Digital Transformation is the buzz phrase of the last few years. Every 'established' business is looking for new technology and new approaches to enable them to stave off new competition and reinvent itself in the digital world. But what transformation technology is going to be suitable for your business and how do you find it?
What is a Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is a phrase that describes how a business changes its existing processes into new digitally-based processes. It is often associated with more established organizations and their actions to bring the business into a more modern age.
How to find Transformation Technology
Executives are searching for new technologies which might bring competitive advantage to their businesses. The question is, what technologies are useful in a digital transformation project or process, and how does one find those technologies? Where do you look and what might your transformation technology look like?
The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The key thing is to look outside of the walls of your business and to be open to new approaches and new suggestions. Viewpoint Analysis act as a 'Technology Matchmaker' and we help businesses of all shapes and sizes to find new transformation technology - IT systems and software that can underpin a company's digital transformation. What we explain to our customers is as follows.
Transformation technology comes in various sizes
There is an assumption that this is a MAJOR project and the technology is expensive and wide-ranging. That is not necessarily the case. Digital Transformation comes in various shapes and sizes. In our experience, companies buy multiple products that contribute to the overall digital transformation - not one or two. As such, it might be that each department is tasked with improving how efficient and 'digital' they are expected to be. There may be a number of systems that are company-wide, but very often the majority of these new technologies are deployed in small elements of the business or perform very niche and specific tasks.
Software may be expensive, or it may be cheap
Times have changed and we are no longer living in an age where software and services have to cost multiple millions. With the evolution of the cloud and software as a service, CAPEX has turned to OPEX and this now makes up the majority of the digital transformation technology requirements. Your transformation technology need not break the bank - in some cases you can start small and test the technology, then pay more as you scale.
Speed is of the essence
As important as choosing the right technology, is choosing technology quickly. Times have also changed for the procurement process. Do not go down the same old routes - scrap the RFP and ditch the RFI. The aim of the game is to deploy the right digital technology quickly - so that you can get on with the transformation, and not let your competitors fly by as you think long and hard about what to choose. If this seems like a crazy idea, take a look at our alternative approaches to an RFP and RFI (the Project Matchmaker and Rapid RFP)
Be open to ideas
This is a crucial one so worth paying extra attention to - talk to the technology vendors and tell them about your situation and your strategy. Do not be prescriptive. Do not tell them what you think you need - rather you should let them educate you. Let them tell you how they have helped similar businesses. Let them show you how their technology might transform your current situation. Who knows better - them or you? The technology vendors spend every waking hour talking to customers just like you - they know how their software or services work and they know what they have done to help other businesses. Listen and let them inspire you.
We have a little service called the Technology Ideas Matchmaker where we do this for businesses. We write up the problem statement and take this to the market - we then host Matchmaker Presentations where the vendors present back their ideas. It's a brilliant and real game-changing service for digital transformation ideas. You can do this without our help if you have a deep grasp of the options - go and write down your issue and approach the vendors that can help.
Talk to your peers
Talk to your peer group. Do you have friends or ex-colleagues that are working in other businesses that have undergone a technology transformation? If so, why not ask them how it went and what vendors might have helped them along the way? It's also worth asking your current team members - no doubt some will have worked elsewhere in the last few years. Have they seen technology that might transform your department, business, or industry? It's worth asking the question.
If you aren't talking to the vendors - you better believe your competitors are
Having worked in technology sales for over two decades, I can tell you that there is a clear distinction between two different types of companies. On the one hand, there are companies that partner with big technology vendors - they talk through their strategy and look for input. They ask for guidance and often they are at the cutting edge of the vendor's new products and roadmap. The second group is not engaged. They only come to market when they have an issue - and assume they know the answer to the issue. They present the vendor with a list of things that the technology must do. Guess which one of the two businesses has the most advanced technology architecture.....
It really should not be a complicated process to find the right technology for your digital transformation - and it need not be a long and expensive job. Watch what's happening in the market. Listen to what your customers are looking for. Try to learn what your competitors are doing. Most of all, try to partner with the technology vendors and pose them your challenges - let them earn the right to be a partner and to help you drive your transformation. Every salesperson in every technology vendor wants to be a partner - not a supplier. Get working with them and see if this can help you change your business for the better.
Let us know if we can help you - our Digital Transformation Technology Matchmaker is designed specifically for transformation leaders and senior executives looking for the right technology