Interview with Stéphane Minozzi, Micropole Group
What are the challenges of automation and digitalization of processes?
Our lives are made of processes and responses to administrative or business requests. Today, digital transformation and the decompartmentalization of services are leading organizations to rethink and optimize their business processes. Digital tools offer real opportunities to help them stay competitive and improve their performance. If companies want to increase their efficiency, gain flexibility and move towards a global transformation, they must make the automation and digitalization of their processes a real productivity lever. Each business and each department has its own challenges: a management department will target global performance; administrative, financial or HR departments will aim at dematerializing documents, clarifying procedures for all their employees or securing data; marketing and sales departments, on the other hand, will seek to automate and simplify their customer relations actions in order to be able to focus on high value-added tasks.
Why and how to digitize processes?
We must see the tools as an aid to the digitization of processes and not the other way around. The digitalization of processes should not be seen as a modern fad, but rather as a lever for optimizing our work. If digital technologies are nowadays globally integrated in companies, it is necessary to go beyond a vision by service and to rethink in a transverse way the processes which carry all their activity. To exploit the full potential of digital technology, organizations must integrate tools that meet the various needs of employees and optimize the processing of collected data. Organizations can thus optimize their resources and the actions of their employees, and put the customer back at the center of their strategy: this systematic vision of data, which puts the uses of data at the center, is translated into our Data Thinking method.
Does a successful digital transformation necessarily require the right tools?
At a time when connectivity is permanent, speed is the watchword and agility the posture, the effective digital transformation of companies does not depend on their tools or the appointment of dedicated people: it is above all a question of global acculturation, mastery, appropriation and democratization. One of the first reflexes of organizations to quickly lay the tracks of their digital transformation is to resort to the toolbox syndrome. But without a framework and without ownership, the tool is worthless, just as a process without a tool is counterproductive. A good digitalization starts with an analysis and an audit of the tools, with a personalized expression of needs in response to the company's needs. A valid tool for this company will not necessarily be valid for another. We need to put usage and culture back at the heart of the global transformation of organizations: while a tool may be conceptually interesting, because it allows for the digitization and simplification of exchanges, this does not mean that it completely meets all the needs (budget, autonomy, global vision, ownership). It's a bit like putting a shovel in your hands when all you really need is a shovel.
In the end, would you say that people are the keystone of a successful digital transformation?
Digital transformation is first and foremost a matter of culture and people. If you forget this dimension, you run the risk of falling into the "chicken that finds a knife syndrome". What use is a knife to someone who has no hand to grasp it? If you do not explain the added value and usefulness of the tools you put in the hands of your employees, this can lead to a real loss of meaning at work. The digitization of processes can allow you to gain flexibility and visibility: these tools will allow employees to come up with ideas for improvements to better address a problem or a customer need. The digitization of processes is not an end in itself, it is a means to achieve specific objectives linked to the realities and multiple challenges of companies. It is therefore necessary to define the objectives, priorities and resources of the organizations in order to define a global strategy, with a complementarity between digital and data, which is supported by all the employees.