Digital Transformation Mandates for CXOs in 2019

As 2018 winds down and we look to the future, it is a good time to reflect on what we can do to be more effective in the coming year.

The past year was a great one. On one hand, enterprise technology evolved in a significant way to help deliver potential breakthrough enterprise capabilities. On the other, organizations continued to make the same mistakes of years past. Digital transformations are on the rise, and the SAP failure at Lidl and the National Grid v. Wipro SAP lawsuit cast shadows over the digital transformation space.

We recently posted our top predictions for 2019, along with our review of the top ERP systems for 2019. To round out our trilogy of forward-leaning blogs, we also wanted to share the tangible and actionable strategies and tactics that will help CXOs succeed in the new year.

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Whether you are a CIO, CFO, CEO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Transformation Officer, or another leader in charge of a complex transformation, these are the top strategies, tools, and tactics to help your organization pivot into the future.

Consider your entire spectrum of digital transformation options

It’s easy to focus on SAP S/4HANA vs. Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. NetSuite, or another myopic view of potential technology solutions. But there are more viable options in the market than you may think. And there is no need to assume that only one solution can fit your needs. It is important to get a technology-agnostic recommendation of the best digital strategy for your organization.

Take control of your digital transformation

Deloitte, Accenture, Capgemini and other ERP system integrators aren’t in control of your project. You are. If your SI or VAR insists on an unreasonable timeline, a bloated army of consultants, or a biased technology solution that doesn’t make sense for your organization, then push back. If the recommended solution doesn’t feel right or doesn’t align with your strategic objectives, then take ownership. If you feel that quality assurance and third-party oversight of your system integrator will help you succeed, then do so.

You are the only one that can ensure the success of your project. Resist the temptation or pressure to hand the keys to your system integrator. They may not like your decisions, but you are the one that will be left holding the bag when the consultants are gone.

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Stop overlooking the little details of your digital transformation

I recently wrote about how the little things are the cause of digital transformation failure. They may seem like little things, but they are actually very significant. Organizational change management, immature cloud ERP solutions, and inability to change your operations fast enough are just a few examples of things that can undermine your initiative.

Take a timeout to control the tempo of your digital transformation

Too many organizations rush into their transformations before they are really ready. Your chosen vendor and system integrator have a vested interest in seeing you start before you’re necessary ready, so it is important to do what’s right for you. Transformation readiness is one of the most important aspects of your digital transformation, so be sure not to bypass this critical success factor.

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Bottom line: only you can decide whether your digital transformation succeeds or fails

Over the years, some CIOs have used vendors, system integrators, and consultants as scapegoats for their digital transformation failures. They may position themselves as victims, but every CXO needs to take ownership of their digital transformation to do what it takes to ensure success.

If you’re ever in doubt, then feel free to reach out to independent ERP consultants such as our team at Third Stage. Contact me if you would like to brainstorm ideas on how to make your initiative more successful in the new year – I’m happy to help!

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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