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How are business administrators driving corporate innovation in the digital age?

business administrators

The “digital age” is a phrase that’s often thrown around a lot, but ultimately, it’s a crucial period in corporate history that we’re all living through. Digitizing processes has become a necessity for business administrators over the past decade.

Where digital processes and platforms may have been considered “luxuries” only a decade ago, consumers and clients expect brands and businesses to constantly innovate and push for their convenience. 

For business admins working within specific organizations, that means having to think more innovatively as technology advances (and as consumer needs evolve).

Given that the world around us is evolving faster and faster, it makes sense for businesses to pivot towards innovation rather than mimicry of rivals to thrive in the years ahead.

Let’s look at how, from a business admin perspective, corporations can drive innovation in all they do – even when up against fast-moving technological demand.

Unifying and integrating solutions

Consumers, clients, and even employees all crave convenience. Ultimately, technological innovation is about simplifying processes or finding new ways to do things without completely dismantling the old processes.

One of the best ways corporations and their administrators can foster innovation healthily in the years to come is to focus on simplifying tools and processes in-house. Innovators in administration should look at their current process map and consider how they can synchronize integrated tools.

For example, do your employees need to switch between two or three suites or software to complete a simple task? Do they need more time filling out fields and forms than actively supporting customers and clients?

If so, harnessing administrative innovation by simplifying your existing tech is worthwhile. Administrators should look at how service delivery travels from points A to B and survey employees on how they feel work can become more efficient moving forward.

Innovators in business admin could look for CRMs and collaborative suites, for example, where it becomes more accessible for people to share ideas, collaborate on projects, check in on where a client project may currently stand, and communicate with each other at short notice.

Integrating solutions allows employees to spend less time completing mundane tasks and more time working on client journeys. Innovating in this way doesn’t necessarily mean re-inventing the wheel, either.

Administrators may need a scalable CRM solution to onboard multiple employees and offer training. Integrating communication suites with database management in custom software builds is possible, too.

Carefully considering how technology is used

This point ties in with the above, but it’s important to elaborate. One of the most effective ways administrators can start innovating in the short term for long-term benefits is to look carefully at how everything plays out at present.

Administrators should be bold in laying out process journeys flat and see if there are any opportunities for technology to scale back or where new technology can add in to help make processes more efficient.

For example, are there unnecessary steps between product ideation, development, and delivery? Do employees have to attend meetings or obtain sign-offs at each stage of the development process? There may be ways for technology to help simplify how these checks and measures take place.

As a potential innovation, a business administrator might suggest using a CRM to help keep all levels of a project informed and up to date. This could prevent a slowdown in productivity and delivery.

Beyond this, business administrators may look at existing technology and work with specialists on more efficient and cost-effective solutions that can replace them. How long have existing solutions been in place? Do they need updating to keep up with current demands and needs?

Business administrators look at the bigger picture of how an organization operates, and laying out a flat technological plan can help them introduce innovations on a “trial and error” basis. If introducing new technology or processes at one end of the pipeline proves inefficient or ineffective, they can start over again or consult a specialist to help them further.

By carefully analyzing how technology directly impacts operations, administrators can take bigger risks with more reasoned calculations. This should help transform a company’s culture from being stubborn to change to cautiously optimistic and willing to try new things.

Making innovation incremental

As any business administrator should know, changing anything about a corporation will take time, effort, and extensive planning. That said, even slight changes can and will transform a service or product for the end user.

Therefore, business administrators focusing on innovation should take a step back and make changes in increments rather than in one fell swoop. 

Incremental innovation, in line with the above, will help admin and other specialists carefully analyze which features work well and which don’t. By carefully piloting new software or processes one by one, companies can gradually adapt while potentially seeing positive change stacking up.

For example, if a corporation is moving its customers from paper billing or notifications to a digital format, and doing so requires moving more than one million clients over, it makes sense to use a pilot scheme method.

This may be too simple an example – but the idea is that business administrators and specialists can trial innovations without harming the end product or service. At the very least, this should provide some reassurance to stakeholders and directors who may resist change.

Using an incremental approach to innovation also allows admin and engineers to measure customer and cultural response. Was the pilot scheme received well, or was it considered tone-deaf and inappropriate? The smaller the increment, the less detriment the innovation will have on the customer base. This means that should feedback be negative immediately, they can quickly apply fixes.

Business planners and those actively digitizing a company’s assets and resources should take the time to create a clear roadmap for innovation. What are the knock-on effects if the first pilot scheme goes well? Where does this lead the company?

Incrementally innovating is a great idea if there’s a lot at stake and if a company is keen to change its technology offerings but simultaneously resistant to taking big risks.

The one downside to incrementally introducing innovations and changes in this way is that time is ticking. Companies may not be able to wait for each increment to receive feedback or be signed off on. Therefore, business administrators must act with care and efficiency – to keep the rollout of new ideas and changes coming without them growing stale and irrelevant.

Upskilling team members

Corporations that are willing to innovate and embrace new technology must also be willing to invest in their people. After all, new technology, processes, and digitalization are only so effective, provided people using these new tools are technically proficient!

Therefore, corporations and their business administrators should look carefully at rolling out a culture of upskilling. Can employees choose what they’d like to learn and develop? Can you offer specific rewards and career growth opportunities if they comply with new skills courses?

Upskilling team members to innovate and fix technological problems helps keep a business proactive and efficient at fixing any problems that might arise. Technologically proficient team members and those who can easily use new systems will help a business bounce back from teething problems.

By investing in innovative talent, business administrators and HR professionals also help to future-proof their companies. It’s wise to upskill a team or workforce in transferable attributes not specific to any system. For example, who’s to say if one piece of software won’t become obsolete after a few years?

By upskilling talent so they can easily adapt to new technologies and processes in the future, companies can ensure they’re ready to react to new forms of digitalization we don’t yet know about.

Business administrators may suggest that companies invest in a base CRM that’s easy to upgrade and scale when needed. They can therefore help make great value decisions that lessen financial impact and increase the chance of usability years down the line.

It’s likely that anyone studying online MBA programs – such as the course profiles offered by St. Bonaventure University – will understand the value of upskilling people early on. The course linked covers all the major bases of business management, with understanding how people play a part being a key aspect.

Automating wherever possible

As mentioned, much of digitalization revolves around making things more efficient and convenient for all involved. In many ways, companies already embrace the idea that they can – and should – automate menial tasks as much as possible.

For example, marketing teams can automate emails and SMS to customers when advertising new products and services. They can also automate lead generation from website button clicks and social media interactions, helping to make digital account management and client onboarding easier.

Automating tasks immediately gives employees more time to focus on working with clients and adapting to new technologies, systems, and services.

Automations, too, are innovations in their own right. Whether devised in-house or as part of software adopted for a specific need or cause, companies that use them can break down communication and production barriers considered unnecessary in the digital age.

Certain steps in the production process, for example, may not need personal approval at all. When delivering tasks from one person to another, a digital platform could hypothetically automate assigning the next project manager to the tasks, who will receive automatic email updates.

Innovating automation (even simply by embracing automating the smallest of tasks) helps companies produce more satisfying products and services for customers. It can also help to provide faster digital responses to customer queries.

For example, a business admin and relevant specialists can set up chatbots that can answer customer queries via a website from a database of approved details. Customers head to a business’ website, ask the chatbot a few questions, and receive quick, satisfying answers. 

Embracing AI

AI, or artificial intelligence, is changing several different industries simultaneously. It’s helping to cut costs for many business owners and is helping to make creative tasks, in particular, easier to manage. It’s a somewhat uncertain time for some professionals, but from the corporate perspective, it’s a golden age for taking advantage of such innovations.

AI is helping business administrators create action plans, analyze existing processes, and effectively take even more work off the human “plate.” It’s helping to reduce human error, cut down operation time, and free up human support so that it may be more effective elsewhere.

In the most extreme cases, companies that fully embrace AI (to an ethical extent) are even cutting personnel from their departments. This is an immediate cost saving but puts morale at huge risk.

Therefore, business administrators should inarguably embrace AI – but do so ethically. Are there ways in which AI tools can help, for example, to analyze potential flaws in technical processes? Can companies use AI to help analyze industry marketing campaigns and build new ones to appeal to new demographics?


It’s surprising – and perhaps even disquieting – that there are still corporation heads resistant to digital change. In the New 20s, there’s no room to stick one’s head in the sand over simplification, AI, and automation advances.

Business administrators are in a fantastic position to gradually introduce new ideas and concepts that improve company performance and connections in the long run. However, there needs to be a healthy risk-aware attitude in place. Without taking risks, businesses ultimately get nowhere – now is the time to leap headfirst into digital change.

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