Electrification or digitization of processes?

Electrification or digitization of processes?

When the goals of digitalisation are chiseled into the company's strategic plan, the future looks bright with efficiency and a flurry of economic gains. In the field of public sector in particular, there is reason to warmly embrace digitalisation to ensure better services at lower costs for society.

The consultants and suppliers are there with solid experience and expertise in the field together with proven and mature systems.

Despite a solid and credible profit potential with experienced suppliers on the team, there is reason to steel themselves. Unfortunately, many businesses end up electrifying existing processes and miss out on the benefits of digitalisation.

Digitize = business model, organization and processes are designed to utilize today's and tomorrow's technology. Use technology to renew, simplify, and improve processes.

Electrify = retain business model, organization and processes with their complexity and design, but implement them in a new system.

What are the first signs that you are in the process of electrifying rather than digitizing the processes?

  • Failure to generalize the processes, with continued desire for special solutions.
  • The requirement specification before the solution becomes too detailed at an early stage in an as-is analysis without optimizing the solution in a two-be state.
  • The following statement sits down with the organization: "The system is there to support our existing processes, we should not have to adapt to the system." Here it turns out that there is no room to go through its own processes, and the capacity for change is low.
  • There is no clear strategy for how to exploit Best Practice to reduce costs and complexity. You miss out on the benefits of lower project costs and reduced lifetime costs.
  • Lack of digital skills (= Business and technology understanding x Willingness and ability to transform).
  • No one owns master data/registry data in the organization and ensures quality.
  • Digitalisation does not form a red line through the strategic and operational plans of the organisation.

Other features of the digitization program that should qualify for concern;

  • You have not made up your own way about the risk landscape you are entering and you forget to take into account a situation where several strategic initiatives are introduced that in themselves make the risk landscape more challenging.
  • Low maturity in utility realization. Statistics from the US show that at high maturity in utility realisation, 46% more projects ended up being successful from a benefit perspective.
  • One has not envised the challenges of running day to day business at the same time that the program will require considerable attention from the business. The resource plan for the portfolio is often unclear.
  • The company has not secured internal anchoring from all the parties concerned. Especially important in global businesses.
  • There is no clear idea of dependency between the digitalisation programme and other strategic initiatives and how these will challenge each other with regard to resource scarcity and critical dependencies.
  • Project methodology for the individual programme is not selected based on change strategy

Most businesses have undoubtedly thought these thoughts already, but unfortunately it is not sufficient to only take this "for information", but must be baked into the strategic and operational plans to avoid unnecessary cost consumption and stress in the organization.

And the conclusion? Take advantage of the experiences gained in digitalisation and make sure that the organisation is as prepared as possible for what comes from the aforementioned challenges.