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Better Business in a Digital World: The Need for Corporate Digital Transformation

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The planning and vision for digital transformation starts at the top, but the change itself is driven from the bottom where it can be built piece by piece, ensuring the strongest foundation possible.

Important decisions must be made if a company wants to continue growing. Nowadays, decisions shouldn’t be made off instinct alone. Gut feelings aren’t enough. People will always have the final say, but their decision should be based on strong insights from trend analyses using big data to reveal patterns to better future-proof their businesses.

Challenged to improve the business processes through developing new capabilities and business directions, top managers have tough decisions to make for the company’s long-term strategy. Big collections of data can only be managed and maintained by digital technology and because of this, digital transformation has become a crucial element in driving business transformation.

There are a few things expected from a corporate digital transformation strategy.

  1. First, the need for it usually comes from the top.
  2. Second, actual change starts at the bottom.
  3. Regardless of what view we take of a new corporate approach, one thing is for sure — digital transformation is no longer an option but a permanent component in business.

What Does Digital Transformation Look Like?

Digital transformation is nothing more than the integration of digital technology into business processes that helps a company collect, store and group data in a natural way so that it can then be analyzed and used for potential business decisions.

To make these sustainable business decisions, a company first needs to perform a digital transformation to assure the digitalization of its business processes and thus the big amount of data that can be grouped and analyzed. A company starts this process with a digital transformation strategy.

Why You Need a Digital Transformation Strategy?

Money (though extremely important) is not the most important asset anymore — actionable intelligence is. And human intelligence is still important, but it’s not enough on its own. A company needs to create a business intelligence framework that is based on human intelligence but paired with digital intelligence. Without digital intelligence, a company will be disrupted sooner or later.

Integrating digital intelligence comes only after a digital transformation is underway. And since a corporation has many business areas with many unique business processes, a digital transformation strategy is your roadmap to success.

This drives us to a simple and logical conclusion: Without strong analytic insights from digital intelligence, no decent, strategic business decision can be made. And further, there is no digital intelligence system that can be built without a digital transformation strategy.

Build It from the Bottom

There are factories now running over 90% of their manufacturing processes with programmable machinery, capable of handling a complete, automated series of actions. They might be referred to as computers, advanced intelligence, machines or robots. But the core objective of the operation is automation.

Companies use digital technologies to carry out day-to-day tasks because:

  • They are quicker, cheaper and more reliable in executing different sets of activities.
  • These technologies can also collect big amounts of unbiased data that can help managers better understanding and improve their processes.
  • The chain reaction of data retrieval, understanding and improving processes will permeate into other departments so that eventually, digital is integrated into all facets of the company.
  • Using the data and analytics gathered by intelligent technology can be used to inform business decisions and will bring further efficiencies, transparency and scalability.
  • With data-based decisions and facts, inter-departmental collaboration and cooperation will increase thanks to minimized bias.

Nowadays, a long-term digital transformation strategy means business modeling in real time by intelligent systems that are generating trends from data and patterns. The system analyzes and suggests new business approaches. This kind of business intelligence is a strategic objective that should be in the mind of each company manager and can only be achieved by a long-term digital transformation strategy.

But How is This Achievable?

A 2016 study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute focused on the three broad categories of assets needed for a digital transformation:

  1. digital assets
  2. digital usage
  3. digital workers

In the study, it says:

“Digital assets across the entire economy doubled over the past 15 years, as firms invested not just in IT but in digitizing their physical assets. Digital usage in the form of transactions, customer and supplier interactions, and internal business processes, grew almost fivefold — and over the entire period, the leading sectors maintained an enormous lead in usage over everyone else. But the biggest differentiator of all comes from having a digitally empowered workforce.”

In the current digital world, digital transformation strategy touches on both business enablement and business objectives, one following the other as a natural part of business transformation. Without continuous digital transformation efforts, a company will not be able to unlock business enablement, since it can’t keep pace with business norms and regulations. But, if an organization can establish a digital plan for its assets, workers and processes, then customer satisfaction, business growth and organizational success will follow suit with digital transformation leading the way.

Ready to Learn More?

Read more about digital trends affecting purchase-to-pay in our whitepaper “3 Disruptive Trends Shaping the Future of Finance and Procurement.” And if you have any questions, please contact us!

Cristian Tudorache is a senior project manager for Basware.

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