The Top Digital Transformation Trend For 2019
Digital transformation — it’s a top business priority. But why all the attention? Organizations believe that by 2020, nearly half their revenue will be impacted by digital in some way.
I think we’ll soon see a blizzard of articles about the top digital transformation trends in 2019, plus the top challenges digital transformation will pose, including data privacy. To be fair, when I spoke to customers throughout 2018, I did see privacy at the forefront of their challenges. But it’s amazing to me that in spite of this backdrop, it appears that the main challenge is simply getting started.
The Top Digital Transformation Challenge Will Be …
Will 2019 be the turning point when organizations finally get serious about digital transformation? I’ve been wondering about this. To be fair, I spend a lot of my time working with educational institutions (K-12 schools and universities). They aren’t necessarily at the forefront of technological adoption. However, based on my conversations, 2019 is shaping up to be different. Even K-12 schools — which often send paper permission slips home with kids) — now seem to understand. Budgets are lower. Many digital technologies are simpler and more affordable, and organizations have realized that there’s gold in the back office.
I believe the top trend in digital transformation for 2019 will be that the vast majority of organizations will genuinely get started. So, how will they do this?
Process Automation Is The Foundation
Competitors are automating processes that are built using modern, low-code platforms running in the cloud to roll out new offerings, respond to customer needs and lower their costs at record speed. If your core operations are manual, relying on paper or email and filled with workarounds, you could be putting your long-term survival at risk. Here’s what you can do about it.
Write Down What You Won’t Be Doing At The End Of 2019
We’re all probably tired of being asked to do more with less. There comes a point when it’s simply not possible. Consider the 9-5 daily work that your employees do, and commit to eliminating or outsourcing the non-core activities. That way, your people are laser-focused only on the activities that matter.
Automate Your Core Operational Processes
Ultimately, people — not technology — drive change. When your people aren’t wasting time on non-core activities or manual workarounds, they can do more of what’s important. When employees stop spending time coordinating documents and signatures, for example, they can instead focus on talent acquisition and retention. Let machines handle documents, collect signatures and ensure that business requirements are not bypassed.
You don’t have to automate every process at once. Start with something that’s fairly common, involves multiple stakeholders and is performed reasonably often, like a purchase order or student transcript request.
Empower Citizen Developers
Skilled programmers are very hard to find, extremely expensive if you can attract them and difficult to retain. If you have any, they’re already overburdened. Modern tools have become sophisticated enough that non-coders can create forms and route them around and connect with systems like SQL databases or SharePoint.
Investing in a visual, low-code platform empowers these “citizen developers” so they can contribute to your digital transformation efforts and help you reap big benefits. (Full disclosure: frevvo offers a low-code platform focused on process automation.)
Get Leadership Involved
Don’t make this the IT department or the CIO’s job. They have to play a prominent role, of course, but ideally the CEO should drive digital transformation efforts. The reality is that core processes span all business areas, from HR and finance to marketing and sales, and people are resistant to change. Only the CEO has the ability to set the priority and marshal all the resources necessary to succeed.
Get Started Today
There’s no reason to wait. Modern tools are available — they’re inexpensive, and you don’t need expert programmers. With the stakes as high as organizational survival, you cannot afford paper forms and manual processes.