3 crucial tips for successful IT business transformation

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Author: Erica, Governance  
   Last updated: August 3, 2017

We’ve seen phones go from immobile to mobile, large and heavy; then tiny and light; and finally, back to large, but streamlined – all in less than 20 years; and that’s just phones.

What is transformation?

Transformation, by its very definition is “a marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better”. With that said, if you speak to employees who have experienced a transformation of technology in the workplace, you will almost certainly receive mixed reviews.

What’s more, many end-users carry on doing things exactly the same way they did before, which means they see the change as a loss of their familiar tools and an unnecessary learning curve instead of a gain of additional tools and functionality.

With such bad press, how does one successfully transform the technological landscape of their business – and be thanked for it?

As noted by Forbes

“48% of executives believe their organization is only somewhat or not at all prepared to successfully execute a business transformation today.”

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Everybody wants IT business transformation

There are many theories surrounding how to make IT business transformation a reality, but they all have one common starting place – have a strategy and create a plan; a deceptively simple statement.

Too many businesses feel the pressure to have a plan and end up neglecting the very important reality that without context, a plan will almost always fail to deliver what was asked for, or needed.

So, in an ever-changing landscape where traditional depreciation models are unable to keep pace with technological advances, how does a business create a realistic strategy that remains meaningful?

1. Remain focused

Our number 1 piece of advice is this; remain focused – what do you need for your business to remain relevant and competitive?

It isn’t always about having every bell and whistle available – it’s about knowing which ones are relevant to your sector, employees and customers.

We all want to be able to work from anywhere, collaborate with ease and have access to meaningful data – but what does that mean for your business? Decide what is necessary and what is “nice to have” and then focus on the necessities first.

This seemingly normal step is the difference between true IT business transformation and another failed project.

2. The right type of plan

Secondly, create your plan – and stick to it!

Technology too often brings out the “magpies” in us; it can be very tempting to change course for the latest shiny tool. Beware the temptation to forego essential research into the appropriateness of the latest tool for your business.

This is echoed by McKinsey & Co:

“Just 26 percent of respondents say the transformations they’re most familiar with have been very or completely successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time.”

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Our best piece of advice is this; allow sufficient space for change as an essential part of your strategy - be agile, but ensure that any course change is relevant and beneficial to your overall business strategy.

3. People come first

Thirdly, and one could even say most importantly, create a strategy that is personal.

People may be attracted to new technology, but they are very quickly disillusioned when there is no clear direction, purpose or benefit.

Show your users how their “daily grind” will be improved and then demonstrate it. Do not underestimate the power of a well-run and thought out pilot to create excitement and drive momentum.

After all, technology’s purpose is to enable the user and real IT business transformation starts there.

Topics: IT, Projects, Transformation, Business

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