3 items tagged "digitalization"

  • Digital transformation strategies and tech investments often at odds


    While decision makers are well aware that digital transformation is essential to their organizations’ future, many are jumping into new technologies that don’t align with their current digital transformation pain points, according to a new report from PointSource, a division of Globant that provides IT solutions.

    All too often decision makers invest in technologies without taking a step back to assess how those technologies fit into their larger digital strategy and business goals, the study said. While the majority of such companies perceive these investments as a fast track to the next level of digital maturity, they are actually taking an avoidable detour. 

    PointSource surveyed more than 600 senior-level decision makers and found that a majority are investing in technology that they don’t feel confident using. In fact, at least a quarter plan to invest more than 25 percent of their 2018 budgets in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, voice-activated technologies or facial-recognition technologies.

    However, more than half (53 percent) of companies do not feel prepared to effectively use AI, blockchain or facial-recognition technologies.

    See Also A look inside American Family Insurance's digital transformation office

    Companies are actively focusing on digital transformation, the survey showed. Ninety-four percent have increased focus on digital growth within the last year, and 90 percent said digital plays a central role in their overarching business goals.
    Fifty-seven percent of senior managers are unsatisfied with one or more of the technologies their organizations’ employees rely on. 

    Many companies feel digitally outdated, with 45 percent of decision makers considering their company’s digital infrastructure to be outdated compared with that of their competitors.

    Author: Bob Violino

    Source: Information Management

  • Is digitalization really capable of making your business paperless?

    Is digitalization really capable of making your business paperless?

    In a recent survey, 79% of content management professionals admitted that more than a quarter of their organizations’ total records are still on paper documents. The same research also showed that 93% of respondents believe extracting smart data from paper records would revolutionize the value of that data for the business, with 70% saying the way to achieve this is with digitalized records.

    It’s not much of a leap to imagine similar problems 40 years ago, when the phrase ‘paperless office’ was just coming into common use. Decades later, our collective reliance on paper remains a source of frustration and inefficiency. As the research revealed, close to one-third of the survey respondents said it is difficult to access data from their paper records. 60% say that these records slow down business processes while 93% agree that if all their paper records were lost, it would negatively impact their organization.  

    Furthermore, almost every content management professional surveyed at the event agreed that the ability to easily extract data from paper records would add value to their businesses. When specifically asked if digitizing would help, 70% said 'yes'.

    Thankfully, times are rapidly changing, and the arrival of digitalization solutions that blend advanced robotics with artificial intelligence are enabling organizations to not only address the inefficiency of manual paper processing, but to extract new value from the data they create.

    A prominent approach to the digitalization challenge has seen it build and patent robots that can sort and scan paper and make the resulting data available for use. The technology automates 80% of the conversion process, which includes paper handling, fastener removing, and digital imaging. Specifically, robots are more efficient at removing staples and other fasteners, which minimizes risk of paper jams and tears. In contrast, manual cataloguing and indexing is error-prone.

    As a result, this kind of technology can process an entire banker box within one to two hours; it would take a human about four to six hours to digitalize the same content. When implemented at scale, this equates to processing thousands of boxes per day.

    Using robots to digitalize paper is also inherently more secure. Robots do 90% of the paper handling and 90% of the indexing, meaning organizations don’t need to worry about the wrong people reading the most sensitive documents.

    The real thing: How Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales and Services digitalized its supply chain

    Real-world examples illustrate the impact. For example, optimizing the supply chain through digitalization can improve both efficiency and competitiveness, compared to organizations that rely on traditional methods of administering increasingly complex and dynamic supply chains that can leave them overwhelmed.

    In particular, supply chain operations that rely heavily on paper and physical records for management face financial consequences when their systems fail to keep pace with fast-changing circumstances and demands.

    The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and its bottlers, Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales and Services (CCBSS), are multinational organizations with complex logistics made up of suppliers and channels.

    They have a unique approach to scaling their business by franchising the manufacturing, packaging, and logistics to the CCBSS 'bottlers' that fulfil the orders fulfilment of Coca-Cola customers. While TCCC outsources all of its manufacturing and logistics management of its products to CCBSS, it owns the contracts with customers like Costco, Walmart, Kroger, etc.  

    The existing process required CCBSS to provide evidence of the fulfilment of goods and services each month. This is achieved via a proof of delivery (PoD) ticket between the deliverers and receivers. The burden of proof falls to the bottlers; if the document isn’t provided, the customer won’t pay the bill.

    The pre-digital procedure was to photocopy the PoD at the bottlers’ office and then FedEx the original to a supply chain management company. However, because CCBSS contracted seven different companies to support the ecosystem that each single document was sifted through, it was suffering from an overly complex and inefficient system. The result was a process that was losing millions of these documents a year, with a significant impact on revenue.

    Recently, CCBSS decided to digitalize parts of its operation including supply chain management in order to maximize accuracy and efficiency. Through digitalization, CCBSS estimates that it will soon save millions of dollars by consolidating vendors through document lifecycle management. The document management, image storage, indexing, and physical storage and shredding suppliers have been replaced with the Ripcord solution and turned what was once a bird’s nest of process outsourcing into a streamlined system with advanced technology that can index tens of millions of documents and do it with far greater levels of quality, accuracy, and speed.

    Author: Alex Fielding

    Source: Dataversity

  • Key demands for modern Chief Information Officers

    Key demands for modern Chief Information Officers

    As companies digitalize, they expect more than ever from their chief information officers.

    The movement of companies into a digital economy has redefined the role of the CIO.

    “The CIO’s role has always had multiple components, but in forward-thinking firms, it’s increasingly oriented toward leading business transformation through technology,” according to March, 2021 research conducted by Genpact, the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, and Wakefield Research.

    Key areas where companies expect CIOs and IT to step up so IT can be transformed into a revenue-generating function are the following:

    1. Collaboration with sales and line-of-business units

    To expedite time to market and sales, companies are now forming revenue operations teams (RevOps). 

    “Investing in RevOps is an investment in transparency and accountability. It offers the ability to operationalize growth at scale, with rigor that offers repeatable processes replicated throughout the organization to drive predictable revenue and growth,” said Rosalyn Santa Elena, Head of Revenue Operations at Clari, in a recent blog. The standard RevOps team includes sales and sales enablement -- but also data analytics, insights, systems, and technology operations.

    In other words, it might be corporate sales that is driving the RevOps team, but

    IT with its analytics, systems, and technology is also a critical cog in the machine, and CIOs who are being asked to focus on revenue need to be integrally involved in RevOps.

    2. E-commerce and the customer experience

    The customer experience, and an increasing number of digital customer touch points within companies, is what's driving the IT engagement in RevOps.

    Companies need to maintain a healthy presence in social media while they also use analytics to understand the trends that are ongoing in social media and how these trends and company feedback reflect on their organizations. Websites must perform without interruption or errors and be easy to navigate. Online processes must be streamlined and easy to execute -- from initial product search and order fulfillment to a product return or exchange.

    In recent PwC research, customers said they were more willing to try and buy brands from companies that offered a superior customer experience. The PwC report posed this question: “What truly makes for a good experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And human touch -- that is, creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences.”

    To effect seamless business processes for customers online and even in-store, IT needs to be engaged, and CIOs need to take a leading role.

    Part of this role is enabling new technologies and streamlining business processes, but it’s equally important to benchmark customer satisfaction for these new technologies and processes against the older methods that were used -- and to monetize the results in hard numbers for customer loyalty and retention, and revenue results.

    3. New product development

    In the past three years, I've met several CIOs who left their corporate IT jobs to head up spinoff companies in the technology space for their parent companies. The CIOs I spoke with were working in the financial services sector. They were leading new ventures in online banking, card services and analytics and risk assessment. Their common goal was to take new products that IT, in collaboration with the end business, had developed for their customer bases, and to expand these bases. In the process of doing this, the CIOs became spinoff CEOs with their own new lines of revenue-generating business.

    This is a departure from past practice, where IT and CIOs were relegated to back-office functions. As more business and products become digital, we are likely to see more CIOs take the helm of new corporate spinoff companies with profit and loss responsibilities.

    4. Outsourcing services

    In recent years, a number of organizations have also begun to monetize their own internal IT by extending their services and products to customer-companies outside of their own enterprises.

    An example is a large bank that has a complete portfolio of systems for processing online banking transactions, credit and debit cards, loans, security, risk assessment and analytics.

    Smaller community banks might not be able to afford all these bells and whistles, so what happens is these smaller organizations agree to pay fees for service to the larger bank. In turn, the larger bank’s IT department supports the systems that the community banks have contracted for, and that they couldn’t afford on their own.

    This business arrangement can be a win-win for everyone. The community banks obtain the systems and services that they otherwise couldn't afford, and the large bank receives revenue dollars from its community bank customers that offset or exceed IT expenses.

    In this model, it’s possible to create an IT corporate spinoff that manages the community bank business, but also possible to operate this business from within the internal IT operation. In either scenario, the CIO has profit and loss responsibility for the business, and IT must be able to support the needs of outside customers, as well as its own internal needs.

    In Summary

    The future of business is digital, although many corporate executives fear (and have experienced) digital failures. It is CIOs who are now being asked to lead their companies out of this digital wilderness.

    This isn’t a small undertaking. It will require CIOs getting their heads around P&L sheets as well as budgets. Nevertheless, this is the role that more companies expect their CIOs to assume.

    Author: Mary E. Shacklett

    Source: InformationWeek

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