Digital transformation

Digital transformation simplified – delivering quick results in the innovation maze

PS Digi-Blog 6 – Embarking on the transformative path of digitalization is an intricate journey with objectives that are in a constant state of evolution – we already established in our previous posts, that digital transformation is not something that is eventually done and finished; it is an ever-evolving set of goals and efforts, involving constantly changing process, people and technology.

Digital transformation and innovation 2




digitalization, digital transformation, strategic objectives, knowledge building, touchless accounting, automation, AP processing, accounts payable processing , continuous improvement methodolody, Excel, collaboration software

Author: Attila Sólyom, Digital Transformation Director, Process Solutions


We also discussed that digital transformation is not just about the newest technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) or Cloud Computing – it is deeply intertwined with the people it affects. Dedicating effort to consider the human aspects of digitalization is invaluable to any digitalization endeavour, especially in the type of service industries that rely heavily on the expertise and engagement of its people, such as our own, accounting and payroll service provision. Read further for insights about the human aspects of digitalization in our previous articles:

Having previously emphasized the importance of considering the beliefs and groups of individuals impacted by this journey, let us now shift our focus to a related yet distinct facet—the time horizon, within which we set our goals, define actions and create impact. What are some good practices to have short-term and long-term? Should we even differentiate, and if so, what are the benefits?

Integrating short-term goals to the long-term strategic objectives

Traditionally, digital transformation has been viewed as a strategic initiative with long-term goals, often spanning over several years and renewing itself in the process. The strategic vision is then typically translated into projects, which are broken down into actionable steps that yield tangible results in a sequence. The efforts to fully automate of vendor (AP) invoice processing is such an example here at Process Solutions – multiple interconnected projects delivering modules and integrations, and of course improvements to them; with a timeframe well exceeding a year. We wrote about this solution in a previous article here:

However, there is a growing realization that balancing this long-term, or rather, overcontrolled perspective, with short-term agile practices is not only desirable, but almost necessary for our digitalization efforts to succeed.

Short-term wins in a digital transformation journey hold a unique significance, extending beyond the immediate gratification experienced as a result of quick achievements. While the prompt delivery of outcomes is undeniable, the true value lies in the ability of these small successes to secure buy-in from the bottom-up. In cultivating a culture of continuous evolution, these victories become the catalyst for the integration of digital tools and process digitization on a broader scale. Initiating change on a smaller scale and gradually expanding upon those successes establishes a foundation for trust and positive reinforcement, creating an environment where every incremental step contributes to the larger vision of transformation.


In the realm of short-term digitalization focus, a diverse set of characteristics come into play to ensure effective and efficient progress. The most important three of these are:

1  Integration of continuous improvement methodologies

One key element involves the integration of continuous improvement methodologies, such as Six Sigma or Lean, seamlessly with digitalization efforts. This not only streamlines processes, but also instils a mindset of ongoing enhancement within the organizational culture. While discussing the topic in detail reaches far beyond the scope of this article, dedicating effort to continuous improvement is one of the most important short-term efforts we can complement strategic digitalization with. Some process automation solutions, such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation), can typically be delivered within weeks, provided the scope is limited enough. Clever data analytics enhancements can also be put in place relatively quickly, especially in an existing reporting ecosystem accountants often find themselves in.

2.  Localization of efforts

Not everything needs to be holistic and broad-scale. Another crucial aspect is targeting specific teams, processes, or service lines. By tailoring digitalization initiatives to these specific areas, organizations can realize immediate benefits and garner support from key stakeholders. For instance, the utilization of digital collaboration tools can very easily be limited to a team, department of process, serving both as a pilot and proof of concept to gain the trust of more doubtful stakeholders, and serve as a basis to be expanded upon.

3.  Building foundational knowledge

Perhaps less apparent, but a strategic short-term approach involves building foundational knowledge to lay the groundwork before moving on to more advanced, specialized tools. For example, acknowledging that Excel remains omnipresent and indispensable as a tool for accountants and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) providers in general, this familiar platform serves as a gateway to introduce individuals to more sophisticated digital solutions. Experiencing success the first time with digitalization, and the benefits of automation happened most likely though this tool for many of us. We are also confident that Excel is going to stay with us for the time being – we discussed the topic in more detail with in this article.

In essence, the short-term focus encapsulates a blend of methodological integration, targeted localization, and skilful use of familiar tools to lay the groundwork for a successful and sustainable digital transformation journey.


Let’s see some examples for short term digital transformation efforts in more detail:

Excel-based tools such as add-ins or macros

These are great for localized efficiency as they can shorten – or even eliminate – massively monotonous tasks most accountants sure are vary of – or we mentioned the enhancement of data analytics and insights before: maybe indirectly so, but spending less time on copy-pasting will let the skilful accountant look more behind the data and provide better insights for their customers’ success.

Leveraging collaboration software

Microsoft Teams for example, is a great platform to quickly share a few files on which multiple people can work together- sounds good if they used to wait for each other – and simple enough. Though it is advised to carry out a quick cybersecurity check and training for involved teams – especially working with confidential data need to be carefully managed.

Sharing knowledge and best practices

Even if not done with the express objective of teaching, knowledge sharing tends to inspire a few people to think outside-the-box within their current environment, and approach the digitalization team with ideas for their own processes.


Long-term digital transformation agenda in contrast

To put the short-term in contrast, the allure of long-term benefits in a digitalization initiative often comes with a substantial trade-off—building and maintaining trust. Long-term goals may promise significant, big-bang-type advantages, but stakeholders need to trust that the efforts invested will yield the anticipated results. The challenge arises from the time it takes for these benefits to materialize, testing the patience and belief of those involved. Recognizing this, the integration of short-term elements into the digital transformation agenda emerges as a strategic imperative. By providing tangible, quick wins, organizations not only offset the potential erosion of trust, but also lay the groundwork for a resilient and adaptable digital culture, all with a relatively low risk profile.


In summary, our exploration of tailored digitalization efforts emphasizes the dynamic and ongoing nature of this transformative journey, intertwining technology with the individuals it impacts. Shifting away from the traditional long-term view, there is a growing recognition of the essential balance required between overarching strategic goals and short-term objectives. Short-term wins play a pivotal role in securing buy-in from the bottom-up, fostering a culture of continuous evolution and positive reinforcement. This approach involves integrating continuous improvement methodologies, localizing efforts, and skilfully utilizing familiar tools like Excel to build foundational knowledge. In contrast to the allure of long-term benefits, the integration of short-term elements becomes a strategic imperative, providing tangible, quick wins while laying the groundwork for a resilient and adaptable digital culture.

 * * * 


A cikk olvasható magyarul is a PS HU karrieroldalán >>
Digitális átalakulás egyszerűen ‒ gyors eredményekért az innováció útvesztőjében


Our former Digi-Blog posts about digital transformation:

5 –  Challenges of digital transformation from human perspective – Human behaviour-shaping factors


4 –  Digital transformation – Human aspect challenges and key target groups of change management


3 –  Change management and its cultural aspects in the digitalisation of accounting


2 –  5 Key goals for digital transformation in professional business services


1 –  Digitalization – The engine of economic growth in the 21st century


Browse and read our previous blog posts here.


Follow us on LinkedIn!