How to achieve your digital transformation dream

5th February 2024

Richard HigginBotham

by Richard Higginbotham

Does full-scale digital transformation seem like an impossible dream? Are your teams already stretched to breaking point? If so, there’s another way.

With UK companies currently facing the second-highest level of financial distress in Europe, modern organisations must embrace digital transformation to stay relevant and competitive. But creating automated workflows, optimised processes and seamless experiences for employees and customers can often feel out of reach.

Legacy IT systems are often complex and costly to replace. And the idea of orchestrating large-scale change can be intimidating and overwhelming – especially if you’re already frenetically busy with day-to-day demands where time is a luxury.

All of this can lead to hesitation and inaction. Digital strategies gather dust as teams stay entangled in manual workflows, spreadsheets, email-based approvals and a maze of non-integrated applications.

Is there an easier way forward? The answer is Yes.

Simple steps and quick wins with RPA

The journey to digitisation can begin with small yet impactful steps. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) emerges as a beacon of hope in this scenario.

Software ‘robots’ can execute tasks in the user-interface (or front-end) of applications in the same way as a human user – faster, at any time of day or night, and without error. The robots are ‘trained’ in an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that’s fast and simple to use. As you use them to automate manual and repetitive rule-based tasks, you free up your people for more rewarding and productive activities.

Simple real-life examples of how this can work include:

  • Reconciling payment and invoice processing between ERP and finance systems
  • Carrying out repetitive account update tasks for a call-centre advisor during a call – allowing the advisor to focus on the relationship
  • Automating key admin steps around handling refunds for customers

RPA can also serve as a pathfinder. It shines a light on other key areas where workflow automation and optimisation can bring immediate relief. As each new robot gets to work, you advance your digital transformation, step by step.

Pressure begins to ease on your teams. And there’s more good news ahead…

Seizing opportunities with low-code

RPA is also great entry point for low-code application development. Low-code platforms let you create apps quickly without huge expense and technical expertise. Especially as these tools are ideal for broader process optimisation and automation — that can’t be fully resolved by RPA alone.

Suddenly, business teams, customer-facing colleagues and IT can create custom apps that meet specific needs – without the cost and delays of using developers or waiting on IT vendor roadmaps.

Teams are empowered to bridge the chasm between legacy systems and the demands of modern business. Their apps can align unique workflows, enhance accuracy, build efficiency and create greater satisfaction among employees and customers.

Transformation without the drama

In the realm of complex digital transformation, it’s crucial to dispel the notion that large-scale change must happen all at once. Instead, leveraging RPA as a pathfinder and integrating low-code development as an enabler of larger opportunities will simplify the journey.

Quick wins using RPA deliver immediate benefits. Employees then become comfortable with automation – and the momentum behind transformation builds naturally. Low-code shifts everything up a gear and you begin to see a seamless, user-friendly digital ecosystem take shape.

Now, the seemingly impossible dream of large-scale transformation becomes an achievable reality through strategic deployment, gradual refinement and a commitment to innovation.

This article featured in The AI Journal.

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