Transformation: Is Your Organization Ready?

In industry after industry, digitally centric players are growing rapidly while many legacy brands struggle. Take retail for example. Amazon, and eBay are booming while Macys is closing 68 stores, Sears is closing 150 stores and Sports Authority is out of business. Will 2017 be the year that your company breaks through to become truly digitally centric?

The truth is that it’s challenging to transform an enterprise to compete in a new digital world. Many won’t make it. But it’s definitely possible. WalMart is currently the second leading online retailer behind Amazon according to WWD.

So how do some “legacy” industry leaders figure out how to leverage their scale and brand to ride the digital wave and others seem to crash on the digital beach?

For more than a decade, we’ve had the opportunity to study, from the inside, dozens of companies who have been successful and many who have struggled with this transformation. From that experience we have identified ten key behaviors that the companies who succeed at digital transformation tend to get right. Usually, those companies who have not yet found success are lacking in several of these categories. How does your company stack up?

  ​Although a vision can evolve over time, companies that succeed in major transformations always start with a clear picture of where they want to go   

1. Leadership Prioritization: If an organization does not feel that its leader is truly behind digital transformation, getting teams aligned will be a challenge.  Transformation often requires risk and the organization needs to know that its leaders support exploring game-changing ideas.

2. Digital Vision: Success does not happen by accident. Although a vision can evolve over time, companies that succeed in major transformations always start with a clear picture of where they want to go.

3. Iterative Development Process: Many studies have shown that iterative development processes based on agile frameworks are the methodology used by almost every single successful digital enterprise. Agile approaches get short-term releases into production so that teams can learn from customer feedback and real-world usage and then iterate the product vision based on those learnings.  

4. Flexible Platforms: You can have the best vision and business model, but if you can’t build solutions rapidly and bring them to market, you cannot compete in a fast changing world. Companies who are trying to innovate and be “digital” but who’s transactional and delivery/service capabilities are tied to inflexible legacy systems are innovating with a 300-pound anchor around their neck.

5. APIs and Ecosystem: Crowdsourcing, open innovation, and extended partner ecosystems are the foundation of most digital business models. Digital businesses that allow others to build on top of their platforms grow much faster than those that don’t. Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Major League Baseball all expose massive amounts of data and functionality through publicly available APIs and have large numbers of companies and individual entrepreneurs extending and adding additional value to their offerings.

6. Customer Insight and Metrics: Success comes from driving desired customer behaviors - sales, loyalty, self-service, referrals, etc. Teams that are successful at conceiving products or marketing programs that drive desired behaviors do so because they have insight into their customers: their desires, their fears and their unmet needs.

7. Culture of Innovation: The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Companies with a consistent track record of innovation don’t do it by having a few geniuses that have all the ideas. Everyone in your organization has a different perspective on the customer, your supply chain and your business process and everyone has different life experiences that may serve as points of inspiration for the next big idea. Companies that succeed at digital transformation engage the entire enterprise to generate and evaluate ideas, resulting in higher quality ideas as well as increased ownership across the organization.

8. Experimentation: The world is changing fast. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Companies that are successful don’t get there by always being right, they do it by trying a lot of things, measuring results and seeing what works. Ideas more often fail than succeed, but that’s fine as long as you have a process for identifying the winners. In contrast many companies that struggle with innovation and transformation reward success and punish failure. Teams who are driven to avoid failure are by definition driven to avoid experimentation. No experimentation, no success. 

9. Customer Data and Personalization: We live in the age of “big data.” Many of the best opportunities in the digital space come as a result of gathering detailed data about each customer and personalizing their experience based on that data. Customers who do this have decreased cost of sales and increased loyalty.

10. Readiness to Invent New Business Models around Digital: Digital isn’t just about new ways of doing things, in most cases it up-ends existing business models and cost structures. Netflix delivers unlimited videos for $20 a month. Skype lets you talk to anyone in the world for one cent per minute or less. Companies who are overly concerned about sticking to their existing business model tend to miss the biggest opportunities they have to serve their customers in ways that compete in the digital world.

If your enterprise has most or all of these categories covered then I predict you are set up for an awesome digital 2017. If this list highlights a lot of gaps, the good news is you now have a set of priorities to focus on to get your organization aligned for future success.

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