Professional services make transformation real
Feb. 11, 2020 | By: Jeff Mason, Vice President, TEKsystems Global Services
Transformation. The term has become a buzzword in the world of business and technology. In the minds of jaded decision-makers, it has taken on the mystical quality of a distant ideal. But for any company leader facing a “how do-we-get-from-here-to-there” decision, transformation is more than wishful thinking; it is a practical and immediate matter that reaches to the heart of an organization’s growth and success.
The need for transformation can stem from market pressures like customer shortfalls, longer cycle times or competitors moving ahead with innovation. These pressures lead to technology or process initiatives, such as rethinking how a company stores and handles data or redesigning its virtual presence on web or mobile channels. These initiatives are often technical, involving highly skilled input and execution that can change the way every customer, partner or worker experiences the company. How can organizations hire the skilled employees they need to make transformation happen? In many cases, the answer is simple: they can’t.
In a time when many highly skilled workers embrace careers as contractors or consultants, organizations need to adopt strategies that meet those workers where they are, as flexible professionals who choose their work by the project. As such, a growing number of companies are turning to professional services as a path to talent and teams ready-made to deliver on the most challenging projects. But more than simply a source of talent, a professional services partner should touch on all aspects of transformation, including vision and strategy, execution and change management.
Vision and strategy
A clear strategic vision is one of the most overlooked values a great services partner brings to the table. For example, a company may realize it must achieve a more responsive customer care process, and part of that issue may involve moving legacy applications to the cloud. Internal parties may have differing views on how to achieve that move. Soon enough, such an initiative may run into issues with competing interests or with priorities that are well-meaning but short-sighted.
As a consultative partner, the services provider can bring expertise and an objective view into the planning process to create a credible, realistic vision. Even more important, a good partner understands the pitfalls to avoid in building sponsorship and support. In the case of a cloud implementation, for example, many decisions need to be made about which legacy applications to address. What is the appetite for different platforms, and what level of support will be required to make those platforms work? What does success look like? An informed answer to these questions leads to a better strategic foundation.
A quality network of talent leads to the skilled teams that can execute impactful engagement. If a services provider treats its workers well—with opportunities that help them grow, a path to career success and supportive communications—the quality of work being done for the client will reflect that care.
Beyond accessing quality talent, a services provider should be able to draw from a large supply of workers to assemble the exact mix of talent needed for success. In our organization, we understand that clients expect us to bring a portfolio of expertise with a variety of technology stacks, resulting in workforce transformation, cloud transformations or whatever they need. Each customer benefits from the experience we gain implementing projects with other clients, ultimately driving the best chance for the quickest, most realistic outcome.
While change management begins with a clear vision and detailed planning, its impact should extend well beyond implementation. In the case of a technology deployment, the real impact and value are defined by long-term user adoption, and adoption should not be taken for granted.
Creative change management begins with understanding issues that influence user sentiment. In many cases, users may not see the value of the changes a company is undertaking. They are being asked to work outside their comfort zone, so the goal is to help them move from a comfortable current state to a less comfortable state that yields a better future. In essence, getting people to embrace new ways of working requires outreach and education, and services providers are often the best suited to provide that outreach.
You can’t outsource resilience—or can you?
A well planned, executed and supported transformation initiative should position an organization to navigate unforeseen changes, whether that means adding new technologies to a platform, bringing new users into a process or adjusting a workflow. This flexibility is the connection between transformation and business resilience, a concern for many companies as they face a future of rapid innovation and market uncertainty. A trusted provider of services and expertise can prove essential in building resilience, delivering a level of transformation that addresses near-term goals while positioning the organization for long-term success.
(Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Allegis Group’s report, “Connecting Talent Potential to Business Outcomes.”)
Vice President of TEKsystems Global Services Jeff Mason has over 20 years of experience in the IT staffing and services industry. He currently leads strategy, communications and project management roles helping to evolve and mature TEKsystems Global Services.