Companies may pursue digital transformations for different reasons, but the goals they seek to achieve are often similar.
Setting goals before embarking on a digital transformation is an important part of the process. The goals will help the organization allocate resources, communicate about the digital transformation with employees and outside contacts, and measure progress as well as ultimate success. Company leaders can learn about some of the most common digital transformation goals and decide if those goals are worth pursuing for their own digital transformation.
Here are 10 potential digital transformation goals.
1. Improving worker performance
Reducing or eliminating manual processes is a common digital transformation goal. Manual processes are slow and error-prone, since users must rekey data multiple times.
Automated processes can relieve employees of many manual tasks. For example, an automated system may only require invoice approval if the dollar amount is over a certain number. This automation frees up approvers to focus on more important tasks.
2. Optimizing customer service
An outdated customer service system may lead to a company embarking on a digital transformation.
Customer service agents must be able to easily find the customer in their system, see past tickets and quickly get to work on the customer's new request. A new system can lead to faster case resolution and potentially improve customer experience with self-service options.
3. Simplifying the customer experience
Customers must be able to easily find the product or service they are looking for, so a company may decide to simplify and improve its site as part of a digital transformation. This process may include making it easier for system administrators and marketers to update the site or simplifying the payment process.
Simplifying the shopping experience can lead to fewer customer support calls and improved overall customer experience.
4. Streamlining accounts payable processes
Automating manual processes is likely the first aspect of improving accounts payable operations that comes to mind, but a digital transformation can benefit the department in other ways as well.
A digital transformation can improve vendors' processes for submitting invoices and receiving payment status updates. Internally, a new system may improve reporting, ease of use and integrations with other finance systems.
5. Improving employee experience
Employees must carry out many administrative tasks, including notifying the company of a change of address, enrolling in benefits and filling out performance management surveys.
Implementing new digital technologies offers many opportunities to improve employee experience while also streamlining business processes. A new system may also offer previously unavailable employee services.
6. Improving scheduling and timesheets
Digitizing scheduling and time tracking can greatly benefit employees and the company. Moving schedules online allows employees to look up their schedule anywhere. If employees check in and out as part of their workday, apps on mobile devices can simplify the check-in and checkout process.
Meanwhile, digital timesheets help with tracking hourly employees' shifts, sending the data to payroll and analyzing hours worked versus output.
7. Automating warehouse jobs
Companies with distribution centers can save time and costs by automating as much as the order fulfillment and shipping process as possible. However, this type of digital transformation can be costly, so companies need to plan carefully and potentially carry it out in stages.
Automating warehouse processes may also help reduce errors in the picking process, which can lead to fewer returns and customer support calls.
8. Automating creation and updates of user accounts
One of IT's major tasks is creating and managing user accounts. Employees need access to their email account, systems, network drives and various other applications, depending on their role, and IT must frequently add and delete user accounts as new employees are hired and others leave.
Automating this process frees up the IT team to work on more complex tasks.
9. Eliminating company systems
Over time, companies acquire many different systems to accomplish tasks, and as the organization grows, departments or business units may use similar applications. Getting rid of duplicate systems is a potential digital transformation goal.
Doing so saves the company money because of reduced licensing costs.
10. Improving reporting and dashboards
Companies can potentially improve their reporting and dashboards by acquiring new systems, as old applications may not allow the combining of data from multiple systems. Doing so allows employees to generate more sophisticated reports and dashboards and learn more about their processes.
For example, a more advanced reporting system could potentially analyze customer service employees' performance, including customer reviews and case completion rate statistics.