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Digital process acupuncture: a new approach to relieving business-process pressure points

March 23, 2016 - 64 views

Digital process acupuncture: a new approach to relieving business-process pressure points

We call this emerging scenario 'digital process acupuncture.” The 5,000-year-old discipline of acupuncture is based on the belief that a set of accurately placed pinpoint treatments can impact the entire body.

A car that parks itself. A drone “cameraman” capturing your sweet ski flip. Jewelry that is 3-D printed. A selfie video of your weekend in Paris that’s worthy of the Travelogue Channel. Drink up because your Uber car just arrived.

Our daily lives, in many cases, have already gone digital, starting from when we took our first step into the digital world (often with a smartphone or tablet), which created a ripple effect and helped to guide and to inform our interactions with people, places, and things. What about your organization’s business processes? How could a precision twist on digitization bring value to an entire value chain?

Acupuncture: the next wave to relieving business stress

The Center for the Future of Work, a Cognizant research body providing original analysis of the future of work trends, recently published the results of a new study. The research analyzes 321 North American and European executives and assesses how banks, insurance companies, healthcare payers, and retailers are grappling with business-process digitization today.

This new approach can be therapeutic for your business and its ecosystem. We call it “digital process acupuncture.” It sounds therapeutic. The 5,000-year-old discipline of acupuncture is based on the belief that a set of accurately placed pinpoint treatments can positively impact the entire body.

Similarly, we believe organizations can relieve the operational stress that is building up at critical process-connection points. This is possible when an organization identifies and isolates processes (or sub-processes) that are materially connected to other important activities and applies precise doses of digital change to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Precision doesn’t mean half measures either. It means taking decisive action that requires intense, digital focus on the connective tissue that weaves together the entire functional processes.

Four strategies to drive business impact

TS487326259_edited_156_webThe report assesses where and how pervasive the respondents’ process-digitization efforts have really been: thorough, casual, superficial, or dabbling. Interestingly, as it turns out, most leaders are committed. In fact, only about one-third characterized their digitization efforts as being moderate or less.

As your organization continues in its digitization journey, consider the four strategies the report covers in detail about how executives are driving their top and bottom lines:

  • Focus on the front office first. Customer-facing and executive-level decision-making 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%, 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-reduction initiatives and speed-to-market improvement opportunities and eliminates friction points.
  • Keep it safe. Effective digital process change relies on secure information and platforms.

So whether your 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. The scale of the opportunity is massive but achievable.

To begin and understand further what the opportunity means for your business, download the final report on “Digital Process Acupuncture.” Then let’s connect on what small changes may work best for minimizing stress across your business.

Robert H. Brown

Robert Hoyle Brown is an Associate Vice-President in Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and drives...


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All blogs published in Digitally Cognizant represent the ideas and perspectives of individual Cognizant associates and contributors who have documented expertise in business-technology strategy and implementation. The content of the blogs published in Digitally Cognizant represents the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Cognizant. They are put forward to illuminate new ways of conceptualizing and delivering global services for competitive gain. They are not intended to be, and are not a substitute for, professional advice and should not be relied upon as such.