Digital transformation initiatives have become less of a trend and more of a must. What most businesses thought was a once-in-a-lifetime affair with the pandemic is now a realization that business will not return “to usual.” And with inflation on the rise worldwide, it’s not feasible to postpone investments merely for cost containment. In this blog, we will discuss 3 ways organizations can drive digitization.
Step 1: As the C-Suite, You’ve Got to be on Board
As a leader in your organization, you’ve got to play a role in hearing out those who are more in the nitty gritty, day-to-day operations. An insightful research article from Deloitte reads:
“All digital initiatives need at least some amount of engagement from the organization's leader. The leader needs to maintain leadership of any digital ambition, and when multiple initiatives are occurring at once, the leader’s role in ensuring they map to an overarching strategy becomes even more important. While they might not need to drive day-to-day activities, they do need to influence the route—guiding teams to understand strategic impacts and dependencies. How often the leader intervenes depends very much on the project and its individual nuances, and that is where listening to the delegated leaders can be critical.”
The role of the leadership must not necessarily finagle every second of every digital change. But instead, be more like a captain sailing a ship – ensuring forward progress continues even though the sea may get rough. This will come in handy as digital projects increase and ambition to achieve them becomes greater. As the projects, so should the leaderships’ involvement to ensure that roles are aligned, assigned, and responsibly divvied out.
Step 2: Point out the value and eliminate the concerns
Change can seem scary. But digital transformation allows your organization to see data in new ways that can be best applied to business objectives. For example, consider how you could use predictive and advanced analytics. With spend data fueling your automated system, you can get a better grip on strategic planning, identifying risks and removing information gaps, and catching duplicated purchase requests and orders before they’re processed. Using data makes work more strategic, purposeful, and cuts out the tedious task of locating mistakes.
Additionally, there will be concerns over job stability. The whole concept of AI and ML replacing jobs is an understandable fear. But as far as leadership is concerned, it’s their job to explain the strategy and value of such technologies. A large part of digital transformation is the adoption of automated processes. And with automation comes one very important thing—data. The more data you have running through your systems, the more data-backed decisions your organization can make.
What will happen is increased visibility into 100% of your spend across all open POs and non-PO invoices, including externally generated business documents. You won’t be stuck looking into a rear-view mirror at your spend. Instead, data-based analytics will offer insights into the future of your spend. Viewing it in this way helps your organization gauge the level of commitment and predict when the spend is expected to occur. The more documents running through the system, the more accurate these analytics become. So, the ultimate result is roles will become more strategic in nature and call for skills that are unique to human reasoning and determination.
Understand the long-term investment in a seemingly budgeted landscape
Container costs have tripled, energy costs are soaring across the board, inflation is wreaking havoc for all, an unjust war has left Ukraine in shambles, the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” have changed the workforce, and the global supply chain hasn’t had a chance to breathe and bounce back after COVID – just to name a few. Some might take this as a sign to halt or postpone pursuing making any big organizational changes to their business such as adopting new technologies. However, it might be just the right time for leaders to scope new opportunities and have a positive impact on their organizations.
In a Forbes article, it is revealed that “A resounding majority (90%) of global executives said automating workflows post-Covid-19 will ensure business continuity… Nearly the same number (89%) thought digitally transformed companies have a competitive advantage.” And the competitive advantage is clear.
For starters, there’s a lot your business can gain from digitized procure-to-pay processes. Digitizations enables procurement and AP to work remotely seamlessly. With easy access to users’ relevant programs, they can continue with business as usual from wherever they’re located so long as they have an internet connection and a device.
Looking to learn more about digital transformation? Check out this on-demand webinar from the Chief of Finance 2022 speech and Nordic Leaders Circle panel discussion here.