Driving change across an organisation is hard. Even businesses with the best intentions and well thought out strategies often lack the capability to lead change within their organisations and are left with failing programmes that they have not been able to deliver on.
This is especially true when it comes to implementing and integrating new technology.
When implemented and integrated correctly, technology has the potential to drive digital transformation, enable business intelligence, allow organisations to become truly data led and ultimately transform customer experience for the better.
So what can organisations do to make sure they are appropriately acting on their business and technology strategies?
Technology is important, of course, but it should never be the starting point. All too often the tendency is to try and solve a need in the quickest way possible by throwing some technology at it. To really get value, organisations need to step back and start with the customer. Understand how your customers are interacting with your brand, how they are likely to in the future and also ask yourself: what disruptions are there in the market that might change the way they do?
Before implementing any new business or technology strategy, organisations first need to fully understand the systems they already have. Businesses are likely to have multiple systems in place, which are not being utilised properly.
By closely examining current marketing and data architecture, and the way systems, tools and data presently connect (or fail to connect as the case may be), organisations can gather a clearer idea of where there is a genuine need for new technology.
In an age when there are more marketing and data technologies to choose from than ever before, having the skills to know which will not only deliver results for your specific needs, but also fit into your existing eco-systems, is vital.
As it stands, the niche expertise and experience required to wade through all the available technology options, identify the best fit and see how it can be successfully integrated into existing systems, are not commonly found within marketing or IT departments. As such, seeking independent, expert advice can save considerable time and money.
When it comes to implementation of new systems or software, many organisations make the mistake of rushing and trying to implement technology too quickly. This is perhaps understandable, as there is often immense pressure to deliver results.
However, this approach rarely delivers true value in the long-term and in fact, can often be counter-productive. By rushing implementation, and not effectively managing expectations across the business, the technology is unfairly viewed as a failure.
The key is to carefully balance the adoption of the technology with what you’re trying to achieve with it. This is precisely why developing a roadmap prior to implementation is so important. Built into this roadmap should be incremental targets, some of which can be delivered quickly in order to demonstrate value up front, as well as clear objectives that the business can work towards.
These ‘quick wins’ are critical for demonstrating the value of a system and getting that all in important buy in.
Having a tight, expert team is the difference between success and failure when it comes to affecting change. An organisation can select the best piece of technology in the world, but its true value cannot be unlocked without the appropriate expertise to implement, integrate and optimise it. For instance, a particular technology may claim to deliver X,Y and Z straight out of the box, but in reality it will need careful configuration and this means having the right talent available.
If a new technology is not integrated correctly, then adoption rates are likely to be low, it will be perceived badly and ultimately it will not provide the required return on investment or solve the issues it was bought in to address.
It is not just technical expertise that is needed. Your team also needs to be expert communicators and bridge the gap between organizational silos. They need to obtain stakeholder buy-in across the business and ensure they are regularly communicating about how the implementation and integration process is progressing and highlighting success in areas where value can be demonstrated quickly.
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