2020 brought the urgency of change in terms of digital transformations and operational excellence. It compelled companies to refocus on their processes and urged them to refocus their organisation’s cultural needs. It has been a hard-hitting year for most companies.
Maneesh Subherwal, Executive Director - Business Transformation, JP Morgan Chase & Co, acknowledges that the pandemic had tested boundaries of resilience, adaptability and culture.
2021: Year of Recovery
2019 PEX Network Report predicted digital transformations in the year 2020. However, the circumstances played out, and digital transformations became a daunting reality for all organisations. The organisations had to gallop into the remote working culture unreadily and digital transformation initiatives to retain their efficiency. PEX Network also conducted a state-of-the-industry survey globally in 2020. It aimed to determine the critical focus of organisations in terms of investment during the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021. Among multiple solutions, the most focused was digital transformations. It was followed by data analytics, business intelligence and cultural transformation.
Maneesh Subherwal elucidated that the digital transformations in 2020 were more about organisational resilience and retention of efficiency than for the sake of futuristic innovations.
Peter Evans, Director - Service and Performance Management for Shared Services LEGO Group, says, “2020 is an interesting year full of surprises, and there has been an increased intensity as well as the maturity of operational excellence in the organisation.”
According to Subherwal, “The year will be divided into two halves, wherein the first half will be margin-oriented. In contrast, the other half will be defined by revenue-enabling business initiatives.”
Dr Tobias S. Witte, Director - Global Project Management and Business Process excellence, Hitachi Vantara, recognises that focusing on process standardisation, optimisation, and simplification will facilitate organisational recovery and improved scalability in moving towards growth. It triggered a lot of businesses to reconsider digitisation and process optimisation.
He also directs the need to explain the significance of business process excellence to business professionals to make a better case.
Evans, who wants to provide their platform to support businesses, also remarked that organisations must make more significant efforts to find pragmatic solutions for the problems presented.
How to Succeed in the ‘Next Normal’
2020 has been a year of change, and one of the most significant changes observed across industries was in the organisational culture. The remote working culture around the year convinced companies to adopt it for the years to come. It also helps companies optimise their real estate and daily operations that were only confined to the office previously.
JP Morgan’s Subherwal exclaims that remote working culture has enabled employees to manage their work-life balance more efficiently now. He also puts forth a valid point that health safety and cyber safety must observe a sizeable cost increase this year. Remote working culture suggested increased productivity and morale of the employees.
Seeking new technological advancements in the business process will be necessary for team cohesiveness. From virtual meeting rooms to improvement events, organisations of all sizes must confer to work as a unit. This will facilitate in the long term growth of the organisation.
Subherwal also talks about navigating the changes in consumer behaviours by continuous experimentation and adaptation. He indicated the need to conduct outcome-driven experiments and leverage design thinking through agile methodologies. He also recognised the need to optimise processes through Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and design thinking centred-around customers.
Anu Pujji, Principal of Operational Excellence at Amazon, also designated the need to build employee and customer engagement as a priority for organisations.
Automation: A Key-Enabler of Remote-Working Strategies
Automation helped businesses to streamline processes and build more resilience.
Kashif Mahbub, Vice President - Product Marketing, Automation Anywhere, regarded automation and digital transformation as the pillars of organisations with a remote working culture.
Dr Witte also agrees to Mahbub and believes business process excellence experts to be enablers for increased automation. The re-engineered and refocused processes can be optimised from their foundation through the help of automation.
Mahbub also talked about cloud-based Robotic process automation growing a sizeable market in 2020 due to the reduced cost of ownership and maintenance.
Sabharwal also pointed out that the digital transformations and automation concerning changes are conducive to the core infrastructural changes in organisations. These infrastructural changes can enable a smoother transformation to digital and help in streamlining the processes.
The experts seemed to agree that 2021 will be an intricate year to retain growth and progress. This year would seem to witness transformations at the core levels driven by AI, Machine Learning skills to build intelligent automation solutions. The businesses can augment holistic growth by adopting an efficient virtual model that integrates all the processes together.