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What to consider when building a plan for a technology-related transformation
By Markiian
September 17, 2020
Technology transformations in 2020s

Even in today's market conditions affected by COVID-19, technology-related transformations continue to gain traction and grow steadily, according to the IDC. Technology opportunities, for revenue growth and operational costs optimization that are available to the companies today, were on the verge of magic a few decades ago. None of the generations in human history had the access to such potential. Every day it is becoming more exciting than it was the day before. Those opportunities give chances to the players who are in the shadow of the industry top influencers, become game-changers almost overnight, leveling down monopoly opponents and taking their market share. To get this chance, companies must grow their technology capability and expertise on their own or with partner consultants who could usually help to do this with better quality and long-term effects. No matter, what option is chosen, usually it is an undertaking that demands creativity, discipline, passion, expertise, persistence, and of course talent from all the members involved.
What did we learn when working with clients over the past years?

We in TageSpot, want to share important facts and advice, understanding of which could increase your chances to run successful technology transformations that will help your company to become great and change the whole industry and its market.

Fact: Business executives struggle to sell qualitative technology transformation vision to their management.

Advice:
It is hard and time-consuming, discovering information for the business case. But on the other side, it limits the risk of building the thing that no one needs. Never take emotional decisions and always try to back them up by data. Don't skip phases of ROI, IRR, potential losses calculations. Don't skip budget planning. Don't cut the time that is dedicated to increase shared understanding of the initiative between business and technology departments.

Fact: Not every transformation requires everything to be built in-house.

Advice: Sometimes you could be just reinventing the wheel. Today, there are a lot of solutions that could solve most of the commodity problems. Always, spend time looking around on the external offerings. Do only transformations that provide the company with a competitive advantage that will be hard to replicate. It raises another problem of decision making regarding build vs buy, but it will pay in the long-term if done properly.

Fact: Usually, the first step in large technology transformations is requirements elicitation, which is dramatic, as it provides no value in gaining an understanding of the problem statement and desired state.

Advice: For big transformation initiatives e.g. request for a new system, existing technology substitution, the discovery phase should incorporate more complex techniques, e.g. business capability modeling, value stream mapping, detailed strategy&objectives formulation, business scenarios modeling. This allows gaining a clear understanding of business drivers, overall solution vision, and easily dissects competing alternatives.

Fact: A lot of business executives are too optimistic about the timelines of their employees gaining knowledge and deploying new technologies.

Advice: It doesn't matter how smart your colleagues are. New technologies require significant time to be adopted. Don't make mistakes thinking practices e.g. DevOps could be adopted in 2 months. They usually require not only time to learn new skills, but whole culture transitions. If you want to understand it in more detail, get acquainted with our vision on technology adoption.

Fact:
Talent and culture transformations are an integral part of every middle to large-size technology transformations.

Advice: Talent and culture issues are the main drivers of failed transformations. Always invest in employee training and keep track of what culture components need to change to effectively deploy transformations. Nowadays, to have top-notch engineering culture requires more than learning the basics of Agile and putting them into practice.

Fact: The value of technology transformations is not always calculated.

Advice: Plan outcome-based metrics as part of a technology strategy plan formulation. Regularly check adherence to the metrics and run retro meetings on transformations. This will increase the chances for your undertaking to be a mind-blowing success. Also, it will help you to have evidence that transformation is successful. As a result, you will be more likely to deploy more technologies than others do according to McKinsey.
Fact: Important aspects of software development are skipped during technology transformations and this leads to failure.

Advice: Don't omit the part of discovering quality attributes of the system from a software architecture perspective or design security requirements. Building a successful technology strategy requires touching a lot of domains of software development and not only the coding part.

Conclusions


Hope, our thoughts on technology transformations will help you to move on with your initiatives.

It is always a good idea of finding a partner who could facilitate the problems outlined above for you with a specifically designed methodology and expertise. In case, you would like to clarify details and get a deeper feel of how we could help you feel free to contact us.
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