In less than a month, 2022 is expected to usher in new automation trends for the digital transformation era. According to Enterprise Talk, a few major trends to look out for include the following.
- As organizations continue to transition to cloud technologies, they will shift from robotic process automation (RPA) to an application programming interface (API) approach. While both RPA and API allow applications to “talk” to each other, API is often popular for its backend capabilities and cost savings.
- Hyper automation will unleash greater business potential, as automation will go from simply being a project feature to “the driving force for today’s digital enterprise,” in which businesses decentralize.
- Organizations will embrace an “automation mindset” that enables “siloed combinations of line-of-business (LOB) teams” to improve the platforms and data they are already using.
How to Make Your Digital Transformation A Success
A successful digital transformation is not the result of new technology, but rather, of employees adopting new technical skills and behaviors in order to become “a data-driven organization,” according to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Innovation Officer at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Chamorro-Premuzic says there are “five essential components” to digital transformation, including:
People: Organizations are often focused on data, but may forget that humans are behind that data— be they customers, clients, or employees. Small businesses tend to have more personal relationships with the people they work with and serve. However, as a large/complex organization, being able to form more personal relationships with the humans behind your data is often more difficult.
Data: For large organizations to achieve successful relationships with the people they serve, they need to leverage recorded data based on interactions with customers, employees, and clients in a way that helps the organization understand what they want. This is ‘digitization,’ the process of datafying human behavior. Chamorro-Premuzic defines this process as useful because it focuses on capturing valuable data rather than creating cheaper systems. “It is useful to remember this, because the real benefits from technology are not ‘hard’ (i.e., cheaper systems or infrastructure), but ‘soft’ (i.e., capturing valuable data).”
Insights: Data by itself is often too messy to understand. In order to be leveraged successfully, systems and processes need to be in place to clean, organize, and refine the raw data in order to turn it into analytics. This will allow you to create predictive models that will help you better understand what changes your organization needs to implement.
Action: Once you have your insights, you need a way to turn your insights into action. For example, if your insights predict that some of your customers are likely to leave you for a competitor, what plan will you make to retain them? “AI can make predictions, and data can give us insights, but the ‘so what’ part requires actions, and these actions need the relevant skills, processes, and change management,” Chamorro-Premuzic writes. “This is why talent plays such a critical role in unlocking (or indeed blocking) your digital transformation.”
Results: Once you’ve gone through all these stages, you can examine the results before going back to the data. “The results themselves become part of the new, richer, dataset, which will be augmented and improved with the findings of the process,” he advises.
As the new year approaches, organizations should prepare for an accelerated shift to digital transformation. Understanding the technical trends is only a small part of this. The human component is equally, if not more important, to ensuring your transition is successful.
Prepare Your Organization for Digital Transformation
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Muktewar, Vishal. (25 November 2021). Top Four Digital Transformation Trends in 2022 (part I). Enterprise Talk.
Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. (23 November 2021). The Essential Components of Digital Transformation. Harvard Business Review.
Bowman, Dylan. (9 January 2020). RPA vs API Integration: How to Choose Your Automation Technologies. UiPath.
Educating your staff on how to use new tech is what needs to be done in the first place. People typically don’t like switching from good old ways (say paper PDFs) to something unknown (say form building software). Unless you explain to them that such a shift may save their time and effort.