The need to implement a digital transformation strategy has gotten a lot stronger for most organizations since the global pandemic of 2020. More than just a buzzword, many enterprises are starting to take digital transformation more seriously. However, for a successful digital transformation drive, organizations have to pay closer attention to automation.
Automating manual processes frees up employees from mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus more on strategies that deliver real business value. What role does automation play in digital transformation and how can you leverage it to improve the competitiveness of your business?
The Role of Automation in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the key to business growth in the highly competitive 21st-century business landscape. However, one of the most important keys to digitizing your organization is automating workflows to meet the needs of your employees and customers. Through automation, you can streamline processes to improve productivity and efficiency while driving business growth.
You achieve real digital transformation when you can improve the efficiency of how you create and deliver value to your customers. Workflow automation will move you closer to your goal of full digital transformation by serving as a tool to integrate processes across your enterprise. This will help get rid of bottlenecks in service delivery and process implementations.
Contrary to common belief, automation goes beyond just automating IT processes. It has to be implemented business-wide since every team and individual within your organization will benefit from truly efficient workflows. Organizations that are serious about digital transformation have to look at automation strategies that free their workforce from repetitive and mundane tasks and help them work more collaboratively on meaningful and productive ones.
How Can Automation Drive Digital Transformation?
So how does automation drive digital transformation? Digital transformation relies heavily on your ability to automate day-to-day workflows. Using a digital workflow automation platform, you can create forms for employees that automate routine processes. At the same time, these forms collect data that measure the effectiveness of processes and identify vital pain points. The resultant data can be further employed to improve process performance and drive genuine change.
Without workflow automation, your organization is fully saddled with manual processes which open you up to the threat of disruption by a more digital competitor. For instance, in the past, customer service desks used to be largely reactive. This can be quite annoying to customers who may move to a new service provider at the slightest error. With automation, service desks can act proactively instead. Automated messages can be sent to customers to explain delays or changes in service delivery. Follow-ups are also easier and more effective. The result is that you attract more customers and retain them better. This would be difficult if processes are not linked and automated.
It is important to note that while improving general productivity and efficiency is quite desirable, process automation is more effective when it is made to align with the broader strategy of your business. To automate your way to digital transformation, you have to objectively evaluate what you hope to achieve through automation and determine how automation will add value to your customer and differentiate you from your competitors.
Key Business Workflows to Automate for Digital Transformation Success
Digital transformation equips employees across an organization with the technology they need to make their work easier and in sync. They get access to tools that make it easier to communicate locally. It also promotes improved visibility and greater access to shared files across various teams and departments.
Automation makes it easier to achieve these digital transformation goals by optimizing and simplifying the various tasks and processes involved in the digital drive. Here are a few of the critical business workflows that need to be automated to set your company up for digital transformation success:
Automating employee and new client onboarding simplifies the process of bringing them on board. It leaves a positive first impression and also hastens their integration into your business structure.
● Financial processes
Numerous financial operations need to be automated in your organization. Automating these processes will improve cash flow, improve the accuracy of record-keeping and free up members of your finance team from mundane tasks.
● Human Resource Management
Automation can help streamline and optimize HR processes. This helps to save a significant amount of time that can be invested in profitable efforts such as hiring and retaining top talents. HR automation may also help boost regulatory compliance and increase data privacy.
● Routing for Approval
Automating approval workflow is a significant part of any digital transformation drive. In most organizations, basic tasks involve multi-level approval from managers and supervisors and chasing them down with manual documents to get their approval can be a bit of a time-drain. Automated requests and approval make it easy for supervisors to approve requests promptly and on the go.
If there’s one thing we’re learning in this post-pandemic era is that organizations need disruptive digitization to stay competitive. This can only be possible if businesses adopt automation as part of their digital transformation effort to reposition their organization and more flexible and agile.
Chintan Jain is the Director of Product Marketing at Kissflow, a unified platform that enables organizations to manage all types of work in one place. Chintan is a skilled marketing practitioner who writes extensively on topics like workplace technologies, work management, and the digital workplace. He also actively contributes to various business and technology platforms.