Digital Operations: Transform your Business in 6 Simple Steps

New vs legacy. On-premises vs off-premises. Front of house vs back office. It’s a challenge to keep your systems connected – let alone make sure they support new ways of doing business. But the pressure is on to provide intelligent systems that add value to your digital operations.

In our recent survey of 500 business leaders, 74% said that they want to make better use of their legacy systems, which is unsurprising when they have built their businesses on these systems thus far. But they really need to evolve to keep up with the changing digital landscape.

digital operations

The good news is, digital tools exist to help you transform your digital operations and respond to changes in the market. We’ve laid out six simple steps to follow so that you can make your business more agile, connected and engaging.

Your 6 steps to transform digital operations

1- Unite the business

collaboration digital operations

A lack of collaboration between departments is a common problem. Our research shows it’s one of the main barriers to digital progress. It’s critical to overcome the issue, because real commercial impact comes from different parts of a business working as one.

The best digital leaders bring the right people together from across the business. But you need mechanisms in place to make this happen. This often means digital tools that give people a clear, shared view and enable them to co-experiment with ease and speed.

2- Help creativity thrive

A clear, shared view of systems also frees innovation. It prevents great ideas or enhancements getting stuck in a single, siloed part of a business. To help creativity thrive, you need your digital systems to be open, scalable and flexible. You can then turn new ways of doing things into an edge for your business.

digital operations agility

3 – Start small, scale quickly

Trying to change too much, too quickly can backfire. The most effective change often comes from small shifts. People pick up on this instinctively. It’s why 82% of our respondents think small digital breakthroughs create momentum.

There’s another argument for this kind of iterative improvement. You get to see what works best before you fully commit. You can then scale quickly once you know something has value.

This approach is also effective for executives who need to show success to justify funding for further initiatives. In today’s world, small successes are key to continued sponsorship.

4 – Unlock the value in your legacy systems

It can be hard to meet new business needs when legacy IT is involved. What you need is a way to connect it with your latest technology so you can see results from your combined systems.

Orchestration is key. A single way to see and manage the new and the old, the on-premises and the off-site, can be crucial to success. The right digital business platform gives you an agile layer to wrap around your existing systems.

5 – Champion the power of process

Process and automation is no longer just about cost-cutting. Your systems need to be intelligent and add value. This demands a new way of thinking about operations. A siloed mindset will not cut it, and the only solution is to create a process-centric culture that breaks down barriers between departments by viewing every problem according to the end-to-end process at play.

This results in a workplace where everyone sees the impact that operations can have. To achieve this, you need digital tools that everyone can use. These then act as a way for people to discuss, design and create processes. Intuitive digital process tools give your business a shared language to talk about process – and how it can help the business achieve its goals.

digital operations process

digital operations experiment6 – Lead, but empower too

People seek digital leadership. In fact, 30% of all respondents chose ‘lack of digital leadership’ as their top challenge. But leadership doesn’t mean dictating exactly how to digitize. It means creating conditions in which people can put digital to work themselves.

Part of this involves education and skills. And part of it involves tools and giving people the freedom and space to experiment, collaborate and co-create. 82% said that they would like to be more self-sufficient with digital, so they can make a bigger impact on behalf of their function and their business. Give people the opportunity and they’ll take it.

The extra benefit of this kind of leadership? It reveals the people and projects that are already creating processes that make a real difference. You can then support them to add further value.

This article is based on a larger research report. So if you’d like to learn more about how to digitize your customer engagement strategy, why not download our complimentary report: ‘Making your Breakthrough in Digital Operations’