Executive Insight

Digital transformation. It’s a journey that every organization is on, to one extent or another, but few are seeing the promised results of new systems and processes they’ve implemented. Here at Alfresco, we think it comes down to having Digital Flow.

If you’re not seeing the results you expected from your digital transformation efforts, maybe you haven’t reached your flow state. The recently published Alfresco and Forbes eBook gives a great overview of what you can achieve.

Still not convinced? Here are 8 ways Digital Flow can speed you towards a better way of working:

1.     Digital Flow breaks down barriers

Digital Flow looks at things from both a process and an information point of view.

It’s making sure that silos are broken down and all disjointed parts of the organization are working coherently to a common purpose – whether that purpose is servicing customer requests or performing a compliance operation.

Digital Flow is all about connecting the dots inside the organization and making sure it doesn’t operate in silos.

2.    Digital Flow transforms more than just data

I think a common misunderstanding with an idea like Digital Flow is that a lot of people focus on the data – the CRM or the product databases. But there is a lot of information in the form of content and documents.

You can’t just look at certain aspects of your organization, you have to look at it as a whole. Digital Flow helps you understand all your unstructured content and discover how that interacts with your processes.

3.    Digital Flow gives you a wider perspective

Digital Flow and digital transformation are similar concepts. But where digital transformation quite often gets focused on the customer interaction, on the front end, Digital Flow extends way beyond the contact point with the customer, across the whole value chain.

It looks at the customer journey as a whole experience, not just from the website or the mobile phone or the call center. Whatever your entry point is, Digital Flow means working across all the touch points and making sure actions are followed up in a similarly digital manner all the way through the experience.

4.    Digital Flow is a way to plug gaps

Unsuccessful digital transformation means you end up having gaps. And gaps mean two things:

  1. They mean delays. Things get stuck on the way and you get lag on the process. There’s unnecessary frustration, chasing around to make things happen and following through to check if those things did happen.
  2. They create a lot of manual processes. Rather than a system driving an experience, you get things stuck in people’s email inboxes, with attachments that have to be processed and passed on to someone else. It wastes both time and valuable resource.

At the end of the day, gaps also frustrate the customer or the partner (or whoever the third party is) because the experience is not as good or efficient as it could be.

5.     Digital Flow is impartial to customers, suppliers or partners

It’s all part of the same concept. An organization is facing outwards. Facing outwards could be facing customers or it could be facing a supply chain, partners or an external legal group.

Interaction points with whatever sits outside that firewall, need to be digital and efficient.

On the customer side you’ve got the commercial aspects of trying to maintain customer loyalty and develop the relationship.

When it comes to third parties you also want to be flexible. You want to be able to add and remove partners when necessary, to build a fluid ecosystem that meets your needs better. That could be outsourcing parts of your own process or having commercial relationships with a third party.

6.    Digital Flow is a part of every department

It doesn’t start with IT, or the architects. They will have to deal with the implementation side of it, but you need to start from a business perspective.

The design thinking part of Digital Flow says how you do it isn’t relevant. You have to look at the journey of that interaction or that transaction holistically and ask, who is involved? Which departments are required? What is the expected behavior? Is it intuitive?

From there, you deduce what you need and how you orchestrate it. It has to start from the experience in, rather than from an architectural blueprint out.

7.     Digital Flow takes the long term view

If you try to do this from a technology perspective, it becomes too complicated. There are far too many moving parts to create a solution.

Digital transformation doesn’t start or end with technology. It has cultural implications, operational implications, organizational implications. It needs to be a whole business journey.

You need to have different groups accessing different information in different ways. Technology has a key role but it is an enabler, not the driver. The business has to come first.

The commitment and the ownership is more important that the technology implications.

What is also critically important, is that support for Digital Flow change, is built into the design. For Digital Transofrmation to succeed, the systems need to flex and change constantly. They need to adapt to new business models and fast fail cycles.

8.    Digital Flow is a cultural shift more than a technology investment

It’s a question of believing in it, and thinking in a different way by applying design thinking. And then translating that, on the architect’s level, to the open thinking and platform thinking that supports that to be able to deliver it.

Effective digital transformation is simple when you have Digital Flow. To find out where you can begin your journey, download the Forbes eBook.

Leave a comment

  • Sjoerd Alkema

    Very interesting read. This is exactly what the vision is behind our Xillio content integration platform, connecting repositories, apps and services. Free your content and let it flow!

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