How digital agility drives operational efficiency

If there’s one big lesson every business can take from COVID-19, it’s this. You need to be prepared for anything. The systems and processes you have in place today need the flexibility to adapt to whatever tomorrow brings, so you can continue to operate in a lean, efficient, profit-making manner. 

When we talk about operational efficiency, we’re talking about the ability to run your business efficiently – which means spending less money and using less resources. It’s about improving current business processes through automation and scale, optimising your output while minimising your expenses, doing more with less. And, of course, it looks different for every business.

Yet, while it varies from business to business, there is a common thread that all can hold onto. It’s this – to become more efficient in today’s fast-changing business world, you need the ability to move fast. And to move fast, you need digital agility. Indeed, digital agility gives all organisations across all sectors a solid foundation for constant innovation and growth.  

This link between digital agility and operational efficiency was a key theme in a recent webinar we hosted. Our Vice President and General Manager Dan Bognar spoke to Katherine Boiciuc, a futurist at Maximus International in Australia; and Amanda Ong, Country Manager at StashAway in Singapore. Here’s what they had to say about operational efficiency.

Using new tools to change old habits

Katherine gave a great example of how businesses can become more efficient, suggesting that Australian companies still have some work to do in this area. And not just with digital habits, but leadership habits, too.

She explained how five years ago (yes, five), she was sitting in an executive’s office in Silicon Valley. Around the table, there wasn’t a laptop, phone or PowerPoint presentation in sight. Just honest, human conversation. “I noticed that the light bulb in the room kept changing from green to red. I asked why, and the executive said, ‘Hey Siri, can you tell me what’s happened?’. 

“Siri answered straight away, saying, ‘We’ve had an outage in Chicago, 4,500 customers have been impacted, an IT ticket has been raised, and the expected time to resolution is 54 minutes.’ It struck me at that moment that I was still working in a team that asked people to produce PowerPoints and attend 8-hour meetings,” she said.

As Katherine observed, there’s a huge digital divide between what the leaders are doing, and what the rest of us are doing – but the good news is that there are great opportunities for all to embrace a more efficient, digitally-driven future. 

At StashAway, digital tools kept business in motion

For Amanda Ong and her team in Singapore, digital agility was critical to maintain operational efficiency during COVID-19. The wealth management company moved fast to remote working and, as Amanda said, those that acted with speed got further ahead. 

“We saw a lot of incumbents move to online channels and shift to mobile, online banking, and so on. They were playing catch-up – it was clear that those who struggled last year were those without a digital strategy,” she said.

“The companies that succeeded had business continuity plans in place that accounted for situations like this, where you can’t provide services through typical channels.”

Amanda gave a great example of how a digital-first mindset helped her company adapt to changing operational conditions. StashAway was juggling international expansion during COVID-19, which meant having to apply for complex financial licenses in new locations like Dubai, Hong Kong and Thailand remotely. 

To simplify the process, StashAway used Docusign. So it didn’t matter that teams were all working from home – complex documentation could be easily sent and signed, to help StashAway get the licenses much faster than would have been possible the old, paper-based way. 

Keen to learn more?

To learn more about how digital agility can help you become more operationally efficient and improve customer experience, listen to our 20-minute on-demand Digital Agility webinar now – or have a chat to us about how you can become more digitally agile with Docusign.

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