Eric Kimberling recently posted a blog surrounding the potential dark side of digital transformation and how the increased power of technology can cause complications even greater than faced in the past with vanilla ERP implementations.
One of the greatest risks of a complete digital transformation is not having the right team and skill sets to guide your organization through the transformation. Below are a few starting points to consider as you create a team to support a digital transformation:
- Technology today is simply too big to assume one person or company can do everything. The more focused or skilled one is on a specific technology, the less they will be on another. As advanced technology requires focused skills, in turn you will likely need a more diverse team to succeed. Don’t assume that one software company or consulting firm can do everything.
- There is no template or structure to start with when putting your dream team together. Every digital strategy looks different and will require a custom team of experts based on how your strategy is defined.
- The term “team” includes both internal and external resources. It is critical not to rest too heavily in either direction. The implementing company will need dedicated internal staff to support process and change and ultimately manage the technologies, but no company has the internal capability to do this all on their own.
- Don’t go cheap. Easy to say up front, but when planning out the cost justification for a digital transformation the resourcing costs can become overwhelming. Take it from the perspective of someone who has helped companies fix failed implementations: Skimping on resourcing up front will cost more in the end, period.
- Not all team members will be needed at once. Most digital transformations are defined over a period of years and never have a defined end state. If you have a well-defined plan, you can map out when certain resources and support is needed. The one exception to this is outlined in the following point.
- Hire an independent transformation advisory firm. Your digital strategy will be a roadmap of multiple technologies, complex integrations, varying timeframes, complex business case justification and potentially dramatic changes to internal processes. This is not something that most organizations can plan out or manage on their own. In order to succeed, you will most likely need and want support in both defining your digital strategy as well as carrying it out. Changes will come along the way; technology partner firms will try to expand on scope and sell additional technologies and services and you will need help navigating this.
Independence here is the key as you cannot be dependent on one implementer or technology provider to accurately define your digital strategy. Consider Third Stage as your independent digital transformation consulting partner to help you through your journey.