In any contemporary business environment, a properly functioning tech system is necessary for effective operations. As such, incorporating new technologies into an existing framework is often an intimidating task.
While the overall benefits of having a technological strategy can be game-changing, up-front difficulties may discourage you from taking on the challenge.
With potential roadblocks ranging from legal compliance concerns to employees not being willing to change their day-to-day habits, 28% of companies reported digital transformation as a primary cost center in a 2019 Altimeter report.
Technological strategy is one of the most instrumental tools to employ in getting your team and other stakeholders on board with a tech upgrade.
By following the steps outlined below, you can ensure that your business can efficiently implement new solutions and reap long-term benefits with as few short-term trials as possible.
Clearly Define Your Business Need
When first embarking on a digital transformation project, you and your team need to understand exactly what sort of problem you’re trying to solve.
While the long-term benefits of such an undertaking are clear, improperly implementing new technology can lead to difficulties early on that negate any future advantages.
Just 16% of respondents to a 2018 McKinsey survey felt that tech upgrades they’ve been a part of have netted their firms sustained positive change. Another 7% saw improvements in the short term that waned over time.
These statistics paint a grim picture for any business looking to tackle an unnecessary technological upgrade.
To avoid this less-than-optimal scenario, you should dedicate much of the early portion of your project to building a holistic understanding of the business need you’re looking to address.
Your team should look to as many organizational levels as possible to properly assess the specificities of needs and downstream impacts of changes.
Map Out an Internal Plan
Once you and your team have fully comprehended the business need you’ll address with the new technology, you should create a full-scale technological strategy plan that will complete the project.
You should start your plan by including the most obvious steps, such as finding the ideal vendor, negotiating an optimal relationship, and implementing the new technology.
Source: Product Plan
From there, you’ll want to incorporate less glamorous steps such as securing stakeholder approval for the new solution, hiring subject matter experts, and mitigating any legal or regulatory impacts.
After your plan is mapped out, be sure to share it with all affected parties with as much lead time as possible. Not only is communication a great way to combat resistance to technological change, but it will also give you time to adjust your plan if anyone comes back with ideas you hadn’t considered.
With a detailed and communicated plan in tow, your business will be well-equipped to see your digital transformation project through from a strategic standpoint.
Explore Potential Solutions
With your business need defined and your plan laid out, you’re ready to start searching for technological solutions that will best fit the challenge at hand.
While it may be tempting to tighten the vendor selection timeline as much as possible, the proper due diligence is necessary to deliver the best overall value to your firm.
After all, digital transformation projects are designed to net long-term gains rather than short-term benefits. The breadth of detail explored in the earlier stages of the project should help expedite the process to a healthy degree.
In dealing with vendors, transparent and honest communication is vital for both parties. You should go into each meeting receptive to their ideas for your project, but be sure to explain your requirements and avoid unnecessary scope creep thoroughly.
When you finally select your new solution, ensure that it fits your organization’s long-term technological strategy. Companies with a piecemeal approach to tech upgrades tend to breed resistance in their employees.
Implement the New Tech
After finding the best possible solution for the challenge you’re looking to address, it’s time to prepare for implementation. With the broad, interconnected technological networks employed by businesses today, this cannot be a rushed process.
Before taking any irreversible implementation actions, you must do proper testing. Your team should make sure that the new technology works appropriately within your organization’s IT framework. If you don’t have the appropriate bandwidth for this task, selecting a top-managed IT service provider can help guarantee your project’s success.
Before migrating your team to the new technology, you should also conduct thorough training sessions. These should include both an instructional and question/answer portion so that any concerns are properly addressed.
By doing so, not only will employees be better equipped to leverage the new technology, but they’ll also be less likely to feel frustrated by the change.
Once you’ve adequately prepared the entirety of those affected by the change, you’re ready to implement. Be sure to monitor any challenges encountered after this point to limit any early inefficiencies.
Technological Strategy Enhances New Tech’s Impact
The proper technological strategy should accompany any digital transformation project. Doing so will allow you and your team to deliver the most value to your overall organization.
By clearly defining your business need, putting together a comprehensive plan, conducting an exhaustive search for superior technology, and taking a thorough approach to implementation, you’ll be sure to stay ahead of the curve and avoid any hiccups on the road to long-term success.