- Business transformation refers to changes in how a business operates or runs its core functions.
- Flattening of organizations refers to elimination of hierarchy or levels of management between executives and front-line employees.
- Through management information systems (MIS), managers are able to make more accurate and timely decisions.
What is transformation of business processes?
Business transformation refers to the process through which businesses can alter how their operations are conducted or workflows are set up, with the aim of meeting certain objectives. When it is necessary to significantly change their current practices, the majority of businesses change their business processes. In modern organizational management practice, business transformation comes together with digital transformation. Some of the key objectives of business transformation include modernizing processes, adopting new technology, reducing costs, and enhancing the integration of a company’s core systems.
To achieve best business transformation outcomes, IT has been widely adopted by managers as a key tool to deliver some of the outcomes. This adoption has impacted business processes and workplaces in several ways and presented advantages as discussed in this insight.
- Flattening organizations
A flat organizational structure, also known as a horizontal organizational structure, refers to a structure where there is little to no hierarchy or levels of management between executives and front-line employees. Flat organizations have few to no tiers of intermediate management, separating top managers from junior employees, meaning there are almost no middle managers. The hierarchy is kept to a minimum, if possible, giving front-line employees more power to make decisions in everyday issues in the workplace. The process of changing a hierarchical organization into one with a flatter structure is known as “delayering.” Opening channels of communication and cooperation is part of this process.
Information systems can assist organizations in having fewer levels of management by giving managers the knowledge they need to manage larger teams of employees and empowering lower-level employees with more decision-making authority. Managers can now interact directly with front-line employees and perform the same tasks that they previously would have done indirectly and through other middle-level managers thanks to IT. For example, a marketing manager can now manage a diverse marketing team with the help of one or two supervisors rather than the 30 supervisors they would have previously needed.
Read also: 5 strategies to a high employee performance culture in the workplace
- Separating work from location
Thanks to IT, the potential of businesses can now be increased by operating locally while going global. This suggests that businesses will be able to use inputs and outputs from all over the world seamlessly. This capability essentially reduces production costs while enhancing the competitive advantage of the company by allowing for the sourcing of inputs from the most affordable sources and a wide variety of inputs, such as the workforce. With the uneventful occurrence of COVID-19, managers have learned that it is possible to incorporate IT systems in the management of customers and employees, opening a whole new world of possibilities, where companies can work, hire and sell anywhere in the world without major difficulties.
- Reorganizing work flows
The reorganization of workflows is another way that information systems have made it possible for workplaces and business processes to become more flat. In this way, automated work processes, work flows, and work procedures have taken the place of manual work processes. The end result of this development includes, but is not limited to, the merging of some activities, resulting in a decrease in labor costs, the displacement of paper and manual routines, the reduction of costs through the elimination of redundant roles and associated payroll expenses, and the improvement of services through timely and accurate operations.
For example, a business process that would have required 5 employees to conduct can now be carried out by one employee assisted by one computer. This means that businesses can achieve better results faster, more consistently and using few people
- Increasing flexibility of organizations
IT gives workers more flexibility. As a result, one is able to adapt to changes in the market, resolve issues or seize new opportunities, and coordinate numerous and even dispersed activities with a small number of managers, clerks, production workers, etc. ICTs are a major factor in promoting flexible working or flextime schedules in the workplace because they support innovation that has produced new, more flexible forms of employment and work. Employees can now collaborate and work remotely with one another to accomplish important business goals.
Read also: 6 Benefits of Flexible Work for employees and companies
- The changing management process
Through management information systems (MIS), IT is transforming the management process by giving managers strong new tools for planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. IT application (or intervention) can help managers perform their duties in such a way that changes in how the duties are performed will be noticeable. Very high levels of computerization are possible for managerial tasks; in those cases where it is not feasible, computers would give managers information.
Product development, operational effectiveness, and the delivery of vital business data to management for difficult decision-making have all benefited from the extensive use of management information systems. In the modern workplace, managers can carry out their tasks and activities using MIS systems that facilitate quick, accurate, and easy decision-making on crucial issues that affect an organization’s present and future.
- Redefining organizational boundaries
IT has redefined roles of stakeholders within the business processes and workplaces in general, helping companies introduce new linkages/boundaries with their customers, distributors, suppliers or partners. Such linkages lead to flow of information and interaction among the different organizations as though they were one big organization. For example, a company that previously was not able to monitor its feedback can now be able to do so by directly engaging with its customers without needing to have a third party involved.
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