Digital Transformation (DX), the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, changes how companies operate, how they deliver value to customers and how their employees work. Accelerated by the pandemic and the sudden need for remote work, DX was undoubtedly one of the top buzzwords of 2020, and we have reached a point where it is no longer an option for companies to resist. If a company was not on the journey to DX prior to March 2020, they most certainly are now.
When working with customers, I like to use the analogy of driving without directions. If you’re like me, you hate being lost and having no idea where to go. Being unfamiliar with landmarks, street names, etc. can certainly lead to anxiety. We just want to get to our destination, but are unsure of the way to get there. When you are looking up directions for where you want to go, you only know two things: where you are currently and where you want to end up. That’s it.
Every organization wants to be more efficient and use technology in an effective way. Punching the end destination into the map application of your choice is the easy part. The process of DX is more often than not the opposite of a straight line, but while it may look different for each organization, their end destination is reasonably similar. They want processes to improve, the cost of doing business to go down and their teams to be more productive. DX does not necessarily have a defined endpoint, but once your tools are in place for a particular initiative, knowing what to do with them and how to support them day forward is crucial.
Understanding the best way to get there for you is the hard part. Is it going to be easier to take the train or hop on a plane? Can I drive myself there or do I need help? If I’m driving, should I take the highway? Are there traffic jams or construction to look out for? Where are the best donut and coffee shops along the way? Maybe that last bit is just for me, but you get the picture. Knowing where to go is easy, but there are a few moving pieces, literally and figuratively, along the way.
I’ve realized that for companies embarking on their DX journey, it is quite similar, with a lot of questions to answer on how you get to your end destination. As I’ve shared before through my LinkedIn profile, there are three key things to consider when looking up directions for your journey.
1. How do I know where I am starting from?
It’s a loaded question that requires a lot of introspection and fact finding. For example, with Accounts Payable processes, some things are just metrics, such as the number of invoices, the average days to pay and how many people are involved. But there are also more complex issues, such as understanding approval processes, the current technology that supports those processes, and the business rules that govern those processes. It’s crucial for companies to take an honest assessment of all of those components to better understand the next steps needed for their organization. Sometimes, what was once good enough isn’t actually good anymore.
2. How do I want to make the trip?
Just like going on a trip, you need the right means of transportation. Maybe you can drive there, or maybe you’ll need to hop on a plane. Again using Accounts Payable as an example, there may be a need to implement a new ERP, stand up a content repository for historical records, or configure an approval workflow to speed up the current process. There may also be piles of boxes or physical records that need to be scanned. Not every organization has the manpower or bandwidth to perform all of this work themselves. Most of us can drive our own car, but not many of us can fly our own plane. Along those same lines, DX often requires finding the right partner to get you to your end destination.
3. What do you do when you actually get where you are going?
I remember my first trip to the legendary Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, TX. I finally got there and had no idea what I should do next. Until someone walked me through how to order and pay for my food, I was clueless. DX doesn’t necessarily have a defined endpoint, but once your tools are in place for a particular initiative, knowing what to do with them and how to support them day forward is crucial. Is there training for users, managers and administrators that increases the likelihood of success? Are there peer or user groups where best practices and lived experiences can be shared? Are there experts on those tools I can leverage to continue to look for areas of improvement and maximize the ROI of the solution?
Whether you’re looking to get rid of paper, move on from outdated systems or increase process efficiency, we have a solution to get you there. Whatever you are on your DX journey, Konica Minolta is here to help.