The thought of “digital transformation” strikes fear in many organizations. The unknown is scary—but it can be made less scary with a partner who’s been there done that and is a proven trailblazer in the field.
We see several organizations struggle with getting started on their journey to digital transformation. There are a variety of reasons they give for not taking the plunge, but perhaps the most surprising is the frequency we hear, “We’ve decided to not do anything at all.” But that’s no longer an option – we’re reaching a critical point where digitizing is essential for being competitive. Because whether or not you’re changing, the landscape around you undeniably is.
So, what’s holding them back? In one word: fear. A four-letter word that can make the most driven individuals complacent. Sometimes, complacency is harmless, but other times it inhibits progress. When your organization starts to pose more excuses than possibilities, it’s time to evaluate what’s holding you back from digital transformation.
Digital transformation: More than technology
Digital transformation is a mode of thinking, not just a process replacement initiative. It’s the development of cross-departmental collaboration, not just adopting tech. We typically define it in 3 Ps:
1. Platforms: The technology piece – the integrated solutions that enable you to move from a manual to a digital work environment.
2. Processes: The operational aspects of how you do business and how that will evolve as a result of digital workflows.
3. People: This is the change management effort that addresses how people will work alongside technology, talent acquisition and retention, and the uniquely human skills that will be in demand in the future.
Read on for 5 common excuses for not embracing digital transformation and reasons to push those fears aside and jump on the digital transformation bandwagon.
1. Excuse—“Robots are coming for my job.”
Robots aren’t going to steal your jobs. And actually, they’ll just make jobs a lot more strategic, easier, and human-focused. A large part of digital transformation is the adoption of automated processes. These automated processes remove the tedious tasks from your workflow and allow you to focus on more strategic activities. However, in our recent white paper “The Current State of AP Efficiency in the US,” 33% of respondents say their AP process is still fully paper based with 44% admitting that they still have to manually enter information into their ERP or other system of record. In today’s digital environment, there’s no reason to be doing work with this much paper and this much manual intervention.
The best way to take full advantage of automation is to find a solution that’s designed with the user in mind. It’s important, then, to adopt a solution that places the utmost importance on the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). This assures you’ll reap the benefits of an easy-to-use software such as:
Easy integration with current or future ERPs
Automation of key processes to eliminate errors and refocus jobs on strategic tasks
Streamlined infrastructure and reduced reliance on hardware
Decreased security risks
With automation comes another very important thing—data. The more data you have running through your systems, the more data-backed decisions your organization can make. What happens is increased visibility into 100% of your spend across all open POs and non-PO invoices, including externally generated business documents.
2. Excuse: “We’ve done it this way for years.”
Some things are fine left to tradition, like family recipes. Other, like business, not so much. Digital transformation allows your organization to see data in new ways that can be best applied to business objectives. In our recent white paper, “A Day with Data: The Future of S2P,” we discussed how data affects every step of the P2P process, from sourcing through to payments and every step in between.
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.
Quality and quantity of data are both needed to get a competitive advantage. Whether you’re a local business or a global entity, data should be the at the core of your strategic business decisions. And in order to see those decisions and accommodate for growth, teaming up with a partner who is a proven leader in global scalability with proven, elite integration capabilities can help you achieve those objectives quicker.
3. Excuse: “We’ll lose our ability to collaborate.”
You’ll actually realize increased collaboration thanks to digital transformation. Increased productivity and an improved customer experience are two things that digital transformation delivers. As it currently stands, two-thirds of companies say their accounts payable department lacks the ability to collaborate online with internal stakeholders to resolve invoice exceptions.
Through the increase in automated, digitized, and mobile-ready work processes, employees can easily perform their work from any location at any given time. With real-time updates, employees can proceed confidently knowing their information is up to date. Increased visibility enables departments to see the information they need to work cross-functionally to meet goals and resolve challenges.
Suppliers and internal users also benefit from the ease of use digital transformation brings to the table. Staff can easily get what they need through e-procurement technologies like guided buying. AP clerks and procurement professionals alike can take advantage of artificial intelligence and natural language processing backed chatbots. These bots can handle quick search and retrieval of invoices and purchase orders (POs). And suppliers can easily check on the status of their payment and invoice through real-time updates.
4. Excuse: “We’ve got all we need.”
Maybe for now… But, as your organization expands, your needs do, too. For instance, as your company grows you might find that the type of supplier you need also changes. A vendor with a global business network gives you access to a variety of suppliers worldwide.
Through digital business networks spanning the globe, companies can communicate faster and send and receive invoices and process procurement transactions more efficiently. By joining a global business network, you’ll realize reduced invoice handling costs, easy connections with worldwide suppliers, and increased invoice efficiencies.
And when that time inevitably comes when the push for digital transformation becomes a top priority in your organization, it’s vital that you choose a vendor who is capable and proven in getting your business through a digital transformation and into the next phase of growth. We believe that Gartner's continued placement of Basware in the Leaders' quadrant validates what we feel are the driving forces of our market performance:
Our solution’s usability: Constant solution optimization and development of innovative, automated technologies help customers achieve 100% spend visibility and transparency across operations.
Scalability across the globe: Our UI is available in 25 languages, we offer customer support in 8 languages, and we’re fully compliant with various e-invoicing regulations in 55 countries.
Expansive ERP integration abilities: Our P2P solution seamlessly integrates with over 250 ERP/financial systems, streamlining customers’ processes and increasing customers’ transparency across their supply chains.
5. Excuse: “Digital poses cyber security risks.”
Through digital transformation, communication siloes are broken down across an organization. Spend is made more visible and thus, more transparent. To beat outdated invoice archiving methods like paper archiving or obsolete content management systems, invoices can be stored electronically for easy search and retrieval later on, meaning compliance will always be “audit ready.”
Transforming to the cloud offers multiple levels of increased security beyond easy audits. Cloud-based solutions allow business to go paperless, making them more agile to respond to changes in the business environment. Cloud-based solutions also come with increased data and financial information security. Additionally, integration with an enterprise IT landscape is seamless, improving business agility and the overall user experience. And if you choose to partner with Basware, the strength of the Basware Network and the security of the cloud offer efficient supplier collaboration without the added, unnecessary complexity of EDI and IT operations.
Ready to learn more?
If you’re ready to turn your excuses into possibilities, learn how teaming up with a global leader in P2P can help. Download the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites report now.