Advantages of digital business processes

Advantages of digital business processes

Digital transformation, cloud technologies, and automation of business processes are key topics in enterprises around the world. This is hardly surprising, given the fact, that new technologies enable businesses to be more productive, save resources, or provide a better customer experience at any given point in time.

By digitizing business processes companies can expect to achieve a broad variety of benefits. Continue reading to find out which benefits of digitized business processes you can expect to gain.

Why digitize?

According to McKinsey research, by “digitizing information-intensive processes, costs can be cut by up to 90 percent and turnaround times improved by several orders of magnitude”. Your particular situation will dictate the return on investment, but such digitization has tremendous potential in most businesses and is worthy of an investigation to look for the best opportunities.

If you take into account, that countless companies still rely on manual or analog business processes, this isn’t surprising. Using pen and paper, Microsoft Excel sheets, and having to print out documents just to sign them and then scan them again, isn’t state of the art.

Time is of the essence, not only to free up resources, but also to stay ahead of the competition. Replacing outdated techniques with modern (and cloud-based) software solutions can help you get urgent improvements done in one fell swoop.

Organizations can automatically collect data that can be analyzed to determine the efficiency of processes, identify cost drivers, and identify the root causes of risks. The monitoring of performance data in real time enables managers to proactively address problems before they become critical.

Cost reduction and time saving are just two of the key benefits of digital business processes you can expect.

Further advantages of digital business processes

Streamlining workflows

The inputs and outputs that go into a process can be difficult to monitor with manual processes. In contrast, digitalizing your processes lets you explore and automate each step and decision in a way that removes pain points. It reduces process friction and optimizes workflows.

Using preconfigured kickoff triggers, decision points, notifications, and centralized task details, your team can keep things on track. Especially when you are streamlining processes between business units, across locations, or even across distributed workforces.

Merge different data silos

Using a process digitization platform that facilitates flexible system integrations enables your team to break down data silos that slowed productivity and hold back improvements. By digitizing processes, your team can stop spending time and money on the cumbersome, costly, and time-consuming process of pulling data from multiple sources and instead use tools to request data in real-time.

For example, in order to improve your digital product, you can use tools that pull data from customer service, usage data from your apps, and data from sales meetings. This way, you’ll easily find out, what your users really need and want.

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Case Study - Digitized Sales Process

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Ensure adherence to compliance guidelines

If you digitize and improve documentation management, you'll be able to meet compliance and safety requirements in a timely, accurate way, regardless of the practices you use internally or the regulations you follow.
Specific measures can be added and an auditable record of each step can be automatically generated by a tool like Jira, so you can keep track of compliance. This way, you can prevent important steps from being missed in a regulated process.

Learn how to digitize and automate a process with Jira: Read the article.

Enabling and accelerating business growth

By focusing on getting their work done and engaging with each other, rather than searching for documentation or researching ideas, your team will be able to focus on their mission and more strategic matters.
As a result, going digital will enable your organization to modernize its processes while also accelerating the growth of its business.

According to Gartner, digitizing ITSM processes alone will reduce operational costs by up to 60% by optimizing and automating customer support requests and providing valuable information beforehand.

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Advantages of digital business processes

Advantages of digital business processes

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Success factors - Why you should not hesitate

You don’t have to look far to start improving, but what you can do is start with the one that generates the biggest impact.

Determine what your digital process should look like and what you want to achieve.
Using digital tools allows you to revamp the entire process and built It up from scratch. As mentioned, you can integrate automation in certain steps. For example, send out follow-up emails in HR processes to inform applicants about the current status in the hiring process. Doing so enables you to reduce turnover times to your desired minimums.

Start by defining your goals

Starting at the back and defining what you want to achieve by going digital enables you to approach unbiased.

Deliver an exceptional experience along the entire customer journey

Digitizing only some stages along the customer journey will improve efficiency and performance in certain areas (and to some extent improve customer experience), but in order to deliver a truly unique experience, the entire journey should be accounted for.

To improve the customer experience, you need to involve all teams involved along the customer journey. That means product management, development, sales, marketing and consulting teams.

❗️To make the experience truly remarkable, add the customer to the equation. Talk to him about his expectations, desires, and where he thinks you can improve. This allows you to create processes centered around the customer.

This way, you can create processes that are focused on the customer.

The process digitization team needs support from all functions involved in customer contact if it is to improve the customer experience from start to finish.

This also means that you should not forget the internal processes. Project management, customer onboarding, marketing automation or sales.

Recruit the talent you need to make it happen

Digital transformation isn’t a simple task. Next to the right approach, enterprises also need the right people and skillsets to get started. In order to digitize processes quickly, companies can start a center of excellence that facilitates new skill sets and roles.

Another approach enterprises use is to closely work with digitization experts and consultants on a long-term basis. Hiring external partners for just a single project only tackles one problem at a time but disregards the big picture. Build lasting relationships with vendors and grow together.


Digitizing processes is more than just moving existing ones to digital tools. Questioning the status quo and imagining what the future should look like encourages you to think differently. To get started with digitization and transforming your business, choose one or two key processes, develop best practices and implement them company-wide. Once this is done, start scaling from there.

Remember: To succeed and to leverage all positive benefits of digitizing business processes, you have to have defined a specific goal beforehand and hire experts in the field of digital transformation. May they be internal staff or external consultancies.

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Case Study - Digitized Sales Process

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Digitized business processes for an improved customer and user experience

Digitized business processes for an improved customer and user experience

Customers buy from companies that offer them the best, most seamless, and easiest digital experience.

In today’s world, speed is everything. Being the first on the market and fastest on delivering new features or fixing bugs or shipping products within a day improves user experience and customer satisfaction. Digital business processes are an incremental part of realizing this and are a must-have in a globalized world to meet the expectations of your users and customers.

Automating and digitizing processes for a consistently positive customer experience?

As consumers, customers, and employees, we are spoiled. Big eCommerce companies like Amazon have achieved almost a 100% rate of automated direct-to-consumer processes. This enabled them to offer a unique and seamless user experience along every touchpoint; from the initial contact to receiving the package at our front porch and even returning it to their warehouse.

We log in to our bank account and every transaction we have ever made can be easily checked. Transactions are automatically processed by your banks' ERP system and transmitted to a web interface. All of that happens in an instant and without any human interaction.

Remember, when you had to call an airline to book a flight for your next business trip or holiday? Remember all the hassle you had to go through? You had to talk to customer service, transmit your payment information, only to get confirmation and tickets by mail. Today you just need to search for flights on the internet, pay and you’re good to go.

Customer Experience the key to success?

How about B2B sales processes? Ask yourself, how long does it take for your enterprise to answer contact form submissions? One hour? One or two days? Even Longer? Do you have an automated delivery system to notify people in charge? Do you automatically follow up after a certain period? Do you send out an automated thank you message after form submission?

Customers want to be engaged quickly. If they don’t hear from you sometime soon, they most likely move on to one of your competitors.

So, if you take a closer look, digitized and automated business processes are everywhere, hard to miss, and part of our daily lives.

Wondering what benefits you can gain from digitizing and automating business processes? Find out more here.

Digitalization is on the rise and more important than ever before

Business processes are being fundamentally revamped in many industries to meet customers' and users' expectations. Companies that get it right can offer lower prices due to lower costs, better operational controls, and fewer risks.

But just digitizing an existing process is not enough. These processes tend to be biased, hard to go through, and not state of the art.

Digital processes should be easy to follow and built to simplify individual steps for your users or customers. You definitely should not just copy and paste an analog process into a digital environment but rather redesign and rebuild it from scratch and merge best practices with digital capabilities.

This means,

  • cut project steps that don’t add value to reduce complexity,
  • reduce the number of documents needed (often one is more than enough),
  • automate decision making steps and notifications,
  • and reduce the number of approvers to a minimum.

Digitized business processes and data collection

To meet today's standards and to outpace your competitors, acquiring and analyzing data is key to business success. Digitized corporate processes enable you to collect key data more easily and subsequently make better decisions. For example, you can collect customer support data on SLAs to improve your ITSM process, or customer behavior data in digital marketing to improve website content, ads, and KPIs.

Yet, digitizing corporate processes is just the beginning. To match the reimagined processes, operating models, skills, organizational structures, and roles often need to be redesigned.

Business team collaboration

Marketing or sales teams need to closely work together and include data in their decision-making process to delight customers along their entire journey. Marketing, for example, may learn how long and how often a specific visitor has already spent on specific pages before contacting sales. This data in return can be used by sales in future customer meetings.

Customer support and success teams can use digital tools such as Jira Service Management and well-designed support portals in conjunction with a help center to build a self-service solution. This allows them to focus exclusively on high-priority support tickets that require personal customer interaction. According to ServiceNow and Gartner, using modern ITSM solutions reduces face-to-face contact by 40% and 72%, respectively, compared to contact by phone and email.

Redesigning and digitizing a process is the first step. To fully leverage digital possibilities, new roles have to be created in your teams. Roles like Data Analyst / Scientist and User Experience Designer are two of the most important.


Processes can be digitized and automized for countless reasons, or business teams. But before you start, you should ask yourself: “What purpose and goal do I want to achieve?”

Getting this done beforehand simplifies the next steps and questions you need to answer. Questions like, what tools or software do we need? Do we need to hire new staff that manages the digitization, or are responsible for reaching the desired goals? How do I make sure that existing staff are able to use the new tools? Do I need to onboard them and hire an expert?

Going digital enables you not only to increase performance or to save money but ultimately will delight your customers (directly and indirectly) and thereby improve customer experience and happiness.

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Technical debt

Technical debt in agile software development

Imagine you are driving a car and you notice that your brakes don't work properly anymore. But instead of repairing them directly, you first decide to wash your car, install a new radio and temporarily repair your brakes with old parts. This way, with your prioritization, the execution of other tasks and the quick & dirty solution, you build up a Technical Debt (Technical Dept). 

Technical debt over time

Sooner or later, however, this approach takes its revenge, since the technical debt does not increase linearly as expected, but exponentially over time. 

By using more and more of these quick & dirty approaches within development, the mountain of debt gets bigger and bigger. This ultimately leads to countless tasks having to be processed in order to solve the problems.

This development is basically also due to the fact that the use of agile working methods and DevOps is increasing the pressure from stakeholders to achieve more in ever shorter periods of time. 

This article will go into more detail about what exactly technical debt is and what causes it. How it affects a product or service. And how to manage it effectively.

What are technical debts?

Whenever unclean paths are taken, a new debt is incurred towards all stakeholders involved. This debt usually becomes visible when systems or software used do not function properly or run unstably. Subsequently, considerable additional effort is required to correct these errors.

This can be further simplified by viewing this debt as the gap between well thought out, designed, developed and tested software and software that is just cobbled together.

How can you recognize technical debt?

  • Lack of or no documentation: Nowadays, work is supposed to be fast and agile. Documentation is often left behind. However, this leads to the fact that usually only a few know what status the project already has. Other or new employees are left out and work stubbornly on it. 
  • We'll deal with it laterSure, projects have to be completed. But as the saying goes, "Get it right, or you'll do it twice".
  • copy and paste from other projects
  • Shortcuts and savings: Quality control and testing are not performed, for example, due to deadlines
  • Bugfix and minor adjustments take longer to implement

What are the causes of the buildup of technical debt?

Lack of vision or concept of the finished software

It should be clear from the beginning what is to be developed. If this is missing, there is very often rework on the design, user interface, architecture or infrastructure. This leads to problems and quality in the code during the entire project.

Missing or inadequate documentation of requirements

Often software requirements are only vaguely or poorly described. This leads to teams and employees not knowing 100 % what exactly is to be achieved. This creates additional workload and thus new technical debt.

Lack of communication and high expectations from management

At the start of a project, with new teams or when working with external service providers, it can happen that expectations of the project team are too high and the first results are to be achieved as quickly as possible. Therefore, it is important to communicate the maximum workload as early as possible and to focus on quality instead of quantity.

Insufficient cooperation between employees

Nowadays, software development usually works with agile methods such as SCRUM. This leads to the assumption that all employees involved have mastered this methodology and can work together right away. This is often not the case and quickly leads to miscommunication and frustration in the team. Tickets get stuck and / or are only sparsely processed. And new issues are added daily.

Bottleneck effect - lack of employees, time and too many tasks as obstacles

It still becomes problematic to reduce the "debt" when employees themselves become the bottleneck in the company. It can often be the case that only a few employees are familiar with systems and know how to maintain them. If these employees are then prevented from working, are ill or, in the worst case, terminate their employment, no one is familiar with the system and a complete standstill occurs. Such a case should be recognized at an early stage and actively tackled.

Change of the technology used or a new version

Every day there are updates that cause changes in the code and approach. As a result, existing code blocks may become obsolete, no longer needed, or cause problems. This has to be fixed in another iteration and again leads to technical debt.

Lack of quality control process

For both small and large teams, quality in code always needs to be checked to see if all the pieces work perfectly together in the end. Lack of quality assurance processes ultimately causes extra work and more tasks to fight problems.

The causes that lead to technical debt being built up can be many and varied. The ones listed here are a first clue to take direct and proactive action.

How can technical debt be dealt with and reduced?

Regardless of how technical debt comes about, there are some recommended actions to proactively avoid its occurrence.

prioritization of tasks

If failures have been identified, they must first be documented and then prioritized. How these omissions are prioritized and addressed ultimately depends on the framework created (team, working method, strategic decisions or the tools used). 

In agile teams, it is usually already the case that the priority of tasks is determined in daily meetings or sprints. Recurring issues and other tickets are therefore usually given a higher priority and processed in a timely manner. In addition, the prioritization of tasks is also determined by the impact of the problem on the company as a whole (e.g. impact on usability, sales or experience) or how important a solution is for the performance of the product or software. The remaining tickets (e.g. irrelevant for the current Sprint) should be stored in the Backlog at the highest position and included in the Sprint in the next meetings. 

Development of a code style guide

A simple way to avoid technical debt is to establish guidelines before the project starts. This should ensure that several different approaches are not used.

Ideally, these should define exactly how code should look. This means, for example, where commas, breaks or brackets must be placed. This offers the additional advantage that the structure and layout of the code are clear.

code refactoring

In the heat of the moment, it can happen that code is written without paying attention to its structure or readability. This makes it difficult to keep track of the progress of the project, fix bugs or implement new features. To get a grip on the situation, code refactoring offers an approach to optimize and revise the existing code step by step.

Tools for the visualization of technical debt

With the help of some tools, omissions or structural problems in the code can be avoided right from the start or at least checked and optimized afterwards. One of them is SonarQube.

This tool analyzes your code for quality, security, and indicates where code segments are duplicated, for example. Furthermore, it gives a time estimate of how long it takes to reduce technical debt within the code.

SonarQube provides the ability to detect future technical debt during the software build process and can be configured to give builds a "failed" status if the technical debt is too large.

Do not allow individual code ownership

As mentioned above, it is not a good idea to have only one or a few person(s)/developer(s) responsible (and irreplaceable) for important system. If there is a problem with the web application, the code owner is the person who has to fix it. Code ownership is bad for code owners because it stunts their and the company's growth. Also, code ownership causes problems for the organization and for the code owners. If no one knows how a system works, no one can give effective code reviews. Worse, the code may not be reviewed at all.

When the team is responsible for the code, everyone can help make design decisions. Everyone can participate in the system design discussion, contribute ideas, and share responsibility for those decisions. Further, it's no longer such a big deal if an employee is no longer involved in the project or is sick. 


One must be aware that "technical debt" initially offers no obvious and tangible added value and it takes time to reduce it. Furthermore, most results will only become measurable and visible over time. However, this does not mean lying on one's lazy skin and hoping for the best. In the end, you should ask yourself for which debts it makes sense to reduce, which ones have the biggest impact on business or economic factors and which ones would have no impact at all.