Information Management

Digital Transformation | 5 Step Practical Roadmap For Digital Transformation

 
 

Leading digital transformation and data science experts like Bill Schmarzo say that Digital Transformation should be EVERY organisations’ #1 strategic business initiative.

Below is a practical guide on how you can implement digital transformation in your business. 5 things that will have a big impact and accelerate innovation.

Process automation and improving efficiencies are at the core of digital transformation. Organisations must be more vigilant than ever in remaining innovative and future-proofing their businesses. This is critical in remaining profitable and competitive.

On average, “digital masters” are 26% more profitable than their peers according to George Westerman, Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation.

Digital Transformation Defined

There are many definitions of digital transformation. Think of it as a shift in philosophy. Digital transformation will allow an organisation to quickly adapt to new changes and opportunities through making the most of technology.

It is the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes and culture to deliver a better customer experience.

Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance. Digital masters do two things better than other companies: identifying digital ways to change their businesses, and building leadership capabilities to drive transformation, according to George Westerman.

As employees, our everyday work life is filled with digital technology and yet the reliance on manual, paper-based processes and systems is still huge. We know what we know, and sometimes miss the opportunities provided by today’s platforms to improve our business operations. Simple fixes that capture data electronically, autmoate processes and provide new insights. The real value is in acting on the data we collect.

5 Tangible Steps to Transform your Business.

Step 1. Centralised Document Management

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Today I spent close to an hour looking for a document. I wanted to use a file i’d created which had a lot of historical data and a good process document for a project we completed around business intelligence. For some reason, I didn't save this document to our document repository (M-Files) and it's lost somewhere on 1 of the 6 devices I use regularly. In contrast, I was able to collaborate with our marketing manager on an event plan and save my changes to his document. All with version control and from my mobile phone because it was saved in the repository.

Centralised document management is powerful, and it can be simple and quick to deploy.

Enterprise Content Management enables:

  • A central place for documents

  • Powerful search

  • Collaboration on documents, sharing and co-authoring

  • Security - Only the right staff see particular documents and you have digital copies

  • Eliminate duplicates

  • Workflows to automate processes

  • Version control and easy to restore documents without needing IT

Step 2. Digitise Paper Forms

Unlock efficiencies by digitising files. Reduce errors, lower risk and open the door for process automation and new insights.

Think of the new employee onboarding process for HR as an example. There are lots of forms, social media policies, privacy policies, payroll information and so on. All of this is repeatable when a new employee joins or leaves the organisation.

Instead of paper forms, you can easily create digital versions that work with mobile devices and enable your new staff hit the ground running, instead of getting up to speed for a week or more before they can contribute to your business. Apply digital forms to repetitive processes.

Did you know that even some of the largest vendors of software products still needed their employees to send in paper receipts for expense claims? Not all vendors embrace their own technology and someone has to physically validate the receipts and there was no way to efficiently pick up on duplicates or fraud. Smarter organisations like the Australian Tax Office now use predictive analytics tools to pick up on anomalies and provide new opportunities to detect fraud.

Did you know that you can quickly digitise paper forms using affordable platforms? Low-code, drag and drop platforms like Intrexx make it easy for virtually any employee to create e-forms which work on mobile devices and they can be plugged into a workflow to automate a manual process like an expense claim or a pricing request approval.

3. Automate Processes

You have the data, use it. Low-code platforms and ECM solutions can help here. As mentioned above, inputs from e-forms like an expense claim or a leave request can be connected to a workflow to automate the approval for such requests. Rules can be applied and a query against a database can automatically check if an employee has the leave entitlement they are requesting. If that leave is available, the system sends an approval that can be completed by a manager from their mobile device. This saves time and provides instant approvals with self-service applications.

4. Connect to Business Systems

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Data collected from e-forms will be more valuable if it is connected to a business system. For example, the accounts receivable process (AR) will work more efficiently if invoices are connected to an accounting or ERP system like Xero or SAP. Workflows will automate a process and make it more efficient. Invoices can be automatically scanned, routed to the next step of the approval process, fields can be prefilled and the invoice can be sent to the right person to sign-off and complete the transaction. Connecting business systems will enable a holistic view and opportunities for better reporting.

5. New Insights. Analyse and Act on New Opportunities.

Digital transformation creates new data and the value realised when you can analyse and action it.

Take advantage of opportunities created by new views and a fresh perspective.

Centralising documents increases efficiency and enables productivity. The opportunity for better collaboration and process automation through workflow is now possible.

Digital forms save time and let you capture, automate and analyse data trapped in paper documents. Risk and compliance is improved with access to digital documents and if someone leaves the organisation, you still have control over valuable intellectual property.

You can transform the way your business operates with what you have achieved through digitising your business and developing digital processes. Electronic document management platforms and electronic forms provide access to operational data you can report on.

Analyse the data and look at trends, issues or opportunities to increase revenue. The reporting functionality of platforms has come a long way and should provide with a good baseline view for analysis. You can connect the data into operation dashboards or automate reporting using any of the major business intelligence (BI) and visualisation tools which are very powerful and affordable.

Digital transformation reduces administrative tasks and that directly helps staff to focus on their core job and higher-value tasks.

Summary

Digital transformation is all about efficiencies. Capturing data in digital forms enables automated processes and workflow. This is a key output from digital transformation and will transform the way a business operates. Digital transformation will help make a business smarter through new insights, leaner with increased efficiencies and more secure through reduced risk and improved compliance.

True digital transformation is a new way of thinking and applies to the whole business. In practice, you can start small and get some wins with things like digitising paper forms or implementing a central document repository. A phased approach will help you demonstrate what is possible and show a tangible result that is truly transformative. A better way of doing things that not only improves efficiency but also improves employee's job satisfaction by reducing the low value, repetitive tasks.

Want to know more? Take a look at the videos below or speak to us about how other companies have transformed their business. One small process can make a huge impact. Reach us here. We have been working with clients to get the most out of their technology for over 20 years.

Mobile Device Management

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What is it?

Mobile device management (MDM) software allows IT staff to manage, secure and monitor mobile phones provided to employees. MDM software can be implemented and used to manage devices across multiple different Service Providers and all major phone operating systems.

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Why is MDM important?

MDM allows IT staff to have a centralised management portal covering all the devices provisioned with the MDM software. This allows IT to have quick access to device data and statistics, apply security profiles and give mobile device support.

The security profiles can be used to implement secure emailing, secure web browsing and the lock down of the app catalogue, ensuring only certain whitelisted apps are available.

An MDM platform can be utilised to setup and configure a VPN for use by those mobiles which have the VPN policy applied, allowing for centralised management for any updates needed.

MDMs can perform remote locking and remote wiping of data in an event where this could be necessary, if the device is lost or stolen and contains sensitive information.

For organisations using a corporate network, implementing an MDM profile on a mobile device can ensure that whenever that device is in range of a pre-defined WiFi network that it is granted access.

Other Benefits?

A major benefit of implementing an MDM is that it gives IT the ability to let staff utilise their already existing mobile devices for the work place and permit connectivity to the corporate environment. Due to the sheer number of people who have personal computing devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops), this gives a major advantage and saves costs for those organisations who do allow BYOD (bring your own device) with their MDM platform.

Advance and MDM

Advance work with the AirWatch platform, which is VMware’s MDM solution. Offering compatibility with Android, Chrome OS, iOS, macOS, Windows 10 and more, AirWatch is a leader in the MDM space.

If you are interested in more information, or wish to try out AirWatch contact Advance Business Consulting below.

Trash or Treasure With Network Shares

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In my youth, it was always exciting to visit the trash and treasure markets at local drive-in theatres on a weekend. Endless hours spent wandering through the hundreds of car boots, make-shift stalls and pop-up stands whilst we scrutinised boxes and fold-out tables covered with people’s unwanted items, occasionally discovering something of value. It was a lot of work to sift through the trash to find my treasure.

These days my kids use their phones to pinpoint almost anything they desire and within minutes they negotiate, order, pay and arrange delivery… all while relaxing on the couch during a Netflix binging session.

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Their generation have significantly improved the efficiency of finding treasure amongst the trash, through use of well-designed technology.

It’s alarming how many organisations still mirror my childhood experience at the trash and treasure market when attempting to locate valuable information on their network shares.  Sadly, there’s a similarity between the boxes of junk at the trash and treasure market and the muddled and disordered state most network shares end up in, even with people’s best intentions to ‘sort them out’ by adding their own ideas of sub-folder structures.

Fortunately, the way out of this mess no longer involves a steep investment of sifting through your network shares and ‘re-organising’ them into new folder structures or importing and classifying into an ECM. Instead, implementation is fast and simple, and access is more in-line with how we can pin-point information though the power of indexed searches.

Using the M-Files External Connectors to connect to external repositories like network folders, the information can be indexed and accessed through your platform of choice. The files remain on the network share and can continue to be accessed that way using your legacy systems.

Everyone else can use the beautifully designed modern interfaces of the M-Files clients available for Windows desktops, web browsers, and mobile phones. Yes, that’s right, you can lounge on the couch with your kids and use your phone to find whatever you’re after on your network share using the gorgeous M-Files App – search for files, check them out, make edits, add metadata and check them back in.

Adding metadata to these files enriches them as version history is maintained and the metadata makes them show up in metadata based searches and any common views you may have. Changes made to the files on the external system are synchronised with the M-Files system.

With the technology available in the M-Files External Connectors there’s no reason to be a dinosaur stuck at your desktop, plodding aimlessly through the mess that your network shares have deteriorated into. Instead you can get instant access to the treasure you need from all your technology devices whenever you desire.

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M-Files have External Connectors planned for SharePoint Online, Exchange, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box just to name a few. Powerful instant searches across everything in your organisation is within reach using M-Files External Connectors.

If you want to know more about M-Files and the External Connectors please contact us.