Digital Transformation Trends 2019

Automation And Lessons Learned

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Steven Lerner

The world of digital transformation is constantly is in flux, with new technologies emerging every few months that promise to revolutionize your enterprise. From blockchain to AI to IoT and to the cloud —there are many solutions to choose from.

Making sense out of these new technologies can be quite a task, which is why Enterprise Digitalization put together the Digital Transformation Online Summit. During the digital event, Rob Pretty (Global Service Management Lead at AkzoNobel) and Deepak Subbarao (Digital Transformation Lead at Zurich Insurance) led an important session about trends in digital transformation. The presentations focused on next-generation technologies and case studies.

Focus On Automation

AkzoNobel has a well-established long-term agenda for digital transformation. According to Pretty, the organization is focused on improving task-level activities. It is also heavily invested in process insights, end-to-end accountability, process compliance, end-to-end improvements.

Perhaps the most dominant technological trend within AkzoNobel is the use of automation. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) are seeped into all of its digital transformation plans. More importantly, users throughout the organization are able to use these solutions.

“It’s almost consumer level technology,” said Pretty. “You no longer have to be a data scientist to deploy these technologies.”

The company has had an impressive record with RPA. It uses a third party to help structure RPA deployments and put governance in place. Last year, nine automations went live, and the company is deploying new automations monthly. According to Pretty, to key to AkzoNobel’s RPA success is because it treats the technology as a capability (instead of a project) and it received clear sponsorship from GPOs on all initiatives. In the future, Pretty said the company might also explore a blockchain use case.

During the session, Pretty told attendees that is it important to ensure that governance is right during digital transformation, and to develop skills with users.

Lessons Learned

Zurish Insurance started its journey in 2015, and the company has learned a few things along the way. According to Subbarao, it is important to tell your change story because users are always skeptical about change. The change shouldn’t just focus on cost reduction; there should also be a focus on employees.

Subbarao suggests picking the right KPI that fits in your strategy and using current tools to measure success. Deploying a proven operational model should be one of the main objectives. It is critical to know the value of data because it can lead to new opportunities and help a company make sense of its transformation. Finally, getting quick wins regularly and constant communication are part of the foundation of success.

In terms of key technological trends that are important for digital transformation in 2019, Subbarao believes that mobile apps and using data with emerging technologies are important.

“We are seeing key trends, especially in the AI technologies,” said Subbarao.

Want to learn more about the top digital transformation trends in 2019? Click here to watch the full webinar.