Home Front end Does your digital transformation need some fine-tuning? Don’t leave operational tasks behind

Does your digital transformation need some fine-tuning? Don’t leave operational tasks behind


Despite the well-meaning efforts of management, a key element of digital transformation is often overlooked. Neglecting to prioritize the automation of operational tasks can slow your progress. Dinesh Varadharajan, Kissflowactions what you need to know to get you back on track.

Picture it: you’re a Grammy-winning rock star ready to embark on your first stadium tour, a hallmark of success in the entertainment industry. The process of planning and executing a spectacular series of performances involves many stakeholders. What fans see on stage is not possible without painstaking operational effort behind the scenes.

In today’s business, total digital transformation is the pillar of success. But like a stadium visit, it is impossible to succeed without an efficient and transparent method of executing all operational tactics. It is only when you support a wide range of collaborative internal functions with technology that full digital transformation is made possible. So what’s holding things back?

Why many digital transformation initiatives are stagnating

Despite well-meaning management efforts, digital transformation most often fails – 70% of the time, according to McKinsey. A difficult process to bear, digital transformation fails for several reasons. At a high level, there is too often a misalignment between IT managers and business leaders. Digital transformation is over-emphasized on back-end infrastructure with little to no focus on forward-looking front-end business value. Adopting new technologies, new software, or basic IT modernization without defined business outcomes is not a recipe for success.

Moreover, as with any process considered transformational, digital transformation requires a change in culture. To optimize this change, a company’s culture must embrace and foster an environment that embraces continuous learning. Leaders should set the standard for internal communication initiatives that encourage cross-departmental collaboration, where IT and business teams work together. The relationship between these teams must be developed, nurtured and reviewed regularly to ensure that the synergy is not lost. Additionally, as change occurs, business leaders need to consider the longevity of the systems and processes they create. Are they adaptable in an even more digital future? Can they be easily taught to the next generation of business leaders?

Another reason digital transformation efforts fail is because business transformation is overlooked or never optimized. CIOs and other business leaders often focus on building or purchasing basic solutions to bolster their CRM, ERP, or data analytics capabilities. However, more granular operational level applications are left behind and never developed because IT does not see them as a priority. Digital transformation is not possible without business transformation (OT), but what drives OT?

Addressing “long tail” tasks – the key to business transformation

Neglecting to address OT as part of your journey to complete, end-to-end digital transformation leads to many manual processes for internal operations that waste valuable time and resources. When ignored, these “long tail” operational applications become the missing part of a true and complete digital transformation. It’s like organizing a concert tour without operational support for contracts, lights, sound, ticket sales, etc. In terms of operational transformation, what do we mean by long-tail applications?

At Kissflow, we call all of these operational projects together the long tail. If we view the work of an organization as a parabola distorted to the right, many “long tail” operational tasks are clogging the system with inefficient manual processes. Long-tail applications include approval management, creative requests, incident management, customer onboarding, IT help desk, and more. Neglecting to support these long-tail tasks can prevent your organization from achieving true operational efficiency (and subsequently, digital transformation), but how can you build and run these long-tail applications?

Achieve business transformation with low-code and no-code technology

Operational transformation can be achieved when long-tail operational tasks are automated or enabled through a collaborative application. However, the key to this step is to include the most valuable assets: people. When employees have command and control of operational tasks, they are empowered to contribute to operational change. The roadies and sound crew make this rock show a hit.

Traditionally, building solutions to automate work processes was tedious because it added to the IT backlog and required near-constant management. Today, C-suite personnel and IT managers can empower their business users (citizen developers) to build and implement custom applications tailored to their use cases. Low-code and no-code platforms open the door for business teams in the trenches to build apps for long-tail operations, freeing up IT teams to focus their efforts on higher-level strategy and helping to scale applications once the power of no-code has reached its limits.

Low-code and no-code tools allow teams of people without specific coding language expertise to contribute to real operational change. Platforms that use prebuilt templates in a design environment that doesn’t require advanced skills allow citizen developers to help an organization’s overall business transformation initiatives. With custom configurations available, teams will also feel empowered to utilize these tools to the fullest for their specific use cases.

Learn more: 3 reasons why businesses need to be prepared for digital transformation

Where digital transformation meets operational efficiency

Digital transformation cannot exist in silos. For successful digital transformation, companies need to transform their operations. Business transformation can only be achieved by actively eliminating and managing long-tail processes. LCNC platforms have become a key tool for business users to manage the long-tail bottleneck.

These employees take ownership of these processes and are invested in the outcome, making the transformation more collaborative and comprehensive. The unintended consequences of using LCNC platforms can also be quite surprising. Non-technical employees who aren’t bogged down by laborious manual processes will be happier and more fulfilled. They will be satisfied knowing that they are contributing to the transformation of their organization without relying on IT to drive the momentum. Real change happens when everyone is involved.

Operational tasks are the leg work needed to put on a great show. Whether you’re a marketer or an IT specialist, your input can be invaluable. In the end, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When business transformation is the structure that supports a larger digital transformation initiative, your transformation “turn” is bound to be a resounding success!

What best practices have you considered to refine your digital transformation strategies? Share with us on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.