If you’re like 56% of business and IT decision-makers in North American and European enterprises, you’re in the thick of transforming your business processes to make the most of digital technology. But does it ever feel like you’ve been in the process of “digitally transforming” your business for far too long?
In some organizations, digital transformation efforts have been going on since as early as 1997… so why can’t your organization seem to make it stick? According to new research from Forrester, there are three specific challenges that keep businesses around the world from embracing digital transformation or seeing the true benefits of optimized and streamlined business processes.
If you’re ready to help your company evolve its digital transformation efforts, here are three ways you can confront these challenges head-on and bring true transformation to your organization:
1. Stop thinking your transformation has an end date
According to Forrester, about 22% of firms are still investigating or not making any digital transformation efforts at all, and 21% of firms think their digital transformation is done.
At first, this might sound like a position to envy – can you imagine finally being “done” updating these complex systems that affect business critical processes within your organization? But in reality, your customer’s needs and the technology available to help you meet them will always be in flux. “Digital transformation” is not a project with an end date but rather an approach to doing business that stays informed and active in a conversation about technology.
One way we see this misunderstanding play out are the clients we work with who move their paper forms and processes into a digital format – swapping the desk inbox for the email inbox – and assume their digital transformation is complete. But as we’ve discussed before, this is a digital transfer, not a digital transformation. Your documents may be in a more convenient and portable format, but they still leave your organization overrun by serious information bottlenecks and unable to tap into the potential of enormous amounts of data.
True digital transformation will appear as a seamless link between your people, systems, data and processes that provides continuous and long-term benefits to your organization – not a box you can check off your “to do” list.
2. Start investigating new technologies
Another challenge facing companies interested in achieving digital transformation is the fact that many limit themselves to the technology they already have, such as email, existing internal software, and industry standard applications. Despite the fact that 75% of executives in the Forrester study think emerging technology is the key to transformation, only 17% are actively investing in new technology such as AI – a clear sign that being open to researching and learning about new technologies is a critical step in the process of digital transformation.
Issues with IT modernization – especially regarding the customer purchasing experience, aging software and hardware solutions, and shifting to newer technologies – have been well-documented for years. But companies should consider the Forrester report a wakeup call to consider how many innovative solutions are coming out nowadays that capitalize on existing technology to make digital transformation more cost-effective, easier to use, and more impactful.
Velocity Forms is a clear example of this kind of technological evolution, as it applies principles of the K2 system to give companies the right combination of resources and software to collect, store, report, and analyze data with a secure, simple solution at a much lower price point that has been previously available. Read more about it here.
3. Stop compartmentalizing your digital transformation
It’s tempting to congratulate the 56% of firms that are actively transforming their processes to include digital technology, but even firms taking a proactive approach can make a mistake in the scope of their transformation. For example, according to Forrester, only 34% of banks and insurers are trying to transform their marketing processes, and only 45% are trying to transform customer care. This kind of piecemeal approach to transforming parts of the company instead of the whole company can really limit the benefits that come with a full digital transformation.
It’s fine to start your transformation efforts with smaller projects to ensure success and build buy-in across departments. But to make sure your organization taps into the real promise of the digital age, it’s vital that the technology you’re implementing has the capacity to scale and work across the organization to break down information and process silos that limit your team’s ability to perform to its potential.
If you’re ready to guide your company through the process of true digital transformation, learn from those who have gone before you. Consider how you can engineer your company’s transformation efforts to avoid these three mistakes and tap into the full potential of digital transformation: seamless connections between people, data, and technology that allow your organization to do its best work.
Velocity Forms is a rapid forms development and automation solution that allows citizen developers to digitize and automate enterprise and department-level data collection forms quickly and easily and without developer skills. Learn more about Velocity Forms here.