Surviving ‘digital Darwinism’ through automating digital transformation
As automation technology evolves, its capabilities to improve processes and efficiency - along with the expectations of it to deliver these things - increases ever higher.
But while automation is often thought of as the result of digital transformation, it is also a key tool in the effectiveness of delivering these business change projects in the first place.
As an enabling tool, automation goes hand-in-hand with digital transformation projects, bringing down costs, improving efficiency and optimising digital touchpoints while removing the need for human interactions which can delay projects.
Risk vs. reward
While it is important that consideration is made about how automation will reduce costs or improve processes it should be the goal for any digital transformation project to automate as many aspects as possible.
This is especially true when it comes to digitising the "last 100 metres" of service delivery - which is arguably the most important and difficult part of the process, but which has, until now, been almost impossible to automate.
Automating this final stage of a project is the key to genuinely delivering lower costs and greater user satisfaction and removes many of the risks of projects being delayed while greatly increasing the rewards of greater productivity and efficiency.
Automation in motion
The reason the last 100 metres of digital transformation projects has been so difficult to automate up to this point, is that it is the stage which requires the most touchpoints when it comes to changing over and configuring new equipment.
Historically IT engineers would have to take on the role of delivery men for the day, handing out new devices and seeing employees one-by-one to configure the new equipment and transfer over any essential files from the old to new devices.
This process is very manually focussed, inefficient and does not produce cost effective results for a project - as well as causing problems for the end user and thus diminishing confidence in the project.
This is when automation and removing the need for multiple human touchpoints can deliver the kind of results businesses, and employees, expect.
The answer to this automation conundrum lies within two technologies - the cloud and smart lockers.
Rather than delivering laptops and other devices individually, engineers would be able to store new devices in a Smart Locker and remotely configure them to a user's settings - without having to engage with the worker.
Instead of spending their day waiting for equipment to be replaced and set up, employees would be able to use a cloud-based ordering system, similar to those now available on consumer shopping sites, to book a time to pick up their new device when it was convenient for them and begin working again immediately.
By automating this last stage of a digital changeover, businesses could save thousands of pounds in lost time and money waiting for employees to get back up and running with their new devices.
Allowing the ability to choose when to pick up new equipment also means that engineers have more time to deliver digital services, rather than facing increasing queues of employees who are having problems with their device.
Automating digital transformation for best results
What is clear is that digital transformations are going to become necessary for any business wishing to survive today's digital Darwinism, but how these projects are carried out is just as important as the results they generate - if not more so.
A technology-driven, automated, digital transformation is the only way to ensure businesses get the desired results they are hoping for. Those which continue to rely on overly manual processes to bring about change are going to find themselves falling behind.
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