What does “IT Transformation” mean? And how do midmarket companies with more limited resources provide what their customers expect in terms of IT?
In a business sense businessdictionary.com defines transformation as
“In an organizational context, a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness. Unlike ‘turnaround’ (which implies incremental progress on the same plane) transformation implies a basic change of character and little or no resemblance with the past configuration or structure.”
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/transformation.html
As it relates to Information Technology (IT) it’s often thought that such a “transformation” brings with it some real challenges:
- Potential for Business Disruption
- Huge upfront costs in terms of investment, time and focus
- Risk of failure (we have all read the horror stories)
Yet the opportunities are to:
- Optimize Processes throughout the business
- Increase Service to its Customers
- Provide new ways to Grow Revenues
- Rationalize technology to Reduce Ongoing IT costs
and a means to get connected to new generations of customers
Large businesses have vast resources to take on large-scale business transformations. Midmarket businesses may find the task more daunting. Yet small, midmarket and large businesses all need to stay competitive. Many midmarket companies face challenges of:
- Limited CapEx budgets
- Greater difficulty pulling people away from their “day jobs”
- Smaller scale IT departments, and breadth of skills
A recent study by TechAisle states that “…the top business issues for small and midmarket firms are virtually identical.” And that “…Improved productivity and reduced operational cost are top-two business issues.”
So how do you transform your midmarket business with limited resources? The simple answer is leverage and proactive risk abatement. Leverage in terms of access to people and technology within your budget, and on your schedule. Proactive risk abatement in terms of managing risk so they never become issues that can cause failure.
The first step in developing leverage is to find the right technology partner. Align yourself with a technology partner who highly values you as their customer. A partner who is willing to put “skin in the game”. A partner who is willing to co-invest in dedicating exactly the right skills you need, versus force-fitting available resources from a “bench”.
Once you’ve done this and defined your plan of action it all comes down to execution. Execution’s Achilles heel is risk. IT project plans without proactive risk abatement are a crap-shoot. Kick off your transformation project only after all risks have abatement actions with scheduled “trigger dates”. That will help you sleep better at night, and significantly improve the odds.