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Digital Transformation

Avoid Becoming Digital Prey: How to Optimize Operations to Transform Your Business

Digital innovation continues to disrupt industries at lightning speed. Today’s organizations are transforming their entire business – from strategy to operations, technology to culture – to better deliver value to their customers. We’ve compiled the top 10 trends leaders needed to know when it comes to their digital transformation journey. In this 10-week blog series, we’ll further explore each trend and address how you can continue to modernize your business for success. 

When it comes to true digital transformation, companies find themselves on a comprehensive journey to modernize the systems that create, deliver, and sustain meaningful customer experiences. As you may have read in the first post of our “Top 10 Trends for Digital Transformation” series, if organizations don’t rise to the occasion, and implement the necessary strategies to become customer-obsessed, they will find themselves lost, defeated, out of business.

Target gets it. The leading retailer made the necessary investments to get in front of the rising demands of its customers, and maintains a level of loyalty of which most brands dream. Sadly, any child of the 80s and 90s, has had to watch as their childhood toy store – Toys R Us – was too slow to react, and unfortunately became digital prey.

With these two brand examples, we see just how critical it is for companies to digitally transform their customer experience strategies to provide a more comprehensive, cohesive, omni-channel experience consumers have grown to expect.

However, the customer experience is just one-half of a successful digital transformation journey. Today’s organizations will only be truly successful if, and when, internal business operations and systems are digitally transformed as well.

Business operations is a complex environment that consists of multiple systems, processes and technologies like financial systems, CRM software, and ERP, BPM and ECM. Behind every one of these processes is a team of people challenged with managing and producing data, information and insights to help make informed business decisions. It’s the people, processes, and technology within an organization that drive performance and value.

So, what does it take to optimize operations, processes and systems?

Optimizing operations starts with you, the digital business leader. Understandably, when you take a step back and analyze the sheer amount of internal systems, processes and technologies you’re responsible for, and then add on the cost of operating each, optimizing operations can seem overwhelming. However, it’s necessary to avoid becoming digital prey.

Understand your role as connector, evangelist, technologist. You have an opportunity to execute a comprehensive, successful digital transformation journey by executing on three key strategies:

  • Understand emerging trends
  • Shift your mindset
  • Enable your employee

Knowledge is Power: Understand Key Business Optimization Trends

ECM and BPM systems align for intelligent operations

Administrators of BPM and ECM systems are increasingly tasked with managing high volumes of content and critical business processes. These systems’ users expect flexibility, simplification, speed and accessibility to make their day-to-day tasks easier and more efficient.

Beyond business agility and integration trends within ECM, Forrester reports that BPM systems are now key components of a successful customer experience strategy, and require a tight alignment between business and IT to intelligently support a customer’s journey.

Additionally, we’re beginning to see the merging of BPM and ECM into what is now called Digital Process Automation (DPA). DPA is a term we use at Perficient and have seen experts like Forrester also use. DPA – or digital business automation – combines business optimization systems into an end-to-end platform to automate and enhance the efficiency of business systems across ECM, BPM, workflow and more. It is critical to begin to understand the evolution of ECM and BPM into DPA as you continue to optimize business operations.

Focusing on the optimization of your internal systems and processes is a key element of your digital transformation journey. Gain valuable insight into how to navigate this journey by following these 10 guidelines for ECM and BPM system optimization.

DevOps emerges as a key strategy for success

Mobile. Tablet. Desktop. The arrival of multi-platform applications has forced today’s businesses to rethink how they innovate across hardware. We’ve witnessed forward-thinking organizations experience great success in solving complicated IT challenges by adopting DevOps as a key strategy.

DevOps isn’t a solution or technology, but rather a holistic approach to software delivery emphasizing collaboration across the development, operations, and business groups. DevOps allows teams to break down traditional silos, shorten feedback loops and respond more effectively to necessary changes. It requires employee buy-in, adoption of new technologies and an appetite for transformation.

Don’t let DevOps remain a mystery. Arm yourself with the necessary information to further gain buy-in from your leadership team for ongoing investment and innovation around business operations. You can start by taking a closer look at the five key steps to DevOps success: defining DevOps, IT review and assessment, establishing building blocks, migration and shift, and unleashing innovation and change.

Shift Your Mindset: Operations Delivers Experiences

Your company must adapt to today’s customer demands, and ensure it has the right technology in place to support your digital business strategy. Operations has the power to enhance the overall experience. You can lead the charge for continually improving how your business and its teams operate.

You may find your current business technology and infrastructure outdated, cumbersome, and expensive. The good news – the budgets necessary to digitally transform operations are on the rise. Forrester recently forecasted that U.S. tech budgets will grow nearly six percent in 2018. Spending on cloud adoption software and services – like DevOps – was reported to reach its tipping point as well.

Now is the time to make the case for ongoing investments in business technology rather than only budgeting for backend technology like outdated legacy systems or infrastructure. How

Reposition the conversation to one of value and innovation versus purely cost-cutting.

As Forrester’s J. P. Gownder and Andrew Hewitt stated it best in “How to Budget for Workforce and Customer-Facing Technologies for 2018 and Beyond:”

“Your company’s customers, channels, and competitors are digital, and [you] can play a key role in choosing, deploying, and supporting technology innovation that supports its digital business strategy. To do this effectively, [you] must prioritize agility and flexibility ahead of traditional top priorities of reliability, standardization, and cost reduction. Ultimately, succeeding here might require re-engineering the foundations of your infrastructure by moving key systems to cloud, taking a mobile-first approach to workforce enablement, and moving from systems of engagement to comprehensive systems of insight.”

The right mindset also has the power to drive the c-suite to evolve their assumptions of your business operations teams and functions. Cost matters, yes, but shifting the conversation to one of value and innovation, which leads to a more successful digital transformation, can further rally executives across multiple departments – marketing, HR, finance, and IT – to see the value in optimizing operations.

It’s All about Your People: Enable Your Workforce for Success

Behind every system, report or technology sits someone who has the power to enhance your digital transformation journey. We’ll further explore the power of your people and culture in a future post within this series, but when it comes to optimizing operations, you cannot forget the people part of people, processes and technology.

Why? A research report by Temkin Group highlighted in this CMSWire article found that customer experience leaders (think Target) have 60 percent more engaged employees than those companies whose customer experience lags behind. You must rally your leadership around the notion that the employee experience within your organization is just as important as the customer experience provided to your end user.

Create a strategy for enabling your employees to perform their jobs more efficiently and across siloes with devices, software and services that improve workforce productivity. Include it in the budgeting process. In doing so, you’ll drive more value and more positive customer experiences as a result.

When it comes to digitally transforming the business, optimizing operations is the second, but equally important, half of the ongoing journey toward modernization and transformation. Better understanding key emerging trends, shifting your mindset from cost to innovation and value, and investing in your people who make it all possible, all are key strategies toward ongoing, business optimization success.

Do you want to read more about the top ten digital transformation trends?

Click here to read about trend three: The Secret Ingredient to Digitally Transform Your Business

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