By Vanita Aggarwal, Head-Digital Engagement Practice, EPAM Systems, Inc. (India)’
A digital transformation journey is complex because it depends on multiple interlinked elements at every stage. Along with technology, data, and infrastructure, managing change is critical for obtaining the expected business outcomes. Driving the program with agile methodology, having checkpoints at every stage, and the acceptability of the new digitised processes by people are vital factors determining the quality of delivery. Keeping the consumer mindset in view and seeking a capable team to support the program are fundamental for the successful delivery of a program. Though several aspects contribute to the successful delivery of a transformation program, three are the most important.
1. Obtaining Desired Business Outcomes
Obtaining desired business outcomes is the goal of any transformation program. The decisive point for beginning a transformation program is to have the same understanding of the business outcomes and desired Return-On-Investment (ROI) between the client and implementation partner. This understanding is reached during the analysis or discovery phase. The discovery phase helps the clients have better insights regarding business requirements, correct success parameters, and priorities. The program elements that require transformation and the related rationale are also analysed. This phase enables the implementation partner to define the value proposition that can be offered to the client. It is common that programs sometimes wrap up after the discovery phase because an extensive transformation is deemed unnecessary or the ecosystem needs to be more mature for the change.
Some of the key stakeholders engaged in the analysis phase include the Chief Experience Officer (CXO), industry domain experts, business consultants, enterprise architects and client transformation sponsors for providing strategic and technical consultation. In addition, the agile transformation leads and change experts decide the appropriate framework for the change at this stage and change specialists with agile mindset help in designing new processes leading to desired business outcomes.
It is essential to meticulously map old processes to new, transformed or digitised ones. Simulating the new processes with data and intelligence of manual steps helps to check if the desired outcome will be delivered post-implementation. It also helps to measure success at each stage, assess how new processes add value to the overall transformation, identify dependencies and reduce the risk of the program going wrong.
2. Designing the Digital Landscape with the Right Mix of Technology and Experience
Customer centricity is the driving factor in deciding the digital IT landscape, which is a mix of experience, data and infrastructure. An intuitive and immersive experience must be designed first, allowing the seamless embedment of technology into the experience later. The usage of correct data for different types of users is also required to add intelligence to the experience. Selecting appropriate channels to collect the data is vital for creating a holistic 360-degree customer view. And lastly, the infrastructure is the enabler of converting the design into reality and a combination of the 3 S’s – Skills, Speed and Spend. Deciding on the appropriate infrastructure means choosing the right mix of hybrid, private and public cloud. Understanding business flows and technology stack is a prerequisite for re-engineering the solution on the modern cloud platform.
3. Core Engineering Skills for a Successful Implementation
The key to a successful implementation is having a team of capable engineers with the right skill sets. Today, many frameworks and platforms are available in the digital domain with built-in functions. Many scenario-building and consulting for different clients are done based on features that these platforms and frameworks provide. Thus, knowledge of the platforms and frameworks is essential to implement the idea to deliver maximum client benefits. However, core engineering skills are fundamental to ensuring high-quality delivery and consulting. Digital technologies are evolving practically every day and a strong command of base languages and design principles in the team is crucial for successful implementation, which means a program that does not run into scalability or performance issues at later stages.
Therefore, beginning the transformation journey with a thorough understanding of desired outcomes is crucial. It paves the foundation for a successful transformation program. Strategic and technical consultation from domain experts is the key facilitator keeping the program in the right direction. The core engineering and skills of the team are the tools to deliver the expected output.