How to Maximize the ROI of your Digital Transformation

digital transformation

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Customers and corporations across the globe are either selling, shopping, or purchasing products and services using a combination of online and in-person tools and resources. No matter the industry, it’s safe to say that almost every organization is working through some form of digital transformation. While it may sound obvious, it is critical to acknowledge that digital transformations are difficult, but if approached correctly they have significant impact and can transform your company.

So what makes digital transformation projects succeed (or fail)?

3 Key Steps to Successful Transformation

  • Clearly define what you are trying to accomplish, and how. Your goal should be a business outcome – not the acquisition and implementation of a shiny new object.  Too often we see organizations start with the technology component, thinking it will solve all of their challenges.  It is critical to first establish the business purpose and defined outcomes – then select the right technology.  Once you have defined your goals, ensure everyone involved understands exactly why you are starting this journey.  Examples include:
    • Increase market share by enabling new prospects to quickly and easily onboard into our products/services and become our customers.
    • Ensure compliance and best-in-class customer experiences by automating regulatory and risk management processes through configurable technology.
    • Grow revenue while optimizing the experience for our customers and employees by digitizing and automating the end-to-end loan fulfillment process.

(NOTE: It is important to point out that when defining your goals that it’s not enough to simply say “increase market share”, you must follow through with a clearly defined “how”.)

  • Find the right technology partner – this is multifaceted and vital for success.  It is critical to  select the right technology solution and the right technology partner.  There are many technology options today – and most have a time and place where they fit, but it’s incumbent on you to define what it is you NEED from the technology solution and the partner who will help you implement it.  We see far too many companies select the solution with the big name and slick user interface thinking “everyone seems to like this solution”, only to discover later (after getting financially and reputationally locked) that this solution will never be able to fully accomplish their business goals. Here’s why:
    • The technology partner is selling you software – not business outcomes. Providers sell the idea that you can do anything and that your peers are happily enjoying success. What they do not highlight is the fact that the technology is only “starting the process” or “displaying data in a slick UI”.
    • The solution doesn’t drive end-to-end business outcomes – for example: a new account is opened and funded, a credit card is securely originated and delivered, a payment fraud event has been fully resolved and the customer is made whole, etc.
    • The technology is NOT architected to accomplish business outcomes – it’s designed to start workflows, display data, and enable professional looking reports. This means the complexity, time, and cost to re-design, extend, and execute business work is prohibitive and requires sophisticated technical resources. Becoming intoxicated with the “Low code – No code” pitch? Pinch yourself and bring in a technologist to tell you what is really needed.
    • Finally, the technology company may be built to sell you software – not equipped to partner with you in re-imagining your business, designing a digital transformation plan, and then walking with you on this journey. These skills require a different business model, skill set, and a passion for client success rather than “software sold”.
  • Prepare for success –  start by defining and designing the target business outcome(s), then work through a logical sequence of changes that enable the vision/goals.  Once the business vision is clearly defined, identify:
    • Which business processes need to change to enable our vision?
    • What policies, philosophies, or cultural aspects do we need to modify or eliminate to conduct business in a new way? (e.g., is “risk avoidance” – rather than “risk management” – dominating your customer experience?).
    • What processes or technologies need to be digitized, reconfigured, and/or integrated to enable the desired business outcomes?
    • Which team members need to be re-trained, re-skilled, or removed so we can successfully perform in the target state?
    • How can we best drive adoption – most people revert back to what’s comfortable when facing change.
    • Lastly, configure the technology solution(s) to enable the defined vision.

For over 17 years, Rulesware has partnered with clients to digitally transform their business to advance their ability to serve their customers or empower their employees.  Digital transformation is hard, complex, and it will challenge your stamina – but it is real and necessary, and the potential outcomes are unlimited if you approach this journey correctly.  It’s imperative that you know what you’re trying to accomplish and have a committed partner with solution(s) that can evolve with you.  If you have a clear vision, committed leadership, and the right partner your odds of success are high – and the future of your organization is bright!

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