At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies. – John Thomas Chambers, CEO of CISCO.
Besides John Chambers, successful entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos have highlighted the importance of digital transformation. In his recent article, Stephen Chen of NuCompass Mobility talks about how “many enterprises were caught flat-footed with the wrong technology and needed to play catch-up to be more competitive in the post-pandemic world.”
As I have always mentioned, “digital transformation is not just another technology project.”
Digital transformation is poised to deliver a better product and customer experience through the integration of the latest digital technologies and strategies in organizations. While it is imperative for business growth, digital transformation can look different for every company. As pointed out by Jim Swanson of Johnson & Johnson, “Digital is a loaded word that means many things to many people.”
What drives this transformation? Is it purely technology expertise? Is it the organizational culture? The reality is that a combination of both technology and culture can play an equal role in a brand’s digital transformation process. At Heptagon, we have had the opportunity to work with many clients looking to embark on their digital transformation journey. I have observed that besides the technology part, the cultural aspect of our partnership has also been the key to our client’s business success.
Is your technology partner a good fit for your organization? Here is a look at 5 essential qualities that one must consider while choosing their digital transformation partner.
5 Qualities that your Digital Transformation Partner Must Possess
For digital transformation to succeed in any business sphere, Jim Swanson believes organizations “could have all those things – the customer view, the products and services, data, and cool technologies – but if leadership and culture aren’t at the heart, it fails.”
A cultural fit is among the most critical requirements between a digital transformation partner and its client. Why do I say so? Digital transformation is a journey and you and your partner are like the “two wheels of a motorcycle.” Hence, your organizational culture must match that of your partner’s. For instance, your CEO may be focusing on using digital transformation to “increase revenues,” while your technology partner may be focusing on helping in “developing innovative products.”
With the same cultural fit, the transformation process becomes more seamless – and builds on a collaborative approach to change business processes inside out.
To assess the cultural fit of your technology partner, here are some questions that you can ask them:
- How do they train their internal resources?
- What mode of digital transformation training do they recommend?
- How do they manage organizational changes to optimize the transformation process?
- Do they have prior experience fixing internal issues in their organization?
Innovation and Collaboration
The main goal of digital transformation is to upgrade the existing process using the latest technological innovations. Does your partner in digital transformation have a clear vision of technological innovation – along with the drive to collaborate with you? For mutual benefits, partners must collaborate to achieve a common objective.
In any partnership, organizations must be able to innovate and work on ‘ideas’ that can lead to a long and healthy business outcome. To maximize your collaboration, make sure your digital transformation partner offers an end-to-end solution that can cover all aspects of your digital transformation journey – and not just piecemeal software.
From the technology perspective, a collaborative partnership leads to faster time-to-market and decision-making processes.
Shared Vision and Goals of Digital Transformation
Do your organization and your partner share a long-term vision towards digital transformation? If yes, then these companies can stay united in their approach and maintain the focus on the transformation goals.
Without a doubt, digital transformation is a long and complex process that requires rigorous planning and execution. This is where shared vision and aligned goals are critical. Without aligned goals, partners are unable to come up with an effective strategy roadmap that can transform the organization.
Here is how to determine if your organization can develop a shared vision with your partner:
- Do they have prior experience in developing a shared goal or vision with their clients?
- Do they understand the difference between a vision and a roadmap?
- Are they making technological recommendations before understanding your business vision and objectives?
Without developing a shared vision, conflicts are likely to happen, which will only stall and derail the transformation process. Before starting any technology project, ensure that your partner is aligned with your business vision and goals.
Working Empathy and Patience
Sven Gerjets, CTO of Mattel, says digital “transformation starts with empathy,” while adding that “when your empathy is genuine, you begin to build trust.”
There is no denying the fact that digital transformation initiatives can be a testing experience, as it can lead to reshaping business processes, job roles, and even working groups. Often, we find the situation becoming a point of stress and frustration. During these times, is your technology partner able to step up to the occasion by being more supportive and more aligned with your efforts? Are they helping your organization employees understand why you have undertaken this transformation initiative?
Often digital transformation projects take time to show positive business results – which is when ample patience is needed among partners to ensure that there is no deviation from your transformation strategy.
Deep Technical Expertise
Thanks to the expanding gamut of technologies, digital transformation is no longer a “one-size-fits-all” kind of solution for every brand. Enterprises want to leverage digital technologies to achieve different business goals. This is where your partner must have the right technical expertise that can drive this shift.
- Is your technology partner spending 70-80% of their time running or maintaining inefficient legacy systems?
- How are they responding to new market opportunities and business drivers?
- What long-term value are they offering with the latest technology for growing your customer base and business?
So, while choosing your technology partner, determine:
- How can their technical expertise help in fulfilling your business vision?
- How can their industry experience help in achieving your transformation objectives?
Digital transformation is much more than just a “tech project” which is why you need to be selective while choosing the technology partner. As a measure, choose a partner company that can help you achieve your transformation goals – instead of just viewing your business as a paycheck.
At Heptagon, we care about your business success and vision – and make sure that our team shares the same vision when it comes to digital transformation. If you are also looking for a partner to start your digital transformation journey, do give us a call.