Ensuring Digital Readiness Before Embracing New Technology

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: June 11, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, organizations are constantly bombarded with the latest trends promising to revolutionize their operations. From artificial intelligence to blockchain, the allure of new tech can be compelling. However, integrating these trends into an organization's digital transformation strategy requires more than just an eagerness to adopt the latest innovations. It requires a foundational understanding of the organization's digital mindset and readiness.

The Digital Mindset: A Crucial Starting Point

Before diving headfirst into adopting new technologies, it's imperative to assess the digital mindset of the organization. A digital mindset isn't just about having the latest tools but understanding how to leverage these tools effectively. This mindset must permeate the entire organization, from top management to entry-level employees.

The first step is to evaluate whether key personnel can map out existing processes on pen and paper, detailing data structures and data flows. If the organization's processes are not clearly understood and documented in a simple, manual format, adding new technology will only exacerbate inefficiencies.

Building a Strong Foundation

To draw an analogy, consider the construction of a bridge. No engineer would start building a bridge without a comprehensive blueprint. This blueprint ensures that all environmental factors are considered, and that the structure can withstand the necessary loads. Similarly, in digital transformation, organizations need a robust plan that details every aspect of their operations. This ensures that any new technology implemented will integrate smoothly and function as intended.

This preparation phase is crucial. Organizations must ensure that their processes are solid and well-documented. This forms the bedrock upon which new technologies can be successfully implemented. Without this foundation, even the most advanced technologies will fail to deliver their promised benefits.

Avoiding the Technology Trap

The rapid pace of technological advancement can often lead organizations into the trap of adopting new technologies for the sake of it. However, this approach can be detrimental if the organization is not ready for such advancements. For example, an organization struggling to implement a basic general ledger (GL) system or inventory management system will find little benefit in layering additional technologies on top.

It's akin to playing a sport like tennis. A new racket or the latest shoes won't improve a player's game if their basic skills and fitness levels are lacking. Similarly, organizations must focus on improving their core capabilities before adding new technologies.

Focusing on the Player, Not the Equipment

Organizations should focus on enhancing their internal capabilities—the "player"—rather than getting distracted by the allure of new technologies—the "equipment." This involves ensuring that employees have the necessary skills, the right mindset, and a solid understanding of existing processes. When the organization's foundational elements are strong, they can adapt to and benefit from new technologies, regardless of the specific tools chosen.

To return to the tennis analogy, a skilled player will perform well with any racket. The same principle applies to organizations: a well-prepared, digitally savvy organization will thrive with any suitable technology. The key is to build internal strength and readiness first, ensuring that the adoption of new technologies enhances rather than hinders operations.

Conclusion

In summary, while staying abreast of technology trends is important, organizations must prioritize their digital readiness. By focusing on building a strong digital mindset and ensuring robust, well-documented processes, organizations can create a solid foundation for successful digital transformation. This approach ensures that any new technology adopted will truly add value, driving the organization towards optimal performance and innovation.

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How Can We Help Your Digital Readiness

At Third Stage Consulting, we're committed to helping organizations navigate the complexities of digital transformation, including your digital readiness. Whether you're embarking on a new transformation journey or seeking to optimize existing processes, our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Kimberling Eric Blue Backgroundv2
Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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