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DigitalOps: Ops or Oops?

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It seems everywhere you read now-a-days, ‘Ops’ is being added to the end of words. For years ‘Digital’ ruled the roost so it makes absolute sense to combine the two to DigitalOps 😉, excuse the sarcasm. Gartner ranks DigitalOps technology as one of the top 5 emerging trends with transformational impact. You don’t have too look far to find DigitalOps as a hot topic in many publications such as Data Science Central and Information Age.

But, what exactly is DigitalOps and why should you care?

A significant technology trend in recent times have been the focus on the customer. This has led to new approaches and tools for CX design, customer journey, emotion mapping etc.

We consumers enjoy the fruits of this labour. Banking activities that used to require half a day, take seconds using a mobile device. This is all possible by businesses who focused on streamlining the customer journey enabled by technology.

People then started challenging the lack of the same seamless experience in their workplace. Employees using enterprise systems often have cumbersome experiences accessing multiple systems to accomplish simple tasks. This wastes significant time that hits businesses bottom line from unproductive and non-value added time and effort.

The challenge is not that enterprise systems can’t provide a better experience, it’s the lack of understanding of the ‘employee journey’ and end-to-end processes. Traditional process improvement initiatives focus attention on mapping end-to-end processes, but struggled to implement improvements. Employees would often just go back to the old ways of doing things as there were no systematic way of enforcing change.

This is where DigitalOps was born.

DigitalOps is defined as connecting business models to the digital business platform Gartner, 2018. This focus on the employee experience and operational efficiency is not a new idea. Lean Thinking revolved around the principle of Voice of the Business/Customer and starting with the end in mind on what value you want to enable with processes. The key evolution is the application of digital platforms playing a critical role in enabling processes.

A number of benefits are said to be gained by adopting DigitalOps:

  1. Reduce operational cost

Savings of between 15 and 50 percent per cost line on the operations side of businesses have been quoted.

Imagine being able to have at your fingertips, the ability to see where you have “waste” in your Order-to-Cash processes, real-time! Such waste as unproductive time fixing mistakes with customer data during onboarding, correcting errors with sales orders, to reissuing wrong invoices. Based on seeing waste you’re then able to make improvements with measurable ROI.

DigitalOps provides the ability to expose inefficiencies across the entire end-to-end value chain based on data from various platforms used by the organisation.

  1. Align execution to customer value

54% of organisations are investing in end-to-end processes for such things as linking their operations to customer value, breaking-down silos and shifting from a function-based to a process-thinking organisation. These allow organisations to adapt faster to changing customer requirements. “You’re only as fast as your slowest team member” is a saying that comes to mind.

DigitalOps helps align functions and people in organisations to focus on delivering customer value using platforms.

  1. Reduce operational risk with changes

DigitalOps uses Digital Twin technologies to enable organisations to manage all their business assets. These business assets comprise of an organisation’s processes, products, services, roles and responsibilities, technology, architecture, infrastructure etc. Digital twin adoption is projected to grow by up to 59% in the next 24 months according to Gartner.

Most organisations make changes without considering all the areas of the business that may be impacted. For example, IT system implementations forget to consider impact to roles or processes. Organisational Change practitioners have over the last decades highlighted significant failure of IT projects due to the lack of people-focus.

DigitalOps uses Digital Twin technologies to enable organisations to manage all their business assets.

Whether you want to embrace the buzzword DigitalOps or not, the domains it combines make logical sense. As the work environment continues to be digitised, organisations possess more data that can be used to realise operational excellence. However, the key to success is formulating data in the form of your operations to show your end-to-end value chain. This enables you to ensure you never lose sight of the customer value you’re delivering.

Rowan Teh
Co-Founder, Boxfish
rowan.teh@boxfish.global

We help organisations adopt DigitalOps and Lean Enterprise practices using proven approaches and solutions. Contact us to understand how we can support your organisation make the step change today.