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5 Straightforward Steps to Successful Digital Transformation

There are many factors driving digital transformation for enterprises today. Technology is marching along at a breakneck pace - creating disruptions that must be overcome. There are also external influences like changing regulatory laws, an evolving economy, and growing competition. Doing business at the speed of paper is simply becoming less tenable.

Perhaps more important than any other single factor driving the urgency of digital transformation projects for organizations today, is changing consumer preferences. Customers demand convenience, straightforward account management, and that enterprises communicate with them across their preferred channels, on their terms. Empowered consumers are more willing and able than ever before to simply change providers when their current ones aren’t meeting their expectations.

One way to help make sure that you’re meeting your customers where they need you to is to digitize your operations. But, for enterprises that have not yet undertaken a large-scale digitization project, the task can be daunting. An enterprise-level digital business transformation, which creates digitally-based processes where paper-based ones may have previously existed, is a common challenge in change management today.

                     

While challenging, an effective digital transformation can be accomplished with a thoughtful approach, and the right partner. Here are five straightforward steps to help your organization overcome this change to unlock productivity gains, to help create the type of experience consumers demand today.

1) Establish Objectives

Determining what your enterprise should look like after a large-scale digitization project can help set priorities and guide the work from the very beginning. Take time to meet with the stakeholders who this transformation will affect. With their guidance, determine what the customer experience, back-end workflows, IT infrastructure, and individual departments like marketing should all look like post-transition. Discussing your current state, pain points and difficulties occurring within those current parameters, and what objectives this transformation should accomplish, will help to provide a solid baseline to launch your new digital transformation efforts.

2) Evaluate Solutions

Once you understand your business objectives, it’s time to start considering potential solutions. At this stage, it can be tempting to get bogged down in the details. But as you are reaching out to vendors, securing demos, comparing costs, levels of service and so on – be sure you’re still focused, in coordination with your various teams, on your business challenges. The priorities, obstacles, and desired new levels of success that drove you to this type of solution in the first place can help determine your path forward. When this focus remains through the procurement phase, you’re closer to workable solutions that are designed to fit your needs specifically. By staying on the same page as your IT department, marketing team, and communications staff through this evaluation phase, you maintain a better blueprint of how these solutions can help your business improve operations.

3) Understand Your Document Lifecycle

Oftentimes, when Novitex begins consulting a new client on a digital transformation project, they are under the assumption that everything needs to be digitized. This likely isn’t the case. If an enterprise is looking to completely replace their physical files with a digital database to reduce the amount of office space they dedicate to storage, then everything may need to be indexed. In other cases, a more refined, process-specific approach can be taken. For example, many Novitex clients take a 'line-in-the-sand' approach to digitization, stating that all new documentation that is produced will be digitized, without working through the entire backlog of physical documents at the same time.

Either way, a deep understanding of your current infrastructure is required to undertake a successful digital transformation project. Novitex takes a Six Sigma-based approach when working with our clients at this stage. This way, we can conduct a business assessment that looks at your pain points and your current scanning and indexing needs and identify exactly what should be digitally captured and how. Novitex's document conversion services optimize your own internal system or introduce intelligent cloud-based solutions to reconfigure your workflows as necessary to create better client communications and experience, reduce costs, and improve accuracy and compliance.

4) Focus on Actionable Solutions Sensible for Your Enterprise

The easiest thing for any enterprise to do is maintain the status quo. So, to create cross-departmental buy-in for an intensive project like digitization, actionable steps need to be determined, communicated, bought into, and executed. Review your marketing and communications processes ahead of digitization efforts. By doing so, you can hone in on the areas where digitization can make the biggest difference in terms of workflow. Gartner suggests to cluster use cases on a grid that projects improvement on customer experiences and increases on organization’s performance. Focusing efforts this way can help create the desired customer experience results that drive forward many digitization projects. There may be other means of prioritizing or ranking where transformation efforts should be focused. Yet, the fundamental point here is that organizations need to start somewhere, start immediately, and leverage the data and workflow information available to them to do so.

5) Empower Employees Experiencing Transformation    

Even with a specialty outsourcer aiding with your digital transformation efforts, it will be a company-wide effort - involving IT, marketing, communications and beyond. Empowering your teams with the right tools and resources they need to navigate newly digital workflows will be paramount to creating sustainable, positive digitization effects. Whether this comes in the form of training to navigate new cloud-based file storage systems, teaching the marketing department a new communications creation engine, or any other number of changes that will require management – empowering your employees is crucial to an effective digital transformation project which will drive value for your enterprise for years to come.

In 2017, digital transformation sits firmly atop the strategic agenda for enterprises across industries, and for good reason too. Consumer demands, time to market, and a myriad of other external factors are forcing change upon industries and enterprises alike. But even so – there’s no textbook for executing one of these digital transitions. However, by adhering to the steps prescribed above, and partnering with a digitization partner, these projects can be successfully implemented. 

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