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Question Everything You Know about Your Business Processes

business processes

There may have been a time when an organization’s automation strategy was defined primarily by siloed, ad hoc, and task-based workflows. Now, however, the most effective and impactful initiatives require business leaders to ask bigger, more challenging questions beyond simply what tasks can be automated and the ROI on cost reduction. Here is how to question everything you know about your business processes.

Successful digital transformation in today’s landscape necessitates leaders having a better picture of how things are working interconnectedly and how users are truly operating within the process boundaries to be enhanced and improved universally to improve customer outcomes.

True digital transformation does not simply digitize analog processes. It’s about integrating intelligence into business-critical processes across every facet of your business and engagement. As more companies realize they need to become digitally intelligent in a new era of digital-first consumers, accelerated automation adoption, and advancements in technology, organizations will benefit from adopting a more holistic approach to transforming their business.

Question the Status Quo

Questioning how things have always been done enables business leaders to find more effective ways to drive results.

Every business process within your organization contains an opportunity to improve outcomes, revitalize customer experiences, fix inefficiencies, or find new service opportunities for revenue generation. Here are three questions that business leaders need to ask to unlock opportunity and advance digital transformation initiatives that have the greatest impact.

  1. Do you really know your process workflows?

By their very nature, highly manual processes, such as inputting invoice data or new customer information, are prone to human error and oversight. In highly regulated industries, such as financial services and insurance, this can be problematic and can contribute to increased risk and decreased compliance. Likewise, in healthcare, inefficient processes can lead to negative patient outcomes.

Understand processes.

Understanding your processes and pinpointing potential vulnerabilities is a good first step to take before deploying automation initiatives. Then, leveraging the right solutions to automate important processes intelligently.

Negotiations

These processes include all such negotiations as mortgage and credit card applications, account opening, and business loan applications helps organizations minimize inefficiencies and inaccuracies, therefore helping facilitate improved internal and regulatory compliance.

Machine Learning

With advances in machine learning and predictive analytics technology, you can understand exactly which processes are ripe for transformation, not just automated, to drive real change. Process Intelligence is a form of process mining and discovery that provides granular insight into an organization’s ecosystem of processes and behaviors, enabling you to pinpoint opportunities for operational improvement.

Understanding how your processes are truly performing — down to knowing each worker’s performance – is indispensable to successfully deploy automation initiatives that deliver business results and accelerate tangible improvements.

  1. Are you accessing business-critical information?

You’d be surprised if you look close enough to how much paper (and fax) still exists in some processes. Those that are heavily paper-based can slow mission-critical workflows and negatively impact customer experience.

Likewise, valuable information is locked away in siloed systems. Various digital formats such as email correspondence, PDF, fax, and EDI can prevent you from having the right informatito make informed business decisions quicklyons.

Transform Content Centric Processes

Supercharge Growth

To supercharge growth and enhance profitability, organizations need to digitize and streamline content-heavy processes.

Digital

Digitizing, transforming, and automating customer forms, invoices, receipts, onboarding documents, application forms, claim submissions, and account documents can help lower administrative costs, reduce time to invoice and provide customers quicker service.

Data

When it comes to transformation projects, leveraging the right data and then sharing that data with key systems and stakeholders can be the difference between failure or success for meeting KPIs, service-level agreements, and other business outcomes.

  1. Are you getting the most out of your automation investment?

Optimizing and automating the right processes can significantly reduce costs and strengthen competitive advantage.

However, by themselves, automation platforms can only do so much, and in fact, many projects stall or fail. That’s because most automation platforms now employ software robots, which have a hard time understanding unstructured data and will repeat poorly designed workflows.

Intelligence Leveraging

Leveraging intelligence capabilities driven by OCR, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies can turn hard to process unstructured data into actionable information.

The knowledge gained is then ready for automation platforms such as robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM), customer relationship management (CRM), and electronic resource planning (ERP).

Process intelligence capabilities can identify process bottlenecks or variances and recommend the best workflows for optimal efficiency.

Raising Your Organization’s Digital Intelligence

When organizations re-think the way they have traditionally approached digital transformation projects, they unlock opportunities to strengthen and revitalize their business.

Asking the right questions and leveraging the right technology enables organizations to transform critical operations and turn the vast amount of data into a wealth of meaningful, actionable information.

Automation isn’t the end goal but rather a vehicle for achieving better business outcomes.

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HR Automation – The Way to Ensure Stable Business Growth

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We are living in the age of technology and innovation. Traditional processes and workflows have become outdated. Operations and process models are being reinvented to increase cost-effectiveness. However, not all businesses are adapting to the revolutionized business process, which results in increased costs, a lack of efficiency, and halted growth. Outdated processes end up damaging your business and cause loss of customers.

First and foremost, you need to consider which processes add value to the foundation of your business. To your employees. Businesses often focus on acquiring and retaining clients and customers, all the while neglecting HR processes. This works well initially, but as organizations grow, problems due to lack of process start piling up.

HR management is one of the key pillars of any business.HR processes ensure the recruitment of new employees, training professionals, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws.

Today automation is becoming part of a continuous transformation of HR processes. The main task is to release department employees from routine work, digitize the paper processes, and leave more time for planning and strategy. Thus, business reduces costs and time spent on previously inefficient HR processes.

By automating human resources management, organizations can quickly design, optimize, integrate, and implement the required services at a significantly lower cost. With the right implementation, HR automation can bring indispensable perks.

Just check out some benefits of HR automation:

  • Increased productivity through rapid data processing and sharing
  • Reduction of staff turnover due to increased employee involvement
  • Reduced storage and printing costs associated with paper processing
  • Stay away from the risk of non-compliance or policy violations.
  • Increase organizational growth through effective recruitment at optimal operating costs

It is necessary to identify the most vulnerable spots in the HR workflow accurately to reach these benefits. Typically, the most critical aspects are:

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1. Onboarding

Integrating an employee into all work processes is still one of the most “manualâ€� HR processes. It includes verification, providing access to new employees’ tools, raising requests for devices, and much more. Due to the software, even such processes may be automated.

The onboarding software for employees offers a simple checklist to which all users involved in the process can refer. In a few hours, the new employee will have access to corporate standards, all the essential documents will be delivered just in time to the mail, and maintenance specialists will equip his workspace remotely.

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2. Time Tracking and Vacation requests

In short, manual time tracking is ineffective. Time tracking software automatically marks when an employee is in and out of work, allowing the manager to track how many hours an employee has spent on a particular task and evaluate its effectiveness. HR processes become more organized, rapid, and efficient.

Vacation approval documents are the headache of any HR manager. Preparing financial documents, coordinating with supervisors, and calculating salaries manually slows down the process. With the automated leave management process, all this can be done automatically, without getting stuck in someone’s mailbox.

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3. Assessment

Assessment is a permanent HR process that monitors, measures, and analyzes an employee’s performance concerning business goals. The software allows ensuring repeatable quality and increasing professionalism of each employee in the long perspective.

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4. Exit interviews

Exit interviews play an important role in increasing staff involvement. However, exit interviews conducted on paper and manually are tedious, time-consuming, and inefficient. By automating the Exit interview process, enterprises can recognize potential problems and derive data that can be used to improve retention rates.

The most crucial issue is what spot of HR activity should be transformed into your company and how? What software requirements should be adjusted specially to your business needs and company growth opportunities?

It is even more complicated to take actions to digitize each area of HR activity without unnecessary spinning for both department personnel and employees of the whole company.

However, if you expect us to tell you how to automate your HR department in a few clicks, we have to disappoint you. We do not possess a universal solution for automating your HR processes. Each business is unique.

To create the right software, a digital transformation consultant needs to be part of your business. We are ready to be involved in the process. Due to the fact that only the right software gives the right result.

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What COVID-19 Taught Us About Digital Transformation

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COVID-19 is one of the most devastating crises in at least two past decades that has had ruinous business operations. It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has hit the economy harder than the 2008 financial crisis. COVID has also turned 2020 into a tragic year for the majority of businesses, except those that embraced digital initiatives.  Here is what COVID-19 taught us about digital transformation.

Digital operations on an online platform.

When a business is literally transformed digitally and can accomplish all operations on online platforms, regardless of the size and scope, a health crisis like coronavirus has nothing to do with it. In the same way, its destructive effects are minimized, but it may also even cause significant growth. 

Being digitally transformed during a crisis means having a framework to run business stuff without lowering the bar if employees can’t be physically present at the office. This includes flawless communication between employees, accomplishing tasks, managing customers and their engagement, meeting the market requirements and managing projects.

Since every crisis that hits business environments has some lessons to take, the coronavirus brought some good lessons about the importance of digital transformation for businesses when an unprecedented crisis is coming close.  

Let’s see what COVID-19 can teach us about digital transformation.

1. Digital Transformation Is About People, Not the Technology

When it comes to digital transformation, most people think it’s going to be about technologies and tools. It is true, in a sense, but COVID-19 proved that people must take precedence over technology. Transforming people to use digital tools in a chaotic situation is often underrated, and most organizations prioritize adopting digital tools rather than training people. Bear in mind: the people drive digital transformation forward. 

The first step toward implementing a digital transformation strategy is to change people’s mindsets and change their outlook on technology. They need to understand how their routine work will vary by tech-driven tools and how they can make the most of it for being productive and do more in less time. The managers need to draw up the bigger picture for employees and tell them how to rely on digital initiatives during a crisis. 

The second step is to hone the skills and invest in talents. Developing skills and employees’ abilities will help organizations aim for more data-centric initiatives, maximize digital transformation effectiveness, and minimize the possibility of error. 

2. Non-digital Businesses Are Extremely Vulnerable Against a Threat

At the outset of coronavirus, traditional businesses were confused about operating without a physical location or managing their market and customers. At the same time, they are locked in the home. The old-fashioned business model is not applicable when most people rely on their smartphones more than ever, and it just widens the digital gap. 

Newspapers, food and beverage, and in-store shopping are among the industries that have suffered most from COVID-19 impacts, and their business model makes them extremely vulnerable against future threats.  On the other hand, tech-driven businesses can turn every crisis into an opportunity for growth, and while reducing costs, they also increase the revenue. 

Coronavirus is not the first health crisis against human beings and will certainly not be the last. Even in the post-pandemic era, it’s hard for most people to get back to their pre-pandemic behaviors. The lifespan and revenue in post-pandemic times depend on whether it has adopted digital technologies or it wants to continue with old methods. 

3. Businesses Need to Accelerate Digital Transformation Initiatives

The COVID-19 highlighted the fact that the future of business is digital, and at times of uncertainty, only digital initiatives can drive the business forward. While some organizations are still lacking at implementing or accelerating their digital transformation due to the crisis, others are using the current chaotic situation to change the business model and empower departments with digital initiatives.

Recovering from coronavirus impacts requires businesses to accelerate adopting digitalization and look at digital touchpoints to meet customers’ demands. 

There has never been a better time than now to start proactively with tech-driven innovations. According to McKinsey & Company, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, 92 percent of surveyed organizations thought they needed to digitize their business model. 

CEOs need to move the digital transformation from the piloting stage to trial use and then actively use it in business operations. Such a transformation must happen at the core of the business and organizational culture. 

There is no denying that deploying a digital strategy at a large-scale will be a complicated process, requires too much effort to put into it, and won’t happen overnight. But for those looking for sustainable growth and seeking to keep business alive in future storms, there is no plan B. Long-term investment in digital transformation will definitely play out if done correctly.  

4. Significant Potentials for Adopting Digital Transformation Remained Untapped

Amazon’s revenue skyrocketed in the coronavirus pandemic, and demands for digital content helped Netflix to add more than 10 million paid subscribers thanks to the lockdown. Likewise, online services experienced huge growth in demands and customers. 

Despite all the damage, one good aspect of COVID-19 was that it made businesses rethink their potentials to adopt digital transformation. Before the pandemic, some executives believed their organization has no capacity to grow through digital. They can’t rely on digital channels to either meet the market requirements or manage in-office tasks remotely. 

Digital transformation can open up new horizons toward the businesses and make them aware of untapped potential to rise above their current position. Every organization, in any industry with any size, has some untapped potential for using digital initiatives. They just need to overcome the fears of change and see the bigger picture. 

Designing a roadmap, training employees, changing business models and culture, hiring new talents, and using third-party partners are steps needed to be taken by executives to implement a successful digital strategy within the organization. 

Image Credit: cottonbro; pexels

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Growth in Digital Payments Spur Credit Card Services

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The entire digital payments landscape has faced significant structural changes over the last few years and keeps growing as a valuable payment option for shoppers worldwide. Now, with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus causing operational adjustments everywhere, more companies are adopting global payment solutions to fuel growth and remain profitable. 

As companies continue to digitize their operations, online shopping is becoming more accessible to consumers. As a result, the global credit card processing industry is expected to experience steady growth due to a rise in digital payments. 

Read on to learn about how global credit card services are expected to grow thanks to the rise in digital payments.

Begin Accepting Credit & Debit Cards

Utilizing global credit card processing services empowers your small business to accept credit and debit cards. With e-commerce sales surging, there has never been a better time to begin accepting credit cards, a widely favored form of consumer payment and essential for doing business online. 

Accepting credit cards legitimizes your business, boosts your sales and improves your cash flow. It may also encourage impulse buying for online shoppers, which in turn helps increase revenue and average transaction value. 

When you use global merchant services, you can eliminate the risk of accepting a bad check while simultaneously increasing convenience for your customers. Purchasing global merchant account services will set your business up for greater success by offering your customers the convenience of credit, debit, and online payments. 

Attract Foreign Customers

Purchasing global credit card processing services also helps online businesses effectively attract foreign customers. Across the globe, online payment solutions are consistently becoming the preferred way for customers to shop. 

Using global credit card processing services, you can manage currency exchange, tax compliance, foreign standards, and language support. By addressing this demand, you can attract new customers in other countries, expand your business into a truly global enterprise, and manage compliance standards. 

Remain Ahead of Competitors through Digital Payments

Working alongside global credit card processing service providers can help your small business consistently remain ahead of the competition. Whether you are operating a small brick and mortar business, an online e-commerce company, or a large conglomerate, you undoubtedly already know that it’s essential to strategically plan how to stay ahead of competitors.

With a global merchant account, you can set the bar for competitors in your market space. These solutions allow you to expand your online presence, attract foreign competitors, and offer services that your competitors do not. 

Options: Offer Alternative Digital Payments

Global credit card processing solutions let you offer alternative payment options to your customers. When purchasing products online, consumers want and expect a choice. Global merchant solutions deliver the flexibility to provide a variety of payments and alternatives. 

Once equipped, these processing services allow you to accept alternatives such as mobile wallets, smartphone payments, and direct bank transfers. Other advanced options are even able to process transactions using digital cryptocurrencies. These advanced global merchant account solutions expand the choices you can offer to your valued customers. 

Scale Your Business

Most business owners realize how important it is that their companies continue to grow. In fact, for your business to remain successful, you need to fuel dynamic and consistently robust growth. Global credit card processing solutions can help you do just that. 

Accepting credit cards optimizes your checkout procedures and makes your services more accessible to your customers. It’s one of the easiest ways to ensure your business is thriving, and it’s especially effective in growing your business during an ongoing health crisis like COVID. 

As the digital landscape continues to grow, businesses are integrating global merchant account solutions in order to improve productivity. They’re looking to enhance shopper convenience and fuel business growth. When properly installed, global digital payments are a relatively inexpensive business resource. Even better, these systems can be set up relatively quickly and easily. 

Once installed, online businesses can utilize these solutions to effectively attract foreign customers. At the same time, global merchant accounts empower you. They help you outpace the competition and offer a more convenient, pleasant customer experience. The result is a more consistent rate of growth for your business. 

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The Digital Era and Global Lockdown: See How These Industries Evolved

digital era global lockdown

The recent turbulence of Coronavirus made all of us rethink business life. Many industries have started incorporating profound transformation to overcome the recession. The metamorphosis includes day-to-day operations to the business processes of vital importance. Businesses have even started closing new deals with clients at online meetings. Companies have been forced to turn all of these lockdown challenges into a complex change. 

EVEN DURING LOCKDOWN — SUCCESS

All industries are now interrelated. Small businesses, medium-sized ventures, and international enterprises in different niches are actively rethinking operateions and how to address customer needs during the Coronavirus recession.

Companies exchange business survival tips and digital transformation practices across all the industries not to let their businesses fade away during this period but to give them a boost to innovate and enter the new digital economy.

How has the business world evolved throughout the Coronavirus challenges?

Every industry has experienced the change in its own particular way, and we are all watching the global process under the magnifying glass. 

Digital Transformation in Banking

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The Coronavirus has exposed banking to many challenges of digital transformation. Banks all over the globe have started incorporating digital banking and motivating their customers to switch all of their operations to the online mode.

While mobile banking has been just a competitive advantage for commercial banks before, it has become the ultimate survival requirement today.

In the context of COVID-19, banks try to keep their customers safe, educating them on how to make contactless payments, use remote channels, and leverage digital tools to manage their finances and complete transactions.

Even though mobile banking apps, web portals, and budget tracking tools might seem to be common to many customers in the modern world, a significant part of them has remained unfamiliar with them. 

So, in the new normal, banks have become counterparts performing the role of digital educators for their customers and raising the overall tech literacy and acceptance of the digital economy. 

“If global leadership is able to rise to the occasion, then this pandemic offers a great opportunity to digitally transform our societies and economies. After all, how many physical meetings do you really need when digital connectivity is accessible and reliable?” – Dr. Wei Kiong Tan, CEO of TechTIQ Solutions, an IT and digital consulting company.

On the other hand, banks try to give their customers psychological relief by promoting full transparency and clarity in financial processes. They also play a significant role in easing distress by offering loyalty programs, extending credits, and providing more personalized recommendations via virtual assistants.

Addressing New Customer Needs in the Food and Beverage Industry

Photo by Xavi Cabrera; Unsplash

The lockdown has created extreme conditions for the food and beverage industry. Food brands have met many challenges related to closed production utilities, reduced labor forces, and fewer product sales in the markets across the globe.

Businesses have also faced a drastic change of customer needs from health-conscious shopping to a stay-at-home and preparation mindset.

The essential requirements for food brands and restaurants have changed along with customer eating habits and the rising demand for delivery services.

All these factors have dictated the new market rules for food and beverage companies. To stay competitive, they have had to build a robust online presence; that’s why we have witnessed the decreasing demand for website development. But the mobile app development services have exploded, as more people are using apps under quarantine.

Food ordering and delivery apps have become particularly popular today.

In response to COVID-19, food brands have started providing new services and offerings for customers, including free delivery, discounts, sales, and even online cooking workshops.

Many brands have also rethought their marketing by switching it from offline to an online mode, humanizing their messaging by adding more empathy and cheering customers up with the fun content on social media. 

Building Resilience in Healthcare 

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COVID-19 has become one of the most powerful accelerators of digital transformation in different industries. Healthcare is not an exception.

Due to the long queues of people who think they may have the COVID-19, healthcare facilities have started accepting digital innovations to automate plenty of processes and move part of the patient care into an online mode. 

Telehealth has become the first step to healthcare digitalization.

It is the answer for most of the doctors’ concerns about remote patient monitoring, instructing patients on how to conduct self-assessment, screening patients with symptoms of the Coronavirus, managing patients’ data, and staying in touch with other hospitals.

We can also notice the increasing demand for branded healthcare apps, medical online platforms, cloud-based patient data management systems, ERPs, and innovative online tools for more automated healthcare services.

Digital transformation has knocked on the doors of many hospitals to help them to cope with huge volumes of data, manage patient queues, provide full patient engagement, and educate them on how to conduct self-service.

The challenging times make us accelerate digital transformation to overcome today’s challenges. However, they also help us build a better healthcare future for everyone’s benefit.

Navigating the Impact on Retail

Photo by Arturo Rey; Unsplash

Retail has been significantly affected by the Coronavirus situation too. According to Digital Commerce 360, 36% of retailers said they adjusted their marketplace strategy as a result of COVID-19.

Nearly a quarter of sellers, altered advertising, customer acquisition and marketing strategies since the COVID-19 crisis began

Although many retail brands have already had their own eCommerce versions, many of them have been forced to adjust to the lockdown and create their online presence for the first time.

A website has become an obligatory part of a businesses presence in the new normal.

A functioning website has become the medium between the brand and its customers, letting them keep the sales running and allowing them to engage customers, gain their loyalty, and keep them informed about the latest updates. 

Understanding your target audience has been crucial before and it is becoming even more critical in current conditions.

A website allows the brand to collect data and learn more about their customers, while it also allows customers to learn more about the brand and interact with it at a more personal level.

Learning and understanding intelligent website analytics tools have become even more popular. Analytics allow analyzing the traffic sources, the web visitor’s online behavior, interests, preferences, and getting even more incredible insights about a target audience.

Analytical information gives retail brands a competitive advantage letting them set better-targeted digital advertising, adjust marketing messages, and deliver the desired customer experiences.

We can also see the increasing popularity of m-Commerce apps.

Today, customers become even more “mobile” and can manage even the most important issues on the go, directly from their mobile phones.

The growing interest in m-Commerce applications hasn’t been surprising, especially during the lockdown.

Retail brands have started investing in e-Commerce mobile app development to be combat-ready for the upcoming recession and new needs of tech-savvy customers who spend almost all their time online in the current conditions.

Rapid Response in Aerospace and Defense

Photo by Ethan Hu; Unsplash

While the aerospace and defense industry has seemed to be entirely embraced by the digital transformation, there still are areas that need even a closer touch of digital innovations to deliver safe and more convenient customer experience.

According to Accenture, 84% of aerospace and defense executives agree that technology has become an inextricable part of the human experience.

Aerospace and defense companies have already been providing immersive and co-created experiences to improve aircraft design and increase the satisfaction of the flight experience.

However, forward-thinking businesses should work even more closely with their customers to create technology-driven experiences of the future. They will let customers participate in the aircraft design process, prioritizing comfort, hygiene, safety, and passenger experience.

Robotics’ potential is transformative for the industry.

Manufacturing automation, reducing hardware costs, and the upcoming 5G expand the possibilities of robotics, improving how aerospace and defense enterprises design, manufacture, and roll-out their products and services.

Closing Thoughts

These are the five key sectors and how they have changed during the lockdown. The post-Coronavirus world is now experiencing a complex change affecting all the industries and verticals.

From the daily operations to large-scale processes, the business world has already transformed a lot, and it is still evolving today. 

Although the COVID-19 challenge has shaken the whole world and exposed everyone to danger and stress — it also has given us a tough boost to innovate and move into the future faster than we’ve been doing it before.

Industries that have seemed to be able to live without digital disruptions have faced them today as the ultimate requirements for business survival. It motivated them to join the global process of entering the new digital economy. 

Top Image Credit: robert bye; unsplash

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How Strong IT Asset Management Organizes Modern Business

How Strong IT Asset Management Organizes Modern Business

If someone asked, could you give an accounting of all of the different technology licenses your business manages? If your answer is ‘no,’ you’re not alone. Most of today’s businesses rely on so many devices, SaaS tools, and other tech infrastructure that it’s impossible to keep track of it all, and that can lead to serious problems down the line. That’s why it’s important to ​implement robust management via IT asset management software, yet many otherwise successful, modern businesses have failed to make this leap. What’s the holdup?

In the simplest sense, many companies have failed to adopt comprehensive ​IT asset management software and systems ​because they think they’re performing just fine without it. Most don’t realize how significant the knowledge and performance gaps within their systems are. But, maybe worst of all, many of these companies worry that they’ve fallen so far behind in terms of system upkeep that they’ll discover an unmitigated disaster if they do choose to adopt IT asset management software. The news isn’t so bad, though. With the right tools, your business can get a handle on its internal technology landscape and take steps towards greater efficiency.

IT Asset Management 101

In order to understand IT asset management, it’s important to first understand what is included under the heading of IT assets. A persistently growing category, IT assets include both the software and hardware used by a business. These are likely to be some of the most valuable items a company owns, and they’re critical to daily operations – which is why it’s important to

know what a company owns, where it’s operating or who is using it, whether the technology is properly updated and secured, and it’s final disposition when it’s time to retire a given asset.

Taken in its entirety, asset management accomplishes several major goals. In particular, proactive asset management practices increase productivity​ by allowing your business’s IT team to prioritize tasks, to automate processes as appropriate, and can even help your business save money. Most importantly, IT asset management is integral to your business’s security infrastructure. What may seem like little more than an inventory list at first, quickly reveals itself to be an integral part of your operation’s strategy.

Systems And Shortcomings

Now that you have a clear sense of what IT asset management is and why it should be considered mission critical, the question remains, how do companies manage this process? Historically, most have used suboptimal, manual approaches – and many are still mired in these outdated practices, which are labor intensive and yield imprecise results. Such approaches include using lists or spreadsheets to identify current assets and their deployments, manual data collection and analysis​ that can’t keep up with data generation, and piecemeal deployments and upgrades.

Just how cumbersome are such manual approaches?​ ​According to an EY report​ on fixed asset management, current approaches have resulted in a situation in which 56% of IT teams verify asset locations once a year, and 10-15% of teams verify their deployments only every five year – and that’s for the assets they’ve accounted for. Given that only 66% of companies​ ​have a complete IT asset record​, those evaluations are certain to be incomplete, and the problems with manual asset management don’t end there.

The other core issue with manual asset management is that, in the age of big data, such an approach can’t account for the full extent of information available. Instead, it tends to analyze isolated moments in time, and leads to substantial data accuracy problems. As noted by Enterprise Management Associates, IT teams currently spend​ ​more than 10 hours each week attempting to reconcile systems data – time that could be used on other mission critical tasks that can’t be automated. And time waste isn’t the only problem with poor data management. In fact, it’s far less significant than the operational issues that stem from insufficient data analysis. Still, at every level, manual management is expensive and inefficient at a time when there are better options available.

An Enhanced Process

A big part of improving the IT asset management system involves organizing and automating a variety of internal processes, which makes sense if we consider the direction of data systems today overall; as with so many other processes, better asset management actually demands businesses​ ​undergo a digital transformation​. Particularly, AI-driven tools can rapidly tackle the types of tasks that otherwise consume IT departments, from deploying updates to collecting and analyzing data – but you need the right ​IT Asset management software​ if you want to automate those tasks.

A leading IT Asset Management software​,​ ​AssetSonar provides easy-to-use tools​ for functions are diverse as basic inventory, license compliance, and data management. When these functions shift from manual, surface-level processes and instead become fully realized analyses of critical systems, suddenly your business is able to accomplish so much more. Businesses often think they can see the bigger picture, from the programs they rely on to the inefficiencies holding them back – until they take that important step forward and start automating and digitizing the IT asset management process. Then it suddenly becomes clear that a lot of details were missing, and your company needs to take a closer look.

The Missing Links

Speaking of missing elements in the IT asset management process and the importance of the digital transformation process, it’s important for businesses to recognize that IT asset management today also needs to include the in-house service process – and this is a big transition. Where before your company’s IT department was likely overwhelmed by the process of identifying assets and performing basic maintenance, they’re now in a position to perform much more high-value upkeep tasks. And now you need a system for managing those services.

IT services management includes tasks like ensuring service request tickets are issued in an orderly manner, that the IT department has all the information they need going into service appointments, and that they have access to any relevant technology’s past service history. Such services management elements contribute to a lifecycle-level understanding of a company’s assets and can help companies recognize when to phase out older equipment for functional and security reasons.

Trimming The Fat

Recall from above how many companies don’t have complete asset listings – and the consider the ramifications of those gaps. If a company can operate without knowing what technology it relies upon, hardware and software alike, it’s unlikely to be running efficiently. And particularly with the growth of software as a service licenses, rather than individual product purchases, that sort of inefficiency is expensive. ​IT asset management software​, then, allows companies to eliminate overspending on technology and prioritize funding for those tools that provide the most substantial benefits.

​A Critical Security Boost

When companies invest in ​IT asset management software​, most see security gains from automated patching and upgrading, but the improvements don’t stop there. In fact, one of the more valuable and surprising security boosts companies see stems from the platform’s ability to recognize the impact of outside devices on the whole system. From breaches related to public internet use to employees using their own devices on the company network, the reality is that a lot goes unseen on most networks. But when companies use a comprehensive IT management platform to audit their system, all of those potential problems rise to the surface – of course, that also means they can finally fix these issues.

Escaping The Dark Ages

It’s time to stop treating your company’s asset management needs the way an old-fashioned shop managed its dry goods – with penciled-in lists and manual sales trends. That era ended long ago, or at least it should have, yet so many companies are still insistently addressing their technology needs in this way. Even if your company has taken steps towards digital transformation in other areas, if you haven’t taken appropriate steps to modernize your IT asset management process, it doesn’t matter. IT asset management lets you see the big picture. The bigger question is, what will you find?

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COVID-19: Kicking Digital Transformation into Overdrive

digital transformation

While many businesses considered going digital, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a massive accelerant. Businesses have moved operations remotely, with 43% of U.S. workers working off-site some or all of the time. However, many are experiencing major disruptions due to the unexpected and forced adoption of remote work, as they must quickly scale to meet the demands of customers and a decentralized workforce. Here is how COVID-19 is kicking digital transformation into overdrive.

Many businesses are now realizing that investments into digital transformation are no longer simply an option; it’s vital to survival.

While digital adoption or moving to remote working conditions typically takes months or even years to implement — businesses of all sizes have been thrust into digital transformation whether they planned for it or not.

Businesses should devise contingency plans and strive to continually innovate to improve customer experiences and ensure steady growth. As remote work and reformed social practices are forced upon us, digital transformation is the solution to changed employee and customer expectations across all industries.

The New Digital Normal

In the new normal, digital will rule as the world operates with significantly less physical interaction. To sustain remote work, companies need to modernize outdated, overwhelmed tech stacks. Busines and equip themselves with a digital toolbox that facilitates communication, scheduling, project management, file sharing, and storage to drive success.

Cloud infrastructure and apps.

Remote work is largely enabled by cloud infrastructure and apps such as Teams, Slack, or Chanty for messaging. You’ll need a platform for your calls and digital meetings like Hangouts, Zoom, or Skype for video calls. What will you do for contracts? Get that set it up — Formstack Sign, HelloSign, or DocuSign for closing contracts digitally.

For companies that have not already established a system for digital work, this can be an enormous overhaul for operations and can significantly impede, and even halt workflow. It’s essential that you make your solutions easy-to-use and easy to understand and adopt. Help your team with any required technical skills — and use platforms and apps so even non-tech savvy users can learn and adapt quickly.

Use simple, practical solutions so your organization can quickly scale to meet the demands of a remote workforce and changing customer behaviors.

Some vital digital transformation steps include moving all paper processes to digital, automating workflows, and digitizing every customer and supplier interaction.

For example, business leaders looking to transition back into physical offices are monitoring cases of coronavirus across their organizations with a digital COVID-19 self-declaration form. Healthcare workers are using online forms and routing to streamline the drastic spike in COVID-19-related requests, prioritize those most at risk, and routing them to the appropriate people to triage.

Higher education administrations are using digital surveys to collect student concerns on the transition to remote learning and apply that feedback to upcoming school year planning.

Businesses are also re-evaluating what is essential travel and what can be accomplished through virtual meetings. In lieu of annual in-person conventions previously used as touchpoints and opportunities for networking and new business, companies will have to connect virtually.

The Shift in Customer Expectations

Unfortunately, organizations that refuse to digitize or believe they can “switch back to normal� after the crisis is over will be left in the dust. Companies that made the investments in automation and moving work to the cloud are meeting the touchless, digital customer’s needs and will ultimately earn the trust and loyalty beyond the pandemic.

Conversely, businesses that require in-person transactions will lose out to competitors that are making it easier for customers to transact digitally from anywhere.

Reduced in-person customer interactions are significantly impacting brick-and-mortar businesses. CNBC shared that U.S. retailers expect an enduring shift to ecommerce, meaning brick-and-mortar stores should prepare for potentially continued lower foot traffic.

But retailers aren’t alone. Businesses across all sectors – from healthcare to retail – must invest in digital, contactless experiences or services to continue to engage with customers. Smart restaurants are pivoting to offer take-out and delivery.

Healthcare organizations are turning to telehealth and virtual consultations. They’re doing what is necessary to respond rapidly to changing business circumstances and increased operations, and simultaneously changing customer expectations.

Now that customers are experiencing what is possible through digital offerings, they will expect these convenient services to continue long into the future. Organizations that fail to shift to digital or cease supporting digital processes post-pandemic will ultimately lose value to their customers.

The Future of the Workplace is Hybrid

Even after the world emerges from the pandemic, digitization and remote work are here to stay. Employees and customers will have experienced new digital processes and services and want to continue enjoying the benefits. Though physical interactions will always be valuable, all stakeholders are learning the value of digital transformation through this crisis.

Moving forward, it will be key for organizations to provide a hybrid offering that prioritizes efficiency, convenience and safety across in-person and digital services.

Digitization is necessary for businesses to quickly adapt to remote work, it will also play an important role in helping return employees to the office.

Forrester Research reported that businesses will be turning to technology to make the employee transition back to the office as seamless and safe as possible. With the delayed return to in-person education and child-care services, parents will be required to continue working from home, even as others may begin to return to workplaces.

Working outside of a secured office setting underscores the need to adopt secure and efficient digital solutions to support a partial, if not continued, remote workforce.

To optimize safety, businesses will likely reconsider office layouts to increase space between workers and install devices that scan temperatures. They’ll also need to monitor cases of coronavirus across their organization with a digital self-reporting system — and control the number of people in an office at once through staggered work schedules.

Another factor to be considered is how workers commute.

Those employees that rely on public transit may need additional flexibility to work from home to decrease exposure to high traffic areas.

Through all of these transitions — companies have learned that workers can work productively from home to sustain businesses. Businesses can use digital transformations and they are offering the most holistic solutions to address the multitude of issues the world is facing in this evolving environment.

An investment in digital will be the strongest way organizations can arm themselves to not only persevere the pandemic but also continue thriving into the future.

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