We live in an era of digital transformation. But should this be enough to digitize and automate your business processes? Digitalization and automation are not right for every business, especially if there’s no time and resources to implement them properly.
No matter what your opinion on digital transformation is, we’re here to help you decide whether you should optimize your business, automate some of the processes or leave things the way they are.
Digital transformation means turning to technological solutions and profoundly changing your business processes, competencies or organizational activities. The purpose is to take advantage of the opportunities brought by new technologies and thus become more competitive and attractive to customers.
Many companies have already joined the trend and implemented some forms of digital transformation. To shake things up, you don’t have to revolutionize the whole organization - it might just be a certain function or a process that needs improvement. There are different ways to change the status quo in a company, and here are some examples of applying the principles of digital transformation in practice.
Let’s start with the basics. What does it mean to digitalize? You could have an impression that digitization and digitalization mean the same, plus digitalization is just the extension of automating certain processes. If that’s the case, you couldn’t be more wrong. The differences might be slight but they still exist.
But should you automate, digitize or digitalize anything in your company? It depends on the state of the business processes and your goals. Take a look at companies that have already taken advantage of digital transformation.
Although marketing automation doesn’t seem like a novelty anymore, automating the processes in your company can simply start with sending out personalized email marketing campaigns to different segments of your database, or using chatbots to improve basic customer service. Some companies, however, took the automation and digitalization to the next level.
Idea Money provides factoring services to many small and medium-sized enterprises. In order to automate the invoice handling process for their clients, IdeaFaktor24 was developed. The process automation and faster customer service are not the only advantages of this mobile app - it allows the user to log in by any method (with a fingerprint, PIN code or a specified pattern), check the account history, add new contractors and generate reports. It also has an intuitive interface which reacts to the user action (i.e. by automatically filling in the forms, depending on the chosen service).
A1 Europe had a similar need to automate and ease process management within the company. It has been providing services in obtaining E.U. grants for different projects across Poland for many years now and thus wanted to develop a complete web solution supporting the document flow. As a result, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software named A1 Automatic was created. The dedicated tool responded to the needs of even the most complex tasks in the organization and boosted the operational efficiency.
Olimp Premium Club, on the other hand, is a loyalty program of Olimp Labs that has undergone a significant transformation. Before going digital, it was based on collecting actual coupons from the packages and sending them by post. Thanks to the mobile app, however, it changed completely. The app is integrated with a dedicated website and connected to the internal IT system, which allows the user to scan unique 2D codes from each Olimp Labs product and collect points on every purchase. Then, it is possible to choose rewards, manage all transactions and keep an eye on the account balance. All within the app, which has been well-received by the target group.
Improving operational efficiency and transforming your business sound almost too good to be true. Indeed, in most cases going digital will bring your company great results, but there are some risks to keep in mind.
You could argue that automation equals dehumanization, and there’s some truth to it. Not only automated labor, which can cause people to lose their jobs, can be problematic. Take chatbots as an example - although they help you engage with your customers in a fast and effective manner, you lose some “personal touch” when dealing with your clients. If your goal is to ensure outstanding customer support, then automating it might not be a good idea.
Also, in many organizations, there’s often fear towards the unknown and innovative. It might be difficult to convince all team members that certain changes are necessary, and some of them may even disapprove of those changes. It’s important to apply the right mindset and have everyone on board before you dig into digital transformation. Otherwise, the whole team will end up frustrated.
It may not apply to every business, but if you want your company to stay competitive and relevant - you have to constantly adapt. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to turn your organization upside down every couple of years, though. Don’t forget that digital transformation generates additional costs, so it should always be carefully planned and implemented. And in many cases, it may not even be needed.