Gregoire de Clercq, EMEA Marketing Director, Kodak Alaris Information Management, tells Intelligent CIO what he believes are the current barriers to digital transformation in the Middle East and how these can be overcome.
Digital transformation begins with information capture. In a published IDC white paper, sponsored by Kodak Alaris Information Management (Information Capture: Cornerstone of Digital Transformation), IDC reports that digitising, automating, and optimising document workflows offer compelling benefits to organisations, including, on average, a 35% reduction in costs, 42% reduction in paper documents, and a 52% reduction in errors. Manual processes present an unnecessary hurdle to creating transparency and efficiency for organisations. Any paper-based process such as a loan request or driver’s license application must be digitised to facilitate sharing and reduce risk. Digital capture of paper documents is an essential first step toward achieving this.
There are five common challenges I’ve seen when organisations in Middle East adopt new technologies as part of their Digital Transformation roadmap.
- Selecting the right technology
Don’t just buy it because it’s new or to imitate others. Too many investments in technology fail because it is not the right solution or the right fit to address the needs of the business. Organisations should research any new tech they are considering thoroughly to ensure it’s the right fit before buying.
- Integrating the technology
New technology must be integrated into current business processes and workflows to drive the desired benefit. Buying new technology is not enough. After purchase, existing systems and procedures need to be adjusted to incorporate the new technology in a way that limits disruption and the need for additional training, while still taking advantage of all the capabilities the new tech has to offer.
- Putting people at the centre
Getting buy-in from employees is critical. Too often, new technology is understood by IT or Operations only. Some employees love learning how to use new technology. Others resent moving from familiar systems and processes. For new technology to be successful, it’s critical to win over the staff that need to use it. Ideally, you can help them see the benefits before it’s deployed.
- Ongoing training and support
Because training is expensive, some businesses get cold feet when it comes to offering it after spending so much on new technology. But training is required so employees can get the most out of the new technology. In most cases, this can’t be sorted in one or two webinars or a few presentations. Just because the new tech is like something they have used before, or claims to be user-friendly it does not negate the need for training.
- Back-loop process
For many projects linked to new technology, organisations forget to review their business case, or analyse the data the new systems generate; therefore, they fail to recognise actions that need to be taken to keep the project on track. Monitoring data and progress can seem tiresome and unnecessary. But monitoring data on a new technology investment is the most efficient way to measure progress toward goals.