It's no secret that the technology business landscape is constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the curve, organizations need to be proactive about their digital transformation strategy. With so many options and moving pieces, it can be tough to know where to start. But it's important to make a decision sooner rather than later, especially within the current climate of finite resources.
Deciding to engage in any technology implementation or project is a huge and risky decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It usually involves a lot of money, time, and resources that can potentially be wasted if not done correctly. I am not at all encouraging impulse software shopping. On the contrary, organizations should be intentional and understand the risks involved. However, there is a fine line between strategic and complacent.
Organizations have always been cautious, rightfully so, about how they spend their money, but in recent years there has been an increased focus on getting the most bang for your buck – especially when it comes to technology projects. In a study conducted by Forrester, 30% of respondents said that their top challenge when it comes to software implementations is finding the right skills internally, and 22% said that they struggle with having enough resources to get the job done.
With the war for talent being more fierce than ever, it’s no surprise that organizations are struggling to find the right people to help with their digital transformation initiatives. And even if they do find the right people, they often don’t have enough of them. This is especially true for smaller organizations that don’t have the same deep bench of resources that larger enterprises do.
The lack of available resources is also being felt by software vendors and system integrators. Many are experiencing their own labor shortages, which are only exacerbating the struggles of their customers. In a recent article, Forbes reported that the global software engineering talent shortage has reached epic proportions, with some estimates suggesting that there will be as many as 1.8 million unfilled software engineering jobs by 2022.
This shortage is being caused by several factors, including the increasing popularity of software engineering as a career, the growing demand for software products and services, and the fact that there are simply not enough people being trained in software engineering to meet the current demand. This shortage is having a ripple effect throughout the industry, making it more difficult and more expensive for organizations to find the right people to help them with their digital transformation efforts.
The current state of resources is not sustainable in the long run. Organizations need to find a way to get the right people on board to help with their digital transformation initiatives, or they will fall behind.
But how can they do that when there are so few people available?
One way to address this issue is to look for resources outside of the traditional sources. For example, rather than relying on system integrators or software vendors to provide all of the resources needed for a digital transformation project, organizations can look to technology and software advisors.
Like Third Stage, these third-party organizations provide specialized services to help with the implementation and management of digital transformation projects. They can help with everything from project planning and execution to resource procurement and management.
These consulting groups can be a great option for organizations that are struggling to find the right resources internally. They can also be a good option for organizations that want to outsource some or all of the work associated with a digital transformation project, or that may lack internal competencies
When selecting a technology advisor, it’s important to choose one that has experience working with the specific software products that will be used in the project. It’s also critical to ensure that your partner is completely technology independent and agnostic. They should be there to support your organization's goals and agenda only.
These technology advisors also speak the language of the industry, understand the trends or challenges, know reasonable timelines, and most importantly can navigate confusing vendor jargon. Investing in this project insurance upfront can prevent costly program triage in the future.
So... what should you do? First, take a step back and assess your current situation.
What processes and systems are in place?
What are your pain points?
What are your goals for digital transformation?
Once you have a good understanding of where you're starting, you can begin to develop a plan. Start by identifying which areas need the most attention and focus on those first. Establish your trusted, independent partner and start to build a project roadmap to evaluate and implement a software system that best meets the needs of your organization.
Leadership teams will need to be flexible and mindful that there will be roadblocks, but with a solid team and plan, all barriers can be broken. With the current state of implementation resources shortages, timelines might need to evolve. Going into a project with a mindset optimized to embrace change will create resilience and ultimately, maximize the business value of the new technologies.
The most important thing is to get started. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch up. So make a decision today about your digital transformation strategy. It's time to future-proof your business.
The Third Stage community is comprised of highly experienced software engineers and consultants who have worked on digital transformation projects for a wide variety of organizations. We understand the challenges that organizations face when trying to implement new software systems, and we have the skills and knowledge necessary to help them overcome those challenges.
If you’re struggling to find the right resources for your digital transformation project, feel free to reach out to me directly. My team and I can help you get the project off the ground and be an informal soundboard for your business needs.
Also, be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report. This report will help you understand, what digital transformation is and why it’s important, the challenges organizations face when trying to implement new software systems, how to overcome those common pitfalls, and much more.