Digital transformation or disruption?

Rolf Stephan Rolf Stephan, Apr 8, 2019 10:43:02 AM

Struggle with digitalization-1

Digital transformation or disruption?

Why companies struggle with digitalization

By Rolf Stephan, COO AXON Ivy

Transformation is one thing, disruption is another: while the former is an obligation, the latter is a special feat. Both terms are often used interchangeably when talking about digitalization. However, they are not the same. Digital transformation hardly ever means coming up with a new business model, which is often called digitalization – instead, it is all about digitizing business processes. Disruption on the other hand is a radical change and re-calibration of what a company does. This blurring of the lines between what are essentially two different approaches deters many small and medium-sized companies from even considering a digital transformation. The result? Progress stalls, and companies lose their market leadership and agility.

Digital transformation is necessary in cases where competitiveness depends on agility, efficiency and speed, and your existing value proposition no longer meets evolving customer needs. Digital transformation is also often necessary simply to remain competitive and strengthen brand equity among customers and business partners. Still, operating in an “analog” world comes across as old-fashioned and worst case, can lead to customers and business partners not taking your company seriously anymore.

Full-on digitalization

Business processes that are digitized throughout and optimized on an ongoing basis are key success factors for digital transformation. The major pitfall for companies going through digitization is that they tend to only digitize business processes that directly contribute to customer-facing business processes and their specific direct touchpoints with customers. While these customer interactions are important, what’s missed is digitizing the hidden back-end processes, where lies enormous untapped potential.

Looking at the day-to-day operations of companies, we see a lot of manual work, information distortion and misuse, and massive excel spreadsheets that require more and more time to update and are even shard back and forth with clients. This is not what high-quality customer service should look like. Instead, complete digitization of end-to-end processes is necessary to provide customer service that is timely and anticipates customer needs.

Digitization platforms enable rapid and efficient digitization of business processes. They act as a slim, agile tool that integrates into existing systems to coordinate and use their functions, data, rules, best practices and business standards to deliver the perfect information and experience for customers, employees and partners. When leveraging graphical modelling and low-code approaches, digitization platforms are also easily scalable and can be used across departments without requiring many IT resources.

Business process guidance

Digitization platforms guides users through the processes: the user is shown when to do what in which system and which special rules and variations need to be considered. The platform takes over and automates all cumbersome and time-consuming tasks, while providing all information that help users make the right decisions. Organizations benefit directly when services and processes are running smoothly and fast, allowing them to satisfy customer needs can be satisfied promptly and without hiccups.

The implementation of a digitization platforms is a key step for companies to keep up with the constant digital change and gain market share. It is not necessarily disruptive. However, while most companies do not need a completely new “digital business model”, digital transformation should definitely top the priority list to ensure every company’s continued improvement

About AXON Ivy

AXON Ivy AG is headquartered in Lucerne (Switzerland) with branches in Munich, Vienna, San Francisco and Singapore. The Axon.ivy Digital Business Platform has received strong ranking from leading independent IT Research firms, and is the market-leading solution in Switzerland and among the top three in Germany. The business process management solution was developed at ETH Zurich before it became a spin-off that joined AXON Group. The company has 700 employees and was founded by Stefan Muff, one of the Google Maps inventors.

For more information on AXON Ivy AG, please see

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