Reimagine Digital Transformation in 2021

Throughout the year, 2020, companies everywhere had to reimagine their businesses and the future of work. It made us realize that digital transformation was not a fad or incremental project to roll out by department; it’s imperative to be agile and remain competitive during disruptive times.

Digital transformation will continue to be a top priority for CIOs in 2021, according to new research by Constellation Research. Here is how to reimagine digital transformation in 2021.

There are several lessons learned that emerged from the year 2020 business.

Businesses should take into consideration with future digital transformation initiatives. You’re likely launching or scaling a robotic process automation (RPA). Maybe you are implementing or looking to fix or optimize some other intelligent automation transformation.

1. RPA is not a strategic initiative

RPA has proven to be a useful tool for automating desktop manual tasks to increase speed and productivity, and there is an expected continued uptick for it in 2021. However, enterprises adopted it too quickly and added it to several projects that didn’t deliver the value they expected.

2. The difference between desktop automation and true enterprise transformation

Automating tasks that workers used to perform from their desk was often the beginning of digital transformation initiatives. However, the disruptions enterprises encountered during COVID highlighted that there’s a big difference between automating manual data entry and digitally changing how entire processes are executed.

In 2021, more companies will boost automation and enhance human intelligence with AI to help with workplace disruption for location-based, physical, or human-touch workers who are working from home.

According to research firm Forrester, this includes applying AI for intelligent document extraction, customer service agent augmentation, return-to-work health tracking, or semiautonomous robots for social separation.

3. Leaders need to better understand and optimize their workforce

There has been a myriad of productivity and collaboration tools introduced to help employees conduct their work faster and more efficiently. But is it really improving their workflow? Most employees say they deviate from set processes to successfully complete their tasks. One in four get so frustrated they want to quit their jobs.

4. Workers are capable of working with AI

Now that organizations have introduced RPA digital workers to their human workforce, management and workers alike realize the benefits of having a digital colleague. More companies will equip staff with their own software robot to augment their daily work for tasks with invoicing, onboarding, loan processing, and more.

5. Data can do more than you think

Data used to be the last step of a business process — filed away after a transaction was complete. With customers’ growing expectation-of-now, leaders realize that rather than extracting then inputting data at the end of processes or on an as-needed basis, workers (human and digital) need access to relevant information in real time.

While digital transformation isn’t new, the current COVID-19 pandemic has driven companies to rethink their entire business models, with many launching DX initiatives in a short amount of time.

With businesses accelerating their transformations, others cannot afford to delay digitalization; new disruptors will continue to appear and more enterprises will push their CIOs to plan strategies that will establish the best technology in order to meet new needs and standards and customer experience demands.

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