When catching the tube between meetings today, I was struck by the familiar warning phrase issued to busy underground passengers to ‘Mind the gap’. Whilst I wasn’t in any danger of slipping onto the track, the advice was remarkably similar to what I’d just been discussing with a company keen to make the most of a planned, new technology purchase.
My meeting was to determine if a proper Gap Analysis had been undertaken to make sure the company’s operating model was at the right stage of maturity for the adoption of the new technology it was keen to implement and to benefit from its promise.
Gap Analysis is essential
Not properly minding ‘the gap’ in my experience is one of the most common mistakes organisations make when looking to embrace new technology and it’s one that all too often sees them trip up.
While innovation is imperative, organisations need to be mindful that innovation isn’t done for the sake of it or too early to realise its benefits. Undertaking Gap Analysis and looking at the technology you have and how to get the most out of it should be the first step in accelerating your digital journey.
Know what you’ve got
Organisations need to know what’s in their armoury and how to use the data and people they have before they embark on new innovation. Crucially, they need to understand how to use these resources to meet their business goals and there is no better way to achieve this than through a comprehensive Gap Analysis.
So often businesses have grown organically and have a hodge-podge of technology in place. Understanding what this is, identifying the skill sets required to achieve the most out of existing technology and gaining real insight into how data is being used and stored must be a prerequisite to acquiring the latest and greatest piece of shiny tech.
Aligning with business goals
Marketing and data technologies only have the potential to drive digital transformation, enable business intelligence, allow organisations to become truly data led and ultimately transform customer experience for the better, if they align with business goals and objectives. Understanding this will lead to successful implementations.
All too often, I see organisations either rushing to buy marketing and data technology, or investing in new technology, which then does not deliver on its promise or expectation. They are all driven by a desire to stay one step ahead of the competition and carve out an advantage in an increasingly crowded and fast-paced environment.
Arrive successfully at your destination
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 or how current technology which can be utilised.
It may be that instead of putting new technology in place, an organisation would get more value from using its current technology better – for example by configuring it, staff training or integrating it in a smarter way. In order to successfully do this though, organisations need to have conducted thorough Gap Analysis and audits to identify where technology might be better capitalised on.
Investing upfront at this stage and truly minding the gap will lead to an efficient and effective digital journey and ensure that businesses successfully arrive at their desired destination.
To find out more about how to balance innovation and get the basics of technology selection, implementation and integration right, download our latest ‘Ask the Expert’ Report on Unleashing marketing and data technology’s true potential designed to help businesses identify and capitalise on key marketing and data technology.
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