“For many traditional companies, the first step in preparing for digital transformation is to invest – sometimes heavily – in integrating data and processes across the enterprise”. George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andy Mcafee talk about the importance of a cross-functional organization in their book, Leading Digital.

In many cases, this represents an even greater challenge outside the organization when it comes to exchanging important information with suppliers and partners – for example whether a delivery of product has reached its destination or not.

Put simply, a siloed mindset will no longer cut it: businesses need a way of orchestrating digital operations through processes quickly if they are going to compete and succeed. One of the most significant ways that digital disruptors differ from incumbent businesses is that they tend to think about the end to end process from the very beginning, thinking first about the customer, rather than isolated requirements from individual functions in the business.

As highlighted in our recent webinar with Didier Bonnet, established organizations will likely be very siloed, and multi-functionality won’t come naturally to them. So for every organization chasing meaningful results from digital transformation, it’s absolutely critical to bridge those gaps.

digital operations

So what do today’s organizations need to do differently in order to build world-class digital operations? Here are three areas to focus on:

Make Process a Priority

If connecting the business is the goal, then process is the way to do it. Our global research with over 500 business and IT leaders found that a lack of collaboration between departments is one of the most significant barriers to digital progress.

By using process as a common language between departments, not only is it easier to plan and execute projects but also see the outcomes. It helps employees to see the big picture and understand their place as part of a cross-functional operation that impacts on the customer.

85% say processes give employees clarity and confidence, so if the entire business is working in the same manner, it makes it easier to reach the shared goals: digital transformation of the business, happier customers, and revenue growth.

Bizagi customer Abengoa took a process-driven approach to their full-scale business transformation, which they successfully implemented in just two years. They implemented a multi-tenancy, multi-language DPA platform with global standards, which resulted in over 360 processes deployed over two years. This mass adoption, consolidation, and sustainability of processes has boosted performance across finance, projects and risk management right across the organization.

Use process to enable agility

Agility is defined by control, not chaos, and effective collaboration between IT and the business is the biggest enabler of agility. So, now that you’ve enabled collaboration with a process-centric approach to business, you need a way to connect the myriad of datastores and technology across your organization. With a single place to view real-time information, you can create a common starting point from which to develop agile processes. Once you’re connected, you can be more agile.

Being more agile enables a clear outward-looking focus. The organization can focus on customer satisfaction, efficiency, collaboration, employee empowerment and innovation. Not to mention, it can help the business to be compliant by design. Read more about how process and agility aids regulatory compliance in our blog.

A platform that enables agile process development can then act as a way for people to discuss, design and create processes. Intuitive digital process tools such as this give your business a shared language to talk about process – and how it can help the business achieve its goals.

Don’t automate broken processes

While trial and error is a key element of an agile approach, it’s important to consider whether your processes will actually work once they are automated. One of the key goals of digital transformation is to make the business more efficient, and automation is one of the key ways to achieve this. It seems an obvious piece of advice, but don’t automate broken processes.

Automating broken processes runs the risk of a “garbage in, garbage out” approach to business and doesn’t help anyone. A leading petrochemical organization who use Bizagi ensured that their processes were optimized at the first stage of their digital transformation journey by deploying business process re-engineering.

For example, if you want to add RPA (robotic process automation) to your onboarding process for new staff, you need to first ensure that the end-to-end process is fully functional and optimized. From there, you can then automate the process to make it more efficient. Find out more about how Bizagi and RPA can work together to optimize an end-to-end process in our blog.

digital operations RPA

67% of businesses are focused on optimizing digital operations, and process is a key part of achieving this.

“In industry after industry, companies with better operations create a competitive advantage through superior productivity, efficiency and agility,” write Westerman, Bonnet and Mcafee in Leading Digital.

Focus on these three areas above, and you’ll be well on your way to building world class digital operations that your competitors would be jealous of.

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: ‘Make your Breakthrough in Digital Operations.’