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Top tips for a successful IT transformation

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Over the past twenty years, IT has become smarter and easier, and now it’s an integral part of life for business and consumer alike.

The desktop has been overtaken by its lighter laptop counterpart, while the responsive functionality of the tablet and smartphone has given our on-the-go lives a digital makeover.

This streamlining, this packing more power into smaller spaces has had a revolutionary impact on the efficiency and productivity of professionals. In the workspace, the transformation has brought some ground-breaking benefits, but opinions aren’t exclusively positive.

While new IT tools are brought in, end users frequently find themselves languishing in the same behaviours, before struggling against a very a steep learning curve as they separate from old tools.

Ideally, end users should be inducted into the usage of new tools smoothly, so that new behaviours and systems are embraced. Improved skillsets, functionality and productivity should come as eventual results.

Pertinently, Forbes notes that nearly half (48 per cent) of executives feel their organisation to be “somewhat or not at all prepared” to execute a business transformation successfully in today’s marketplace. If you share this uncertainty, take a look at the following key tips for implementing a sound IT transformation.

Embrace now

Every organisation needs to be thinking about IT transformation, and it starts with simply reaching out to develop a strategy.

The plan you put together needs to be rooted in the context of the firm. But in an ever-changing landscape where traditional depreciation models struggle to keep up with technology, how does a business formulate a realistic strategy that stays relevant throughout?

Keep your mind on the task

Keeping your focus is essential to keeping your business competitive and relevant in the marketplace. Success will be measured by how discerning you are in adopting new trends and technologies.

Grabbing at each and every technological development will spread confusion and hinder your business. Rather, pick and choose which facets of IT to transform depending on your sector, your customers and your employees.

Remote working is recognised as highly desirable in the modern workforce. While it may be attractive to give staff the option to work from anywhere and have access to the data they need from those locations, is it really a business priority? Always focus on what needs to be done next, as opposed to what would be nice to have.

This straightforward advice is often the dividing line between firms that ride out IT transformation waves successfully, and those that drown in the tech-driven tide.

Pick the right plan

When you have settled on a plan, stick to it. You’ll be tempted by many transformation tools on the side lines as you move forwards, but not all that shimmers is digital gold. It takes discipline to resist the urge to reach for that latest tool which could compromise the route you’ve put so much into plotting.

When you do select new tools, don’t rush in without having done research into how they might appropriately fit into your business.

Research by McKinsey & Co finds just over a quarter (26 per cent) of survey respondents deemed transformations they’re most familiar with have “been very or completely successful in improving performance and equipping the organisation to sustain improvements over time.”

The most business savvy ensure they move forwards with transformation methods in a way that leaves breathing space. Transformation is important, but not if it comes at the expense of the long-term enterprise strategy.

This time it’s personnel

Plans can look handsome on paper, but may not play out so well if they don’t put the tools that matter most – people – at the top of the priority list throughout.

Workers are a company’s greatest asset and they need to be treated as such. When talking in terms of transformation, people will be very attracted to new technologies but their enthusiasm will burn out pretty quickly if direction, mode of use and purpose parameters are not clearly defined.

The end user needs to be shown how elements of transformation will make their lives easier, while enabling them to become more productive for the team as a whole. A great deal is at stake when the trust of your employees is on the line, so consider running pilot programmes with clearly established feedback frameworks.

Pilots are great for actively showing that staff are a chief concern in a company’s wellbeing, and that they need to be involved in constructing the organisation’s IT future. Technology has to be there to help us as human beings, and it’s from this basis that the most productive transformation begins.

Final word

The best business leaders recognise that transformation is an ongoing process. A firm’s ability to roll with this process will depend on its agility to ride out, avoid or embrace transformative initiatives as they come, year in, year out.

The capacity to sustain swift and successful business transformation is, in turn, fundamental to establishing the right mindset within employees so that your organisation can be the best version of itself through all departments.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation