Enterprises and other large organizations recognize the value of digital transformation. Turnaround times can be decreased and customer satisfaction can improve by operating a digital mailroom to turn inbound paper documents into images for rapid routing and processing. Robotic process automation (RPA)—the use of software robots to handle routine tasks while freeing up employees for high-value work—is beginning to prove its worth on a large scale in many companies. And artificial intelligence—systems that get smarter with experience—is assisting with tasks such as customer care and data analytics.
Digital transformation is a goldmine, in a sense. But the authors of a new report caution against the temptation to run headlong into paper-to-digital, RPA, AI and other transformative projects without a clear and pragmatic strategy.
ISG (Information Services Group), a global technology and research advisory firm, has published a new focus paper, “Irrational Digital Exuberance: Getting Real about Digital Transformation and Getting it Right,” which explores the reasons why company leaders often get caught up in the hype cycle of new digital tools.
On reason is the fear of being left behind in the market by failing to jump on the bandwagon.
“People out there are anxious about disruption,” said focus paper participant Lois Coatney, ISG partner and head of strategy and operations. “They keep hearing stories about companies like Kodak that didn’t understand digital and made the wrong choices. So, they’re in a rush. They’re anxious. Very anxious!”
Another factor pushing organizations toward digital projects that may not be well thought out is the attitude of “me too.” They see competitors using new digital tools and believe they must have them too.
“People look at what their peers are doing—or say they are doing—and they tell their IT people, ‘I want one of those,’ but without really working out why they want to go digital,” said focus paper participant Owen Wheatley, ISG partner and head of banking, financial services and insurance.
The report authors offer advice to help organizations avoid this sense of “digital anxiety.” Companies should not be afraid to be patient and take time to flesh out a sensible digital strategy, for example. Rather than feeling obligated to make “big leaps,” companies should focus on just one or two processes where digital tools can deliver value.
“Incremental improvement at a sensible and steady pace within the context of an overall digital vision and roadmap is often the best way to go,” ISG concludes.
Balancing in-house knowledge with outside wisdom and expertise is another one of the report’s recommendations. If your company seeks an experienced partner to guide you toward a successful transformation to a digital mailroom or other digital project, contact DATAMARK today to speak with a member of our Business Engineering team.
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