October 5, 2021

Digital Transformation for Regulated Industries

The need for digital transformation transcends all businesses looking to accelerate growth, mitigate risk and lower costs. For regulated industries (i.e. energy, financial services, healthcare, food and drug, transportation, etc.), there is the added challenge of driving innovation while maintaining strict compliance with local and federal governance.

But that doesn’t mean digital transformation has to take longer for regulated industries. By addressing the most important people, process and technology questions in a systematic way, digital transformation will build upon itself and deliver exponential value.

Here are the five most important questions all regulated industries should answer in order to drive digital transformation in today’s digital economy.

1. How are you improving the employee experience? – Often, employees are more disconnected than the technology itself. This is a top-of-the-list problem to fix, especially as Covid continues to change the way we work and employees are more distributed than ever.

Role clarity is an essential part of the employee experience with a direct impact on satisfaction, retention, work quality, efficiency and productivity. According to Gallup, role clarity is one of the five key areas of employee experience and is critical for helping employees do their jobs well.

Dewpoint Communications Insights Report, The New Rules Of Employee Experience and Communication, February 2021

Developing a solid business process strategy as you implement and optimize your technologies is a best practice for achieving role clarity and improving employee experience and performance.

2. Are your systems connected for internal and external compliance? With compliance budgets growing tighter, it is critical that all existing technology investments are optimized to satisfy local, state and federal regulatory body requirements. According to a US Compliance Officer quoted in the 2021 Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence 12th annual survey report Cost of Compliance 2021: Shaping the Future, the greatest challenge of 2021 is “rolling out a champagne and caviar trade compliance program on a bread and water budget.”

Regulated industries also need to protect and manage information internally at all stages of development by defining access levels and controls for multiple aspects of a system. In fact, just as much rigor needs to go into determining who has access to materials when they are under development as when they are completed and ready for distribution.

Financial services businesses that leverage enterprise work management solutions, like Workfront that integrate with content management solutions, like Adobe, can connect every facet of work flowing through the enterprise so they can meet the fine line details of regulatory and compliance pressures.

3. Are you maximizing integration and automation where you need it most? Automation delivers enormous value and makes the technology you already have work better, faster and smarter (not to mention aiding with compliance). Assess where your organization needs better data integrity and/or actionable results most. For many regulated industries, the marketing department is an ideal candidate for automation due to the enormous amount of content creation, version control and approvals required.

4. Can you attribute all work to strategic initiatives? The ability to draw a straight line from work performed to company goals is essential for budgeting, decision making, employee performance evaluations and overall company morale. Implementing technology that improves visibility into how much work is being performed and the value it delivers is game-changing for businesses that need to show ROI to investors. We recently worked with a financial services company that could only attribute 30% of its marketing budget to strategic initiatives. After re-configuring its systems and improving visibility, it realized that in actuality, 70% of its marketing budget ties directly to supporting and advancing core strategies and corporate goals.

5. Are you capitalizing on customer opportunities? In order to grow your business, you need to upsell and cross-sell services to pre-existing clients and continuously identify new target populations. For many companies in regulated industries, the engineers and financial advisors in the field are also sales representatives. They need ways to easily access data and offer services on the fly. IIf your sales enablement systems are poorly designed or fragmented, employees lack the ability to engage in deeper, more impactful ways with customers and money is left on the table.

Driving digital transformation is easier than you think when you start with what you have and commit to making it a whole lot better. Any step forward in one of these five categories will lead you to better business outcomes, stronger compliance and exciting new possibilities for growth.