According to recent research, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated three years of digital and cultural transformation into three months. As this rapid rate of change continues, organizations must take the steps necessary to become entirely technology driven.
With this acceleration of digital transformation, industries will experience seismic shifts as technology, data, devices, and ever-expanding networks converge to transform every aspect of work and life. Transformation at this large of a scale not only requires detailed strategy and planning, but also demands a workplace that is user-driven and service-oriented to fulfill the evolving needs of employees and customers alike.
But business leaders must remember that a clear strategy is only as effective as the operations behind it. To deploy a transformation strategy with speed and scale, there are three key areas organizations must focus on:
- People: One of the greatest challenges of the pandemic is the ability to foster innovation and create a culture that promotes creativity through collaboration. However, this is critical to transformation. To keep this part of the business strong, leaders must consistently source feedback from employees to identify ways to support and improve performance, if necessary.
Employee feedback should then be leveraged as a roadmap for technology and automation investments, as it’s valuable insight into what is holding them back from maximizing their creative potential. By eliminating repetitive and mundane tasks, companies can unlock a more efficient workforce that has the time, energy, and desire to innovate in consequential ways that push the business forward.
Each and every team member is essential in the larger transformation of a company. While leaders and managers play a central role in reinforcing the common vision, individuals must understand their own role in contributing to the general strategy. Trainings, development initiatives, and events that address the issues employees care about most can help create safe spaces for meaningful conversations and help drive needed change.
- Product: A recent Deloitte survey found that 74% of AI adopters agree that AI will be integrated into all enterprise applications within three years. A technology that was once considered “nice to have” has emerged as a “must have”.
A commitment to employing AI must be immediately reflected in product ideation, development, and delivery. Why? Because businesses are experiencing significant shifts across every spectrum – from generational to socioeconomic – and enhancing product performance is key to recognizing this.
But product functionality must also go beyond what customers and prospects are demanding now – it should anticipate and predict what they will need in the future, and when. The use of AI combined with an empowered workforce will facilitate this over time.
- Process: The key to a well-executed strategy is a well-defined set of processes. Without organization-wide workflows that enable operational excellence, the rest of the strategy is ineffectual.
Businesses can move from creative ideation to an innovative, competitive, and differentiated product by closely analyzing existing processes and workflows, then identifying opportunities to improve them with orchestration, integration, and automation. While only about half of business processes are currently automated, 92% of business leaders agree that in order to survive, organizations must enable digital channels and process automation in the workplace.
Automation, and automating specific processes within a workflow, reflects a growth-oriented enterprise that delivers consistent value and competitive differentiation through greater agility, customer-centricity, and actionable insights.
Over the next five to ten years, a combination of technological, socioeconomic, and geopolitical trends will create an entirely new normal for organizations. Now is the time for business leaders to establish and implement the people, products, and processes that will secure their future success.
Ayman Sayed is President and CEO of BMC Software.