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  • Digital Evolution Forum

Why Your Digital Transformation Strategy Needs A Human in the Loop

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

When you decide that you want to upgrade the systems, processes, and effectiveness of your business, you are going on an exciting journey, but there can be lots of unexpected factors that can derail an effective digital transformation.

Before we go into this in more detail, it is essential to highlight that the journey is, or should have the intention of being, consistently ongoing. Similar to the digital revolution we are experiencing globally at the moment, your digital transformation journey does not have an end.

We are constantly innovating, changing, and adapting across various industries today thanks to new emerging technologies. It will be the same with your business's digital transformation journey. You must remain agile at all times to ensure you are ready to take full advantage of any current situation you face.

When changing processes, upgrading systems, exploring new ways of thinking we can stop looking at the people who drive these new ways of thinking, innovating, and improving by over-focussing on the technology.

That's why we want to go through reasons why it's vital to have humans in the loop of your digital transformation strategy and vision.

If at any point in this explainer article you want to find out specifically how investing in digitally transforming your business can add tremendous value, please contact an experienced member of the Digital Evolution Forum and discover how we can help.

What do we mean when we say 'a human in the loop'?

When going on a digital transformation journey and you start to digitise your business processes, you will be utilising some form of technology to make use of and visualise data, share it quickly between relevant teams, and many other possibilities. Some transformations will use more data than others, some will be more complex, and include larger data sets.

All of this requires communication and input from a human to start it off.

Forrester highlighted the importance of having humans in the loop in its ​​’Future Jobs: Plan For The Impact Of Automation On Your Workforce Now’ report. Forrester focused on the importance of having people involved in change and why as a business you should pay close attention to upskilling your team.

You can do this by providing better training to help your teamwork with machines, freshly introduced capabilities and/or technologies. Something we went into detail about in the guide ‘Digital Training: Is It Really Worth It for Your Business?’.

Example of having a human in the loop

Let's say, for example, your business is an insurance provider and it’s using RPA, OCR and AI to process documents digitally. People from your business team will still be required to feed that technology documents, handle exceptions and reply to customers queries.

As an insurance provider, you can obtain benefits from end-to-end digital process management of claims handling process or automated invoice processing e.g., accurate data, process insight, digitised data flows, speed to market.

This wouldn't be possible without your team understanding the processes involved and having 'a human in the loop' to make sure the process runs accurately and smoothly. You can get a deeper look at why it's important to have humans in the loop when looking at data and training data and labelling data for success in the article we put together titled 'How Your Business Can Achieve Operational Excellence'.

Why your people will drive the change

Businesses cannot remain in business without people purchasing from that business. We always need people to sell to, socialise with, and create meaningful relationships with it. It is the same when we need to come up with new ideas and have solutions.

Large businesses have large teams to support their businesses. We have seen it first hand from our valued customers that have hundreds of thousands of team members such as Vodafone, Comcast, and BT. They would not have a business if they were not selling to people, listening to their teams on how to improve, and building vital relationships with their customers and partners.

Technologies and machines have a foundationally important role to play when delivering intelligent automation solutions or automation processes for the telecommunications industry. However, they would be worthless without 'humans in the loop' and not being part of your business's digital evolution.

Boston Consulting Group gives a great justification for why people will be the driving force in your business by writing that through combining human and machine capabilities, bionic companies can do things that traditional businesses cannot. This bionic end state is a compelling goal, but achieving it requires a successful execution of a full transformation of both technology and human capabilities.

Both people and technology, not one or the other!

Communicating your business digital evolution

If you want new answers, you must ask new questions. By getting answers to these questions, you will get increased clarity on the direction you or your business needs to go, the change it needs to make, and the new strategies the business needs to implement.

People are usually a fantastic source to get creative answers to questions.

When you want to find out what your customer wants, it usually entails asking them questions in some form or other. It does not matter if that is face to face (or digitally during Covid) or through surveys. That is where you get the most insightful, meaningful answers.

Once you have these answers and a clearer picture, you can communicate this. You can follow the 5 steps to make your business digital transformation a success we put together for you which shows the importance of communication throughout your business digital evolution.

Without humans, in the loop, you cannot get the creativity you need to drive change. The systems set up as part of a digital transformation strategy might not make sense. Relaying this as result to your team, partners, customers, local communities - whoever - won't be as easy without a human in the loop.

Are your team involved in the business's digital transformation strategy?

To ensure you have the right questions in your head to take away for a more effective digital evolution let’s just recap some of the most important points.

We've looked at what is meant by having a human in the loop. Given ideas on what benefits your business can witness by having a digital transformation that focuses on the people and the communication. Why your team, its leadership, and external people will be the ones responsible for actually driving the digitisation of processes in the business. Finally, communicating the different stages are vital to a successful digital evolution.

However, what we have not had the chance to do is dive into the results and how your business can benefit from them.

You can get a deeper understanding of how your business can achieve phenomenal results on its digital transformation journey by contacting an experienced member of the Digital Evolution Forum.

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