Investment in Technology continues to grow while organizations struggle to achieve full ROI
Gartner says Global IT spending will reach $4.0 trillion by 2021; and this was their view before COVID hit. McKinsey identifies that, for large scale IT projects, 45% incur cost over runs, and 56% fail to achieve the full benefits case. That’s millions, maybe billions of dollars of value left on the table globally – let that sink in.
This, and future articles in this series, will expand on technology modernization trends, risk factors, and mitigating interventions that can improve ROI results and stop wasting resources; and look at the critical role of organizational culture in the success or failure of technology initiatives.
In a survey of more than 800 global executives published in December, 2020, McKinsey identifies that “the strongest companies are reinventing themselves through next-normal operating models, capitalizing on this malleable moment and the resulting spread of agile processes, nimbler ways of working, and increased speed and productivity”. Simple cultural resilience is no longer good enough to survive, let alone thrive through these transformational times. Adaptive resilience, and cultural factors that enable success are key to achieving maximum ROI on technology investments. Now more than ever, organizations face both challenge and opportunity to develop inter-dependent strategies for Technology Modernization and Cultural readiness for success.
Let’s look at how this applies to a scenario with which many organizations may identify. Consider an organization that has accumulated legacy systems through acquisition, in-house development, and “fit for purpose” third party apps; and now struggles to integrate data and harvest advanced insights. They have heard about “Agile Capable” organizations, and are considering this approach to update their technology infrastructure. What follows is a broad framework of approach.
Set your North Star Vision & Technology Strategy
Many organizations today find themselves operating with disparate data structures, multiple legacy systems and inefficient E2E processes, held back by fragmented API structures, manual ETL efforts to support business reporting demands and often resulting in systems and data reconciliation and cleansing to land on a single source of truth.
As business leaders see the increasing potential for data and technology to drive operating efficiencies, and insights, IT teams find themselves dedicating more and more resources to “survival” activities, dealing with new demands as discrete tasks instead of as part of a holistic plan.
This is the time to step back, and create a North Star vision of technology modernization. Form a partnership between IT and Business Leaders to develop this vision while creating alignment to some tough questions, such as:
Why is technology modernization important? How will this benefit the organization? Is a large-scale ERP implementation the way to go? Is a cloud-based solution with single source data lake a better option? Once you are clear, and aligned, develop a roadmap to take small steps forward. Achieve quick wins, manage risk, and validate or course correct the approach.
Discovery Discussions with industry experts who have travelled this path many times over may serve an important role in addressing these and other questions, developing a more fully informed view of your current state, Technology North Star vision, and “quick win” opportunities.
Culture Strategy Will Drive Focus on Enabling Attributes
Far too often, organizations focus on systems functionality, implementation timelines and budgets, yet ROI is achieved through user adoption, new ways of working, and overall business process efficiencies. Organizations are complex social structures with a web of interconnecting relationships among functional groups guided by processes, policies, role mandates, governance, colleague capabilities, organizational values, KPIs and other factors. Cultural readiness for success requires a thorough understanding of baseline culture, attributes that associate with success, and a plan to enable those attributes.
Lets specifically consider our organization with multiple legacy systems and disparate data sources choosing to become “Agile Capable” to drive technology modernization. “Agile Capable” organizations embrace specific ways of working such as sprints and scrums to deliver quick wins in line with a clear vision, generating positive momentum, engagement, user adoption and new ways of working. A recent case study of a top 10 US Bank client shares compelling evidence of success in using an agile approach to increase systems releases with highly targeted roadmap of priority opportunities and accelerated benefits.
However, becoming “Agile Capable” is far more than just a training session. According to research conducted by Gallup among nearly 10,000 American and European workers, for an organization to become “agile capable” it must possess the following eight attributes within its culture: cooperation, speed of decision-making, trial tolerance, empowerment, technology adoption, simplicity, knowledge sharing, and a focus on innovation. Creating these cultural capabilities requires deep insights regarding colleague needs, wants, sentiments, and perceptions. Understanding your cultural baseline, and creating an environment that nurtures adaptive resilience that looks forward to a new normal will become key in your Culture Strategy.
Bind Technology Modernization and Culture Strategies through Active Change Management
Think of change management as the activation of human resources, colleagues and stakeholders, for both your Technology Modernization and Culture Strategies. Now more than ever, with COVID driving “next normal” ways of working, planning the people side of any technology project is vital. Colleagues need awareness, knowledge, tools and often new capabilities to engage and fully leverage opportunities enabled through technology. Leaders and sponsors need to know their roles and how to deliver them. Manager – employee relationships take on a greater importance to guide the change process, as does the role of communications. Measuring and monitoring important attributes and coaching executives and managers to demonstrate behaviors that support and nurture these attributes is key in driving sustainable culture change. Developing a common change management plan to drive BOTH Technology Modernization AND Culture Strategies will bind these interdependent works to a common roadmap of success.
Prompta Readiness for Success™ Framework
This proven framework has been applied in large global, small local, commercial and not for profit organizations. Establishing a guiding “north star vision” of where your organization is heading with the change is the starting point. From there, local context also becomes critical to guide the construction of a targeted path forward unique to your vision and operational ecosystem.
Getting Started – Baseline Your Current State
Developing a thorough understanding of current state is a critical first step in preparing for the development of BOTH Technology Modernization and Culture Strategy. Much of this information can be gathered from internal sources, such as a list of active applications, API interfaces, 3rd party applications, etc. However, some baseline information is more challenging. Simple surveys often fall short on revealing what employees really think, feel, want and need to embrace change. Cultural attributes that associate with success, such as trial tolerance, empowerment, knowledge sharing, and a focus on innovation are difficult to measure and even more difficult to influence, but important for success. This is where Prompta AI ™ can play a role, with NLP capability to interpret open ended text input and reveal risks and opportunities; sentiments, needs and wants of colleagues.
With current state understood, the “Prompta Readiness for Success” ™ framework will help to guide your thinking and planning.
Discovery Discussions with industry experts who have travelled this path many times can be helpful in shaping an approach, and creating a business case. Fill in the form below to request a Discovery Session with no obligations. (click here if the form is not showing)