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Why investing in your operational tech during recovery will pay off

Cost cutting isn’t the only strategy for business resilience. Here's how technology can help you to outpace competition during today's digital shift.

What companies are most likely to come out on top as market leaders post-crisis? According to the Harvard Business Review, those who invest in efficiency and reduce costs selectively are more probable to succeed over those who only focus primarily on cutting costs faster and deeper than rivals, meaning reducing force or vendors is not always the smartest move.

That’s why recovery investments in new digital tech is rising as one of the top trends for 2021 operations strategies. After this particular crisis, the gap between the digital haves and have-nots will widen beyond the point where companies can easily catch up and compete on the basis of efficiency, customer experience and ultimately, revenue. Here’s how investments in tech can help with each.

Faster, leaner digital operations

In a survey by Bain & Co., 52% of respondents cited automation and digitalization as critical enablers of their recovery planning and a catalyst for making gains that will allow them to outpace competitors.

Companies that invest in optimizing their operations with efficiency and agility in mind will ultimately see long-term cost savings. Gartner predicts that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes.

With a no-code workflow automation platform, implementing these new, highly-digitized and AI-enabled processes can be closer than you think. Building workflows that use AI in practical ways is quickly attainable can make a huge difference in your operations, in a time where every second and every dollar counts. For example, an automated workflow can save time in contract review by using AI to find key terms, then routing an approval prediction to a person to review and make the final call more quickly. It can match an email inquiry to a FAQ answer, provide an automated response or route it to the right person to reply. Machine learning can also notify employees of customer churn risk factors and recommend actions to take.

Quick, personalized and digitized customer experiences

Efficiency is important. But it isn’t everything. As business management writer Tom Peters famously said, “You can’t shrink your way to greatness.” 

When it comes to investing in new tech for customer experiences, it tends to need three things: speed, digitization and personalization. It isn’t enough to just have one or two of these elements. 

For many companies, chatbots are the easiest example of this. The thought is that transitioning human interactions where possible to digital or automated ones can provide the most speed and efficiency. But, if those interactions don’t have the right balance of human personalization and digitization, a quick response means nothing to a customer if it isn’t relevant or human-centric.

To reach greatness, it’s better to invest in thoughtful growth and differentiation with tech and how to use it to drive customer retention and growth as the center, not just for reducing operational tasks and costs.

New products and revenue opportunities

Industry leaders that excel at tech generate two times the revenue of laggards, according to Accenture. This was true pre-crisis and will continue to be true post-crisis as demand for digital grows and new market opportunities open up in a changing world. 

Organizations who invest in no-code or low-code cloud tools are best positioned to take advantage of these new demands and get ahead. These platforms allow for accelerated development of new digitized workflows, apps or products that can be created and adapted to fit trends as they develop, not after.

While using these same technologies to generate efficiency and customer experience gains can lead to increased revenue, using a no-code platform to create products you can monetize can give the most immediate ROI and new revenue to get ahead in 2021 and beyond.


10 Digital Trends Driving your Operations Strategy in 2021

Recovery investment in digital tech is just one of the trends guiding new operations plans. See what else your strategy might be missing to be ready to thrive in the year ahead that will be unlike any other.

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Written by Catalytic