Process acupuncture releases massive cost savings and revenue growth. Our new research from the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work highlights digital process change, on average, propels top and bottom-line results by more than 18%, which equates to true capital gain.
From a quantifiable perspective, the results are stunning, both in terms of addressing the pressure points of cost, as well as building the muscle of revenue growth.
Board-level executives and the C-suite should take note:
- Only a small minority stood still (or went backwards) in terms of revenue impact: The vast majority of executives said their organizations had experienced significant gains in revenue and cost reduction as a result of process digitization. Only 2% said their revenues decreased, and 11% said revenues neither increased nor decreased.
- For some, revenue gain entailed cost pain: The revenue lift wasn’t without a cost for some respondents. Approximately 11% said their process costs actually rose, particularly for banks (performance — like freedom — isn’t always free). In fact, 27% of respondents said their organization’s costs were a net wash — they neither increased nor decreased.
- Strategic alignment is critical for discovering, curating, triaging and acting on new ideas. For many, the compass points for digital change orient directly with the customer experience. Most of the outliers that either saw revenue increases of greater than 15% or cost decreases of greater than 10% were from the banking and capital markets industry. Specifically, banks in this group said they focused on pressure points in their new product/service development processes. Similarly, in PC&L insurance, outliers mostly cited revenue increases or cost decreases in the claims administration process. In retail, the emphasis among outliers was on the shopping experience and channels to drive revenue gains.
Pinpoint Current and Future Pressure Points to Release Value
Why is it so tough to enact real and enduring change in strategy, underlying processes and business approach? How can leaders really make something happen?
In the context of a business process, the end-to-end value chain is critical.
You may think your organization is already on the path, especially if it’s already embarked on new process delivery models such as intelligent process automation (IPA). It’s true that IPA can help break inertia — fast — on existing processes and step change any low-hanging fruit available, as it’s sometimes speedier to add smart robots to an existing process, even if redundant, manual handoffs, interfaces or approvals persist. However, while these types of initiatives can provide an on-ramp to heightened efficiency and quality thresholds for rote work, they can only take you so far. There are diminishing returns on a band-aided, bailing-wired kludge of legacy processes daisy-chained together with software “robots.”
Remember: IPA only speeds up existing “as-is” processes and doesn’t change the process DNA. Real change — digital change — means not just automating processes but using digital change to totally obliterate legacy sub-processes that get in the way of re-thinking better ways of work. Put more simply: Don’t just “automate,” obviate — with digital process acupuncture.
Acupuncture Specialists Can Help Heal Enterprise Processes
Like a Tesla breaking 0-to-60 acceleration records in “Ludicrous Mode,” the pace of digital change is accelerating, and leaders are seeking guidance. Relying on internal capabilities alone won’t be an option for most. Chances are, most businesses will need partners to help design, build, deliver, scale and curate ideas based on processes, newly invented digital tools or developments in wearables, sensors, 3-D printing, etc. Companies in our survey are utilizing a wide array of providers in their initiatives.
In the future, it is highly likely that the market will augment older sourcing models with new-breed options, such as business process as a service, mobile and cloud-based platform services, and crowdsourcing models. Likelier still are enterprise-grade process templates like “if-this-then that” (IFTTT) recipes to ensure that a wide palate of B2B and B2C process connection points capture and leverage all requisite digital process inputs and outputs.
Even tried-and-true mechanisms such as application program interfaces (APIs) still have runway. In fact, recent research shows that few companies use API traffic analysis to understand customers’ online and offline purchase journeys despite the fact that this technique is an essential part of understanding digital profiles and a core element of the personalization algorithms driving the digital economy.
What matters most is lasting outcomes that can result in sustained health and rejuvenation of the whole business — that’s why a digital process acupuncture approach can be such an effective way to get going. Be prepared to fail — often — while making sure those failures are “good failures,” from which you can learn on the road to success. But whatever you do, get moving — break the inertia through pilot efforts — and commit to pervasive and lasting change.