Avoid business transformation failure with these tips.
Sept. 12, 2022 | By Brandon Carroll and Jay Mozo
With big projects come big expectations and—in many cases—misstarts or failure. Even with huge efforts like digital transformation, two out of five organizations surveyed in the TEKsystems 2022 State of Digital Transformation report claimed they failed to achieve the desired business outcomes.
Business and IT leaders face similar challenges with their business modernization initiatives. We’ve seen common themes when helping customers across industries through business consulting. Let’s dive into what problems we see most often and how you can avoid them.
Technology Is Not a Business Modernization Strategy
When customers talk to us about their business transformation goals and strategies, sometimes they give us a list of top or emerging technologies. Tools are helpful, but they aren’t a strategy or an end goal.
Take a step back from the technology. Start by answering questions like, “How can we create a better experience for our customers?” and “Where do we want to go?” We’ve helped our customers get clear on their business goals, distilling them down to something easy to understand and communicate to others.
Start with, “We want to...”
- Expand into new markets
- Launch new products and services
- Grow revenue of existing value streams
- Improve efficiency and profitability
- Pivot quickly with faster, smarter business decisions
- Become more resilient
Once you’ve locked in a business goal, then it’s time to ask, “How can technology enable this work?” Now you have context to make better technology investments.
You Don’t Have to Change Everything to Succeed
Not every brand is meant to be a disruptor, completely changing how business is done in a market—or creating an entirely new market. Instead of trying to shake things up, focus on flexibility and resiliency so you can handle disruption and deliver on your promise to customers.
Think about your favorite restaurant. You have a go-to dish on the menu and even suggest it to friends and family. Next time you go, you don’t recognize a thing on the menu. When you make “being a disruptor” your top priority, you may stray from what your customers expect. This could alienate them and damage customer loyalty.
Now imagine you walk into your favorite restaurant and your signature dish is ready for you, but something is different. Maybe your wait was shorter. Or it tastes better because they sourced higher-quality ingredients. When you put customer needs first in your business transformation, they will keep coming back.
Communicate Early and Often
Break down silos and bring people together. You need to think about organizational change management (OCM) at the beginning of your business modernization journey. When you include the right stakeholders and really listen, you’ll unlock a world of possibilities.
Bring Business and IT Together
Successful business modernization takes more than just the IT department. Without insights into the business challenges and customer experience goals, IT teams can struggle to make progress in these initiatives.
Think: business goals powered by an IT strategy.
Bring together business and IT leadership to paint a clear picture of where you want to go and what it takes to get there. Bonus points if you enlist your CMO to help you keep the customer at the center of your business transformation.
Get Buy-In Beyond the C-Suite
If you want to make big changes, you need to get buy-in outside of the C-suite. Consider who has responsibility for carrying out the work to support your initiatives, like directors and managers. Enroll them early to help them understand what’s coming up and how it can improve their lives at work.
Improve Adoption with OCM
Your employees bring your big ideas to life. You need to include them in your strategy and planning. Include an OCM program in your project that answers these questions:
- How may these changes impact your workforce?
- What training do employees need to support your initiative?
- What incentive does an employee have to use a new tool or process?
Change can take time, but you can minimize friction. Communicate the “why” behind the changes to help your employees understand. Be prepared to have an OCM program running for even up to 18-36 months after your initial investment. The result? Better adoption of new technology and processes, more efficiency and higher morale.
Take the First Step to Owning Disruption
A well-constructed business modernization journey helps you bring together people, process and technology to become more resilient for whatever the future holds. Making impactful changes for business growth can be complicated, so bring it back to the basics. Bring the right people together to ask tough questions, develop a strategy and build a roadmap.
Start by asking:
- What does your customer want or need?
- Where do you want to go?
- How can technology help you get there?
- How can your workforce help you get there?
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective. Consider a partner for business consulting services to meet you where you’re at, break down silos, help you see the big picture and bring that vision to life.
About the Authors
Brandon is a results-focused management professional offering 20+ years of senior-level business development and operational leadership for startup corporations and mature, rapidly expanding global operations. He possesses the recognized ability to incorporate innovative management techniques, processes and procedures to enhance business practices, increase productivity and boost revenues. He has a talent for forging strong relationships with key decision-makers, corporate executives, channel partners and employees.
Jay helps business and IT leaders understand their customer, create a clear vision and modernize to maximize revenue and minimize disruption. With over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, he has spent most of his career mastering cloud and DevOps. He uses his deep understanding of these technologies and approaches to bring business and IT leaders together to create sustainable business growth.
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