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Anthill, Australia: Assistant Vice President of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work Says Small Digital Process Changes can Spark Big Results

“Savvy business leaders know that ‘boil the ocean’ strategies for digital change are usually doomed,” writes Robert Hoyle Brown. “Yet new research reveals that by applying digital remedies to precisely targeted process areas, organisations can relieve operational stress and generate improvements, yielding outsized results that ripple across the process value chain.” Excerpts:

“How could a precision twist on digitisation bring value to an entire value chain? We call this emerging scenario ‘digital process acupuncture’. We believe that organisations can relieve operational stress that builds up at critical process connections by identifying and isolating processes (or sub-processes) that are materially connected to other important activities and applying precise doses of digital change.

By using digital technologies to ‘heal’ process bottlenecks, lubricate friction points, optimise manual inputs or handoffs, and relieve systemic pressure points in information flow, businesses across industries can unlock substantial value, maximise healthier business outcomes and improve the experience for all participants — customers, suppliers, partners and employees — across the value chain.

Cognizant’s recent study of 321 global executives helps us to understand how banks, PC&L insurance companies, healthcare payers and retailers are grappling with business process digitisation today. Early winners in the digital era have shown us what works:

Focus on the front office first: Customer-facing processes were prioritized in every vertical industry we studied.

Trim fat and build digital muscle: Digital process change propels top-and bottom-line results by more than 18 per cent, our respondents project, which equates to true capital gain.

Benefit from the treatment with process and value chain integration: Precision digitization within the process value chain significantly boosts the impact of cost reductions and speed-to-market improvements, and eliminates friction points.

Keep it safe: Effective digital process change relies on secure information and platforms.

Whether a company is a bank, an insurer, a healthcare payer or a retailer, the time for digital acupuncture is now. Leaders need to make some critical choices regarding initiatives that will quickly allow the benefits of digital process acupuncture to permeate into other parts of the business.”

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