Digital transformation is a quick way to describe the use of technology to complete business operations more efficiently. Not long ago, that involved simply transitioning from paper documents to digital files. Today, advances in artificial intelligence and network connectivity place the focus on automation—including intelligent automation for end-to-end processes. Tomorrow, who knows?
Given the rapid pace of technology growth, many executives struggle to formulate a strategy that secures the benefits of new digital systems. They need a plan—and the starting point for that plan is a digital transformation roadmap. A digital strategy roadmap gives users a framework for introducing new technology as it develops.
You can find digital transformation roadmaps here (from McKinsey) and here (from MIT and Capgemini). Better yet, keep reading for a high-level digital roadmap strategy: five business transformation steps that help you formulate a plan for digital excellence, regardless of where the technology leads.
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Every digital technology project should address a specific goal. This goal can be broad—increasing revenue by a set percentage, hitting a cost-cutting target, or improving a team’s output efficiency by a certain amount. Or the goal can be granular. For example, one Nividous client—a major manufacturer of mineral products—wanted to reduce turnaround time and errors in accounts payable processes (we’ll get to the solution and results of this example in later steps).
The more specific you make your goal, the easier it will be to determine success. Remember, a digital transformation strategy isn’t associated with any one technology; you may try several solutions before meeting the goal. But you need a goal to even begin.
Reach out to technology vendors to learn how their products may meet your goal. Set qualitative and quantitative benchmarks, and use tech demos to estimate whether each solution you’re considering can meet them. The simplest Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to test is Return on Investment (RoI). Vendors should be able to provide RoI estimates; ask them.
At Nividous, we offer a free RoI Calculator for our intelligent automation platform. Simply enter as-is process data for a detailed estimate on how you’ll save with digital automation. The report provides both monthly and quarterly RoI estimates, as well as comparisons with other automation platforms. It even includes a complexity vs. value matrix that will help you choose which processes are best primed for end-to-end automation.
Of course, this is preliminary research; you can’t be sure how any technology will function until you try it out. That’s the next step.
Once you’ve identified a promising technology, confirm its effectiveness with a pilot program. Choose one task or process that relates to your overall goal, and implement the technology on a small scale. Collect data rigorously. Not only does a pilot study confirm assumptions about a solution’s helpfulness, it builds a business case you can take to fellow stakeholders for buy-in on broad-scale implementation.
Nividous makes it easy to run a risk-free pilot study through our Quick Start Guarantee. This program allows you to fully implement a single digital process automation within just three to four weeks, all with a fixed cost and ongoing professional services to continue your digital transformation initiatives.
Once the pilot program delivers results, it’s time to get the most value out of the technology. Implement the technology throughout your targeted workflows. For instance, remember the manufacturer we introduced in Step 1? The goal was to reduce turnaround time for invoice processing. Once the team determined the Nividous platform could deliver, they used its AI-powered Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots to automate invoice data transfer from invoices into a central Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system—and the platform’s automated reporting system quickly showed results. That brings us to the final step in our digital transformation roadmap.
New technologies arrive every day. To remain competitive, you need to recognize when your current digital infrastructure is falling behind. The key to staying current is to consistently evaluate existing tools through data-rich reporting. The Nividous hyperautomation platform captures this data automatically, helping users turn information into insight with integrated reports.
That’s how the manufacturer in our example saw that Nividous was meeting the objectives. In fact, by automating invoice processing, the company reduced task turnaround time by 90%, saved more than 1,000 staff-hours per month, and eliminated manual errors entirely.