Digital transformation: Unlocking the back office, too

Digital Transformation is most frequently associated with customer-facing activities embracing customer intimacy through more contextualized conversations and self-service capabilities. These customer experiences can certainly contribute to top-line growth, but sometimes give glimpses into gaps in a company’s ability to fulfill demand quickly and with that same level of information-rich interaction.

Some might say that the second wave of transformational value is unlocked when enterprises begin to transform their own operational processes that unlock new opportunities for enterprise productivity and continuous and systemic improvement in performance. This productivity can be unleashed as:

  • Employee interactions are analytically improved and their technology is consumerized
  • Processes streamlined and digitalized (so that they flow straight through guided by analytics), and
  • With systemic integrated performance management – metering, benchmarking, analytics and reporting

As we embark on the back-office digitization, a couple of facets become exceedingly important – from a technical point of view:

  • API strategy (democratized, versioned (backward compatible), focused on information (governed), with RBAC)
  • Next-generation compositional process engine (visible design, testable (versioned and simultaneous testing), analytically-enabled decisioning, integrable with modern core enterprise HRM/WFM, SFA/CRM, ERP/Finance systems)
  • Strategic data analytics strategy for multi-form/multi-latency/federated and federable data — both business data and process exhaust
  • Systemic monitoring/stream-analytics, logging/forensic analytics, performance intelligence
  • A “platform” approach typically focused on operating in the cloud to change the dynamics of information management; configuration not customization; and a broad set of facilities for authorized self service

This “Back Office” digitization value typically is viewed as a bottom-line productivity improvement, but I have to suggest that without it, the modern enterprise cannot meet the needs of their clients with respect to timely, correct, consistent, informed and correct services.

Running DXC Technology’s Leading Edge Forum, we have recognized that digital is a systemic change to the whole company as we put the customer, citizen, employee, and partner in the center of our focus:

  1. Proactive Haptic Sensing = systemic, inside and out
  2. Focused Identity and Strategy = clarity and purpose
  3. Outside-in Assets and Capabilities = e.g., not all the smart people work for you; need an ecosystem approach
  4. 360 Degree Optimized Product/Service Portfolio = front office and back office fully integrated for value
  5. Adaptive Execution = per #1 above, the corporate agility to plan/test, re-align and deliver
  6. Value-Centric Leadership = enabling a deep and integrated approach to execution teams, ignoring hierarchy but respecting experience

In effect, to become a 21st century digital enterprise, the executive team must work to functionally couple continuous improvements in both the front office and the back office.  The 21st century digital enterprise will need to be re-factored to deliver value in a more agile, appropriate, tested (A/B) way with a 360-degree focus (front office, back office and ecosystem).

This entry was originally posted on Dan’s blog.


Dan Hushon, DXC Technology’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, drives innovation strategy and growth for the company’s solutions and ensures technology excellence. He is responsible for defining DXC’s long-term technology strategy and vision, and advocating for that vision with customers. Dan has more than 20 years of experience delivering technology-differentiated solutions to private, public and international customers. He served as CSC’s CTO and vice president and general manager for cybersecurity, and he provided the leadership for driving the strategy and growth of CSC’s product lines and boosting technology excellence across the company. @DanHushon

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