When it comes to getting your business ready for the wave of digital transformation, getting up to speed and retooling with the help of new software is only one part of the necessary prep work. Experts from the MIT Sloan School of Business and consultancy Deloitte put it quite succinctly in their 2015 Digital Business Global Executive Study and Research Project: "Digital success isn't all about technology."
In fact, the key thing to focus on is formulating and implementing a digital transformation strategy to get the promised land of bits and bots. It takes the entire organization to define the goals and milestones of the journey. Finance leaders and accounts payable (AP) managers can play a pivotal role in ensuring success by leveraging ideas, people and yes, state-of-the-art tools.
So, let's look at the key components to get your digital transformation strategy right.
Digital transformation strategy outcome #1: Risk taking becomes a new cultural norm
First and foremost, a cultural shift or change of minds and hearts needs to happen and percolate through the whole company. This is how the already mentioned MIT expert panel summarizes the challenge: "The ability to digitally reimagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new. While these insights are consistent with prior technology evolutions, what is unique to digital transformation is that risk taking is becoming a cultural norm as more digitally advanced companies seek new levels of competitive advantage."
That means thinking and more often than not, rethinking how the business does what it does. What are the processes and workflows, where is value created and who are your customers - today and tomorrow? Perhaps it turns out that the real driver for future growth lies in better listening to existing customers and developing new digital services for them rather than chasing new customers with existing products and antiquated technology that won't completely meet their ever-changing needs? Perhaps upskilling teams is the better approach vs. spending lavishly on new hires in trending areas such as AI or low-code or no-code app development?
This kind of culture shift starts with having a consistent vision, strong values, and passion for the business at the core of your organization and ends with all employees cultivating a new mindset and implementing it on a daily basis. But it is closely intertwined with plenty of topics where best-in-class technologies do play a role.
Digital transformation strategy outcome #2: Experiment often, experiment early
The second component of digital transformation encompasses experimentation, bringing innovation to bear fast, encouraging trial and error, learning from failures, and always keeping an open mind for more ideas that will make your company smarter and more agile. New ways, for instance, to pull in and engage your external partners - customers and suppliers - to build a dynamic network.
AP automation by Yooz is the state-of-the-art tool a finance leader or AP manager can rely on to modernize the AP workflow and by extension how the entire company will benefit from the digital purchase-to-pay cycle.
For starters, Yooz is a prime example of what an entirely cloud-based solution should be like. It is constantly updating to reflect the latest advancements in machine learning and robotic process automation and there is no technology or vendor lock-in, so you can continue to stay independent and nimble. Saying good-bye to handling paper invoices and no longer having to send envelopes to colleagues for review and approval accomplishes more than saving you and your business serious money and time. When you exchange your old manual process for a fresh digital, cloud-based system, you have less drudgery and more digital discovery to unleash your company's full potential. This is only one of many ways you could frame it.
The browser-based or mobile interface looks deceivingly simple, but Yooz empowers AP specialists to focus on what they're really good at and creating an incomparable user experience. For example, an AP specialist will have more time to deal with the exceptions, build rapport with vendors in their market through a dedicated portal and personal outreach, and share insights from the data hidden in mundane invoices with the entire organization.
Digital transformation strategy outcome #3 AP Automation drives change for the business
Yooz's software becomes a catalyst of digital transformation strategy because it gives team members the freedom to think and tinker where they can make a difference in their work environment. If it's embedded in a culture of continuous experimentation, it can contribute even more to defining and reaching one's digital goals.
AP dashboards and reports can be immensely valuable not only for the CFO to manage cash flow, but also for an employee in groups like marketing or product development to finetune their roadmaps. Yooz gives everyone in your company actionable insights in real-time. And since every word and figure in every invoice or PO is searchable like the Internet at large, queries and answers are just a click away throughout the process.
Make no mistake, even with the right mindset and researching the right tolls you'll need, digital transformation is still not an easy undertaking in any work environment. Otherwise there wouldn't be a book out there comparing it to "Teaching an Elephant to Dance."
But all is not lost. That's why it's so important to map out the steps well in advance. Plus, when you add Yooz's smart technologies to the mix, you'll see your company sky-rocket above the competition in no time while making your digital transformation strategy come to life because of all the hard work that has been put into it.