November 30, 2017
A few years ago, digital tools were the shiny new add-ons that were brought out to impress partners and potential clients. They pointed the way towards a more efficient future and stamped an organization as being forward thinking. That is no longer the case – at this point in the evolution of the knowledge economy, digital integration has become an essential part of most operations within an organization. Shared, online tools are used every day to produce results and solve a multitude of problems, and managers are increasingly relying on the data and insights from their digital platforms.
That’s the theory anyway.
In practice, it’s hard to keep up with technological advancements and make the right choices. The pace of change is daunting, and the ability to enhance what you do with technology without confusing everyone who has to adapt to the new systems, is hard to get right. You know where you need to be, but you’re not exactly sure how to get there.
“Many leaders are struggling to set a digital strategy, shift organizational structures, and remove the barriers that are keeping them from maximizing the potential impact of new digital technologies,” explains Rhys Grossman in the Harvard Business Review.
Nearly every industry is trying to embrace technology and innovation, but not all are leveraging its potential the way they could be.
The point is that ‘selling digital’ doesn’t really improve the customer experience, according to AI Foundry CTO, Sid Probstein. ‘Being digital is the only way’ he explains. In other words, you can’t just ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to change, you have to ‘walk the walk’. Companies that take the time to develop a strategic roadmap to manage their digital transformation, and commit to it, are far more likely to succeed over the long term.
Of course, many industries are already making excellent headway in digitizing and streamlining their processes. Some of the most successful innovations are occurring in the financial services arena. Customer acquisition is vital to the financial sector as they develop their online products, so it stands to reason that fintech is highly focused on the customer-facing aspects of the transition. But there are also massive rewards to be gained from digitizing back-office processes and customer support that will feed through to every aspect of an organization.
Where are the issues when it comes to digital migration?
Yet none of these particular challenges listed above feel insurmountable. They seem to be natural points of friction which occur in any large transition, and will most likely diminish over time.
Probstein believes that back-end processes in the financial sector are lagging behind the customer-facing technology. “You can apply for a mortgage easily, but keeping track of the process is very hard, and this makes the experience fall well short of great – at least what we’re used to in the era of Amazon, Airbnb, and other great shopping experiences.”
So how should managers think about expanding their digital footprint right now? This Harvard Business Review article outlines three key areas where you can have a real impact.
Focus on New Hires:
New blood in a company can speed up transformation. Hires from different industries or unconventional businesses can bring ideas to the table that can act as a catalyst to innovation. Disruption of your traditional methods is the point, and new employees are good at sparking that.
Understand the Analytics:
With such useful analytics and insights from today’s cloud-based tools, the person who has the data and can understand what it means has the power to make strategic decisions. When your company begins to consistently make decisions based on data, then they are positioned very well to deal with whatever is coming.
Entrench Digital Culture:
Digital should be built into the core strategy, systems, and processes of an organization. Bit by bit, day by day, make small incremental changes that knit the powerful software at your disposal into the core fabric of your organization.
The technology will get there soon, and the transformation of the back-end for enterprises of any size will be a godsend to free up time for more fulfilling work for employees. Managers have a difficult task in managing the expansion of a company’s digital footprint. With so many solutions available, and a constantly-shifting market landscape, managing the digital migration requires experience and a cool head.
You are not Alone.
Acting as your trusted advisor, AI Foundry can help your organization understand how your business processes can be automated and optimized. AI Foundry has an incredible depth and breadth of expertise that is simply unmatched. And, through our professional services group, we can put that expertise to work for you and your unique needs.
AI Foundry provides consultative services, where one or more consultants will come onsite and document your current processes, provide an assessment of your current state, recommend areas for optimization and determine how the latest in AI and RPA can be applied to your business. Today, we have two focus areas including: