While many businesses were on the road to Digital Transformation (DX), there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated these strategies and projects. ‘Nice to have’ technology became ‘must have’ practically overnight, and the entire business model had to shift in many cases.
However, DX is not just about implementing new technology. It is about choosing the right technology to solve a business problem or leverage an opportunity, or both. Ultimately it is about the experience, for both the end user and the customer, and choosing the right digital consulting partner is key to getting it right.
Technology with a purpose
DX should always be about improving business efficiency and effectiveness rather than implementing technology for the sake of it. However, during the panic caused by the pandemic this has been overlooked in many instances.
To leverage maximum value from transformative technology, it needs to be utilised in such a way that it solves business problems and adds value. Consulting is a necessary step to achieving this, because a third-party view often identifies different opportunities and ways of bringing business and technology together to ensure the solution implemented is technology with a purpose.
With that in mind, consulting should always begin with an analysis of the current scenario and the goal of understanding business processes, employee and customer perceptions. Moreover, it should also find the right ways in which to measure performance. From there, areas that can be improved through technology should be identified and categorised based on timelines, cost and projected benefits. Solutions can then be architected appropriately.
Experience is invaluable
Changes do not happen in isolation, and businesses are complex and made up of multiple systems and processes in an ecosystem including suppliers, customers, partners and employees. Introducing technology at any point will impact the entire ecosystem in some way, and these interactions need to be understood so that the change can be managed effectively. People and processes could be affected, both upstream and downstream, so the experience needs to be considered.
Every change is a potential point of failure if a technology implementation is not well thought out, and the experience of the right consulting partner can be invaluable. Consultants understand technology and the business problems it solves, however, business plays a major role in its own success. It is imperative for business, IT and digital consultants to work as a team to ensure solutions are planned, implemented and managed in a practical manner.
No such thing as ‘one size fits all’
Today, most businesses do not have the time or budget for a rip and replace approach. They need to get quick value from any DX implementation, and consultants can help to identify areas that will give these quick wins and those that will be more complex or time consuming. The reality is that there is no such thing as an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges that DX projects pose. Every business problem has a unique solution, and consultants bring with them an objective external opinion. An experienced consultant also brings a wealth of insight from different industries that could influence the success and failure of an implementation.
Moving forward, businesses need to understand and accept that customer buying patterns and employee working patterns have changed forever – both locally and internationally. Investing in technology is not a guarantee to retaining customers, but without it, businesses will in all likelihood lose them. DX is crucial, but it needs to be about using appropriate technology to improve the business. Choosing the right DX partner assist businesses to make the most of the current crisis and emerge leaner, more streamlined and ultimately more successful than before.
Andrew Hoseck is Chief Operations Officer at In2IT Technologies