Automation and digital transformation are essential for modern businesses to remain competitive in today's market. However, implementing these technologies can be challenging, and many organizations struggle to achieve their goals. Deloitte’s research shows that 70% of transformation efforts fail due to a lack of urgency, a reluctance to adopt, a fear of change and a lack of clarity about ‘where we’re headed and why’
Undoubtedly, digital transformation is a complex process that requires commitment from all levels of an organization. However, the potential benefits of successful digital transformation are undeniably impressive. Studies show that businesses that implement digital transformation can experience significant improvements in operational efficiency, faster time to market, and enhanced customer experiences. Despite the challenges, businesses can reap the rewards of digital transformation by approaching it strategically and with a comprehensive plan in place.
As an experienced Automation consultancy, we have gathered the following important lessons that can be applied to any businesses that want to achieve digital transformation, and how they can help businesses achieve success in their digital journey.
Strategic rather than Tactical
One of the most crucial lessons is that automation and digital transformation should be strategic rather than tactical. This means that businesses must have a long-term view and focus on process redesign and optimization. It's essential to understand that automation is not a one-time fix, and it requires continuous monitoring and intervention from the top. Business leaders should be involved in the planning and implementation of automation to ensure that it aligns with the organization's overall strategy.
Ownership and Governance
Digital transformation should be driven by the business rather than IT. While IT is crucial in helping automation flourish with good governance, the business knows the challenges and issues that automation can alleviate. It's essential to have a clear understanding of who owns and drives the automation strategy to ensure that everyone is aligned with the organization's goals.
‘Digital is not just a thing that you can buy and plug into the organisation. It also requires continuous monitoring and intervention, from the top’
Careful Process Selection
When selecting processes for automation, businesses should consider several factors. Firstly, they should evaluate the potential for productivity gain, taking into account the complexity of development and complementarity. Secondly, businesses should consider the level of human judgment involved, the volume of processes, the number of FTEs involved, the number of exceptions, variability, and the number of underlying IT systems. Thirdly, businesses should assess the current level of process standardization and documentation, the number of steps in the process, and data quality. Careful process selection can help businesses avoid wasting resources on automating the wrong processes.
Good Enough is Sometimes Better than Perfection
100% automation isn't necessarily the right thing to do. 70-80% of automation is sometimes better than perfection. In some cases, a slight redesign with some human intervention may be more effective. Development time and the complexity of maintenance may not be worth it for the remaining 20-30% of automation.
Don't Overstate Short-term ROI
While automation can deliver significant cost savings, it is essential to have a realistic understanding of the benefits it can provide. Previous waves of new technology have shown that periods of experimentation and adjustment have taken organizations to another level of productivity. Businesses should focus on the long-term benefits of automation and avoid getting bogged down in short-term ROI calculations.
Stakeholder management is crucial to the success of automation and digital transformation. The buy-in of senior management, IT, and business unit heads is essential. It's also crucial to manage the anxiety of the workforce, who may be concerned about job losses. Communication is key in managing stakeholders, and businesses should ensure that they are transparent about the goals and benefits of automation.
With the increasing demand for automation and digital transformation, businesses should act now to leverage these technologies to gain a competitive edge and drive growth in today's digital economy.
Enterprise RPA has extensive experience in helping clients to “gain a foothold" with automation, whilst also aligning with their strategic aims to deliver more, respond faster and improve services elsewhere. (See more Customer Stories from various sectors)
Discuss with one of our consultants to explore how to continuously manage, automate, and optimize your processes.