digital transformation governance

Digital Transformation and Governance

Digital Transformation Recap

Distilling it down from our Digital Transformation Singapore Series, it is the process whereby organizations adopt technologies for immediate or long term value creation.

Technology changes how a business is run. The change can be on a minor process flow within the company. E.g. An online leave application & approval system or a requisition & approval system. The change can also be a huge strategic one as companies realized that they can now do things which were previously impossible or un-measurable. E.g. Moving from focusing on a Single Channel strategy to an Omni Channel one with new seamless technology that follows the consumer from online prospecting, online browsing to finally offline conversion.


In this article, we want to focus on Governance. One of the cornerstone of that keeps companies running and accountable are the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). SOP (s) are good. They are there so organizations can move forward with each audit process. It ensures continued confidence of customers and investors. SOP often comes in the form of process flow charts, checklist and milestones guarded by relevant approving higher up authorites.

A common example of asset purchase in organizations

An executive wants to purchase an asset for a company. He/she has to

  1. Based on the estimate purchase price find out if 3quotes will do; Or a call for tender is needed.
  2. Based on the estimated purchase price he/she has toknow how many levels of authority to clear. Is it at theDirectors level or VP levels.
  3. Write out the proper justifications answering all the key questions and to include a concise  & accurate background of previous decisions and purchases related to the current one.

Baking this into a well designed digital system

All these are good. They are proper checks and approvals in place to ensure proper governance and accountability.  With Digital Transformation, we look to bake this into a well designed digital system. Imagine:

  1. A portal for a new & clueless executive to click and start the whole purchase process.  The system then guides and stream the executive to his next step basedon the purchase quantum inputed. Does the executivesimply has to find 3 quotes and upload them to the system or is a Call For Tender needed? (If needed, the module to handle the Tender process and vendor submissions can be activated)
  2. Forms that requires only the essential information withsimple checks on timelines, amount, approved vendorscan be presented to the executive online. Required fields has to be filled in before the executive is allowed to the next step.
  3. History search within a click to help the executive recall his last request or to find out about the prior engagements completed by predecessors.
  4. Help and explanation pop up littered around the form in simple English to guide and give context to the user. Sharing with the user as to why a particular field is necessary.
  5. Completed forms are submitted and routedautomatically to the pre-set approving officer. It can one person or many on the same level. Once this level is cleared itwill automatically be routed to the next level. (E.g Forms are routed to Directors once Team Leaders have approved them). Approving parties can also easily search for details of previous contracts or approval request.
  6. If its disapproved, comments can be given and the executive can rework it and submit it to the process again.
  7. At a glance status to see why the approval form is stuck at.
  8. Automated email prompts by the system to ensure that the forms are not forgotten when ever an action is needed.
  9. At the end of the approval process, all the completed forms are recorded and kept automatically in the Record Management System for future reference and audit.

All these allows for

  1. Transparency
  2. Traceability
  3. Convenience, collaboration & productivity
  4. Reduction of confusion
  5. Better decision making
  6. Reduction in cost and conduct risk.
  7. Scalability to the different company sizes and country of implementations.

So staff can focus on Value Creation for customers, shareholder and themselves.