Making resolutions for the year ahead is a time-honored tradition. Whether you are a goal-chaser who religiously checks off each resolution, or the one who just likes to follow the tradition, there’s no better time to reflect on the past year and plan for the next.
Here are seven resolutions you should make (and keep) to ensure business success in 2021:
- Modernize, digitize, and optimize!
Enterprises with robust digitization initiatives were able to adapt quickly to the unexpected in 2020. The same companies will stand out in 2021, as they are able to work more productively, and from remote locations, seize opportunities faster, and exceed customer expectations by finding new ways to personalize engagement.
After a year of instability and uncertainty, companies are also looking for ways to optimize expenses. Automating your processes, empowering your employees to build applications in-house, and migrating your operations to the cloud are just some of the ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
- Invest in security
Information security is paramount for enterprises across industries. And for good reason! The sheer amount of data available to enterprises today is unprecedented. You must invest in new-age technologies to strengthen your defence, improve risk management, and ensure remote and secure data access while complying with regulatory requirements.
Tap into blockchain capabilities to encrypt your data and stay vigilant to avoid security breaches.
- Increase engagement with your customers
This goes beyond soliciting feedback from your customers after a transaction. Leverage social media and modern technologies to be where your customers are and to monitor their sentiments, needs, and complaints. Ensure meaningful responses and anytime-anywhere engagement with your customers in channels of their choice.
- Use data to your advantage
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of data available to your enterprise. Data can prove to be your best friend if you leverage analytical tools to glean meaning from the available information and foster a culture of data-driven decision making across your organization. The time is now to use modern technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning to further simplify and optimize your day-to=day operations .
- Keep the learning going
Whether you choose to learn something business-related or pick up a completely unrelated skill, be intentional about enhancing your capabilities (and that of your employees!). Invite industry experts to talk about relevant issues, take a cooking class with your team, or introduce gamification—by trying something new, you can build team camaraderie and add value to your organization.
- Take stock of your operations
Don’t just make do with broken processes—identify what’s working and what’s not. Use reporting and analytical tools to assess vulnerabilities, optimize processes, and eliminate inefficiencies. Remember, disjointed processes end up hurting your employee productivity and customer experience.
- Give back to your community
Your company is inherently driven by its core values, so tap into those sentiments and find meaningful ways to give back to your community. Search for mentorship, volunteering, or donation opportunities that reflect your company’s mission!
So, tackle the projects you’ve been putting off, patch up those pesky business gaps, and keep your resolutions to make this year the best yet for your enterprise!
Low code, which emerged onto the technology scene in 2014, has taken the application development market by storm. Enterprises across all industries are rapidly adopting low code solutions, especially following the unprecedented demand for digitization in 2020as a result of COVID-19. A recent Gartner survey estimated that by 2024, more than 65% of application development will be done on low code platforms and 75% for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives.
The real question is, beyond achieving their initial digital goals, what else can organizations do with their low code investment?
Practical Application: Understanding the Scope of Low Code
Imagine you’ve successfully purchased and implemented a low code solution, investing a significant amount of money and time into achieving your digital goals. What can you do to make sure your success isn’t just a one-time thing?
Especially at a time when most organizations are thinking about cost efficiency and practical efficacy, you must consider ways to scale your low code solution and increase your ROI.
While there are countless ways to maximize your investment, here are five proven approaches:
- Drive standardization through rapid application delivery
The rapid application delivery capabilities of a low code solution are integral to large-scale digitization, standardization, and governance. The ability to quickly develop applications enables data access and integrity, privacy, security, integration, and more. By quickly developing applications and updates, you can set a standard model for workflows and execute processes in a uniform way across different parts of the organization. You can even incorporate feedback from current users to develop quick fixes for future projects
- Optimize results through integration
Avoid building all your applications and workflows natively using your low code platform. Instead, seamlessly integrate with other tools and technologies to fill business gaps and specific requirements that your low code solution cannot address. Maximizing external tools enhances the overall productivity of your operations and eliminates the need to expend your resources on building a similar tool internally
- Use the right mix of technologies
To ensure that you are getting the maximum return on your low code investment, you must use an appropriate mix of technologies, rather than relying on a single tool. Think of ways to incorporate a variety of new-age technologies into your operations, especially the more complex processes. Strategically augment your low code solution by implementing robotic process automation, dynamic case management, rules and decisioning engines, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more
- Capitalize on citizen developers
Tap into your non-IT talent and expand their skillset by training them to use your low code development tools to create applications and updates. Share the IT team’s workload with your citizen developers, allowing your IT to merely oversee application development and focus on more complex issues. Additionally, commit to creating a community platform, like a developer forum, to quickly collaborate with all types of developers on best practices, ideas, and resources
- Respond to the unexpected
Quickly respond to unforeseen changes, problems, requirements, and more by leveraging the agility and scalability of your low code platform. Create a customized solution for any business need, without sacrificing on speed or quality. Deliver results within days, or even hours, rather than waiting months for application and workflow updates
The future is, unequivocally, based on low code. And as we continue to navigate the unprecedented in 2021, it is imperative that you optimize your investment and get a bang for your buck!
“Visibility without value is vanity” – Bernard Kelvin Clive
It’s simple. To do things, you need to be able to see them. This is true for every enterprise regardless of its size and industry.
Let me share one of my observations!
I often come across business leaders who are confident of their streamlined processes, the operational cycle that requires minimal downtime, the quality control team which ensures that their products are up to the set standards. In simple words – they are well-placed in the business world. Hang on, this is what they think without identifying and realizing the gaps in the end-to-end processes.
The decision-makers must understand that despite having streamlined operations, the key lies in looking at processes holistically to avoid any kind of disconnect.
Unveiling Various Aspects
- Comprehensive Dashboard: Think of your procurement operations, if it is a global enterprise, how do you wish to track each stage of your procurement process?
The solution can be a dashboard that can report and monitor your complete enterprise spend in real-time while notifying the right stakeholders.
- Spend Management: From an enterprise perspective, is the shared service center (SSC) or global in-house center (GIC) taking charge of your procurement process? Does this department control your procurements across multiple entities, countries, currencies and legal regulations? Let’s investigate the spend management module in your enterprise today.
•Do you have visibility into the overall enterprise spend?
• Is there an alignment between your enterprise spend and the estimated budget?
• Are you able to leverage your existing IT platform to capture business requirements?
• Have you been able to identify risks related to supplier relationships and have you defined ways to mitigate those risks?
Remember, an enterprise’s budgeting and forecasting trends are deeply connected with the procurement operations. Spend management investigates the cash outflow of an enterprise. However, ‘maverick spending’ a.k.a ‘rogue spending’ is where most of the enterprise’s deviation from the budget forecast comes into the scene. Maverick spending is the purchase that’s made outside of agreed contracts. And, there’s deviation because most of the purchase is done outside the system and the associated costs are mostly accounted under contingencies. These costs are very much unmanaged and non-compliant to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and could have various legal consequences.
- The Priority of Transactions: Also, your procurement professionals are highly focused on the high-value transactions, thus they tend to leave the low-value transactions to the respective departments. This, in turn, would have an impact on the financial position of the enterprise.
To avoid the issues that might impact your procurement operations in terms of the siloed application landscape and rogue spending, you must leverage a digital automation platform that can monitor your costs and facilitate you with a comprehensive dashboard for end-to-end process visibility . Furthermore, the platform allows enterprises to focus on evolving business requirements and changing regulatory compliance. This digital automation platform, with low code capability, also helps in automating simple departmental functions to complex enterprise-wide solutions, enabling business speed and agility.
Choosing the right platform is key to bridge organizational silos for achieving better process visibility and delivering a superior customer experience.
Do you track the number of notifications and alerts you receive daily? As customers, we receive multiple notifications from our service providers.
- Banks send account transactions, monthly statements, service updates, new schemes and offers, etc.
- Insurers share policy renewal reminders, payment reminders, new policy issuance notifications, etc.
- Telecom providers send us monthly bills, payment reminders, new plans, etc.
- Utility players send invoice details or other regulatory information
- And the list goes on.
Aren’t such notifications the most common interactions an organization has with its consumers? And yet, they do not contribute anything to a customer’s experience. They just serve an informational purpose.
According to a study, 95% of transactional communications are opened and read each month as they contain important financial information and usually require action. With such a high click and conversion rate, it is imperative for organizations to create a WOW experience for users through these notifications. Not only would this help organizations build confidence in their customers, but it would also help them gain an edge over their competitors.
With a modern customer communication management (CCM) suite, businesses can revamp these notifications to gain customer loyalty.
Following are some ways in which CCM can help in delivering customer delight:
CCM can send notifications through multiple channels such as SMS, email, WhatsApp, push notifications, or through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These channels can be decided by building intelligent rules based on a customer’s preferences, demographics, or channel usage.
- Links to Access/Download Documents
It would save a considerable amount of time if people could access relevant documents along with the concerned notification. Consider a customer receiving a notification about his account statement. A link can be shared through SMS or WhatsApp which opens the statement in a responsive HTML format right on his phone screen, and further gives the option to download a PDF version. He no longer needs to go to the website or mobile app, thereby saving time and creating a wonderful experience.
- Enclosed Media with Notifications
CCM allows you to send images and documents along with app notifications, turning a mundane message into an attractive one. It provides the perfect opportunity for up-selling or cross-selling products and can inform customers about any ongoing offers and promotions.
CCM suite enables businesses to track each communication sent to consumers on multiple channels. It also analyzes consumer action by monitoring open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates across multiple channels. This enables businesses to get a 360-degree view of all the notifications sent from different departments and their respective responses received from the customers.
It is important to treat these notifications as an opportunity to establish a personalized and long-lasting relationship with your customer. An effective CCM suite can go a long way in enhancing your brand image and delivering a superior customer experience.
The importance of robust processes and high-level security in managing organizational records and data cannot be overstated, especially for government organizations. Governmental organizations require various security and access control functionalities in order to ensure compliance with corporate information security guidelines. Further, they require records managers to aggregate records from multiple channels while adhering to dynamic guidelines and compliances.
A records manager facilitates document acquisition from multiple sources while arranging them in a predefined, hierarchical file plan—indexing, archiving, searching, and maintaining the integrity of the records by not allowing any sort of modifications to documents, marked as records. They also work to define filing and retention rules to keep records active for a stipulated period, including rules for naming, storage, and hierarchy management, among others.
Such detail-driven and complex records management processes are nearly impossible when executed manually, especially with the sheer volume of incoming records within government organizations. Digitizing and automating the records management process is the key to sustaining a high quality of work, without sacrificing efficiency, security, or compliance.
Digital is No Longer Optional—It’s Imperative!
Take, for example, the custodian of national records and heritage need to digitize the operations of all government entities related to the archives to build a modern records management system. To successfully execute this vision across all the government agencies and entities with governmental stake, the custodian will have to define the regulatory guidelines and standards, to be adopted within a pre-determined time period.
For organizations like these, digitization is truly the only way forward. In an increasingly digital and technologically-forward world, they must be prepared to deal with documents and data in any format—be it analog or digital. Perhaps more importantly, governmental organizations, have a responsibility to maintain comprehensive and secure records, to easily manage those records as needed, and to remain on the cutting edge.
That means going digital.
Bumps in the Road to Digital
Digital places a variety of demands on government organizations, making it a challenge to fulfill requirements in time for compliance. Furthermore, adhering to a long-term vision requires organizations to look beyond compliance requirements, at the future impact of immediate steps.
Some of the specific challenges faced by governmental organizations include:
- Unique compliance items, each with its comprehensive requirements
- Managing electronic and physical records using the same platform
- Managing metadata continuously across any record’s lifecycle
- Maintaining information per the standard guidelines
- Balancing user experience against system complexity and compliance requirements
- Updating the system in the future based on new, and continuously changing, retention schedules
- Maintaining information security across various systems
Looking to the Horizon
While the goal for compliance is a short-term requirement, it is important to understand the long-term vision for digitizing records and correspondences by:
- Treating information as an asset and exercising tight control of the record’s end-to-end lifecycle, from creation to disposition (and archival), to ensure integrity and accountability
- Ensuring that processes, as well as end-products (records, documents, correspondences), are digital, for effective governance and visibility
- Making all records accessible, given the requisite authorizations, to immediate stakeholders, the broader community, and other departments and agencies
- Building a system that is not only sustainable and scalable, but also secure and compliant with the applicable standards
The Path to Digital
Record managers and policy administrators can define the lifecycle of physical and electronic records within their system. The system then facilitates, (1) the definition of rules for the tracking and movement of records across users and, (2) the setting of rules for record archival and final destruction. To progress down the path of digitizing their records management process, organizations must move through certain stages:
- Getting ready
- Define their strategic and operational plans
- Examine the organization’s records, inventory, and taxonomy
- Assess the policies and processes pertaining to records management
- Establish retention schedules and disposition requirements
- Making it happen
- Establish a technology platform with digital capabilities
- Implement end-to-end digital records management by leveraging a robust platform
- Moving beyond compliance
- Embrace the future with extensible records management
- Leverage cutting-edge technologies
- Scale and build adoption capabilities
Speeding into the Future
Digitization of national and state records is a critical achievement. However, it is more apt to consider it a series of ongoing steps, rather than a concrete milestone. These steps will continue indefinitely to achieve an efficient, secure, connected, and cutting-edge government ecosystem.
The end of the year is the time to reflect on the past year and to plan for the year ahead. So, amid all the predictions and upcoming trends, here are our top 3 picks that you should consider while driving digital in 2020.
Low Code for Business Speed
Digital requires you to be faster. However, the time spent in translating business needs to business applications sets you back. This is where a low code automation platform comes to the rescue. The platform allows citizen developers to easily develop applications, reducing their dependence on IT. Further, it supports a variety of business needs across mobile apps, workflows, transactional apps, collaboration tools, rules-centric apps, document and content management, data extraction and interpretation, and so on.
Increase your Focus on Customers and their Journeys
Your customers, both internal and external, expect personalized, contextual and responsive experience irrespective of the time, place or channel. One of the reasons most enterprises struggle to achieve digital is because they don’t automate the end-to-end operational processes that underpin customer journeys.
2020 would require you to increase your focus on your customers, their overall journeys with the organization and the processes supporting it. Technologies in intelligent digital automation (BPM) can help by bringing your people, processes, systems, and things together. It offers a consolidated view of customer information and enables you to deliver an omnichannel experience throughout the customer journey.
Choose the Right Technology
With various technology options to choose from, it becomes difficult to identify what your business really needs. To help you make the right decision, here is a snapshot of what to expect from these cutting-edge technologies:
- Robotic process automation (RPA): A good option to consider if you are looking to automate your mundane tasks and free up your employees’ bandwidth for more constructive work. Using it along with intelligent digital automation enables end-to-end process automation while allowing for continuous process improvement.
- Digital Sensing and Machine Learning: This is your best bet as it taps your customer needs and connects you with them across multiple channels. Further, it analyzes customer sentiments and helps you drive meaningful conversations.
- Analytics: With a torrent of information being produced, which will continue to increase, analytics can help you figure out what, why and how while making the most of untapped opportunities.
- Mobility: For best results, you need to leverage a mobility framework that banishes all kinds of disconnects. Building mobile apps alone would not help. Opt for a framework that breaks silos, integrates mobile processes with back-end systems, and offers a collaborative mobile environment.
Well, these are our top picks. And, as the year unfolds, many new trends will emerge and many would discontinue. One thing is certain that digital transformation is not an end goal but a journey that requires you to be fast, customer-centric and ahead of the curve.