No business can stand the test of time without adapting to change, and business transformation is the act of supporting strategic growth or changing how an organisation operates. These changes are significant, not simple tweaks to processes or upgrades to systems. Business transformation consulting firms are expert consultants who work on projects that help clients integrate strategy, process, information technology, and provide support to increase effectiveness, reduce costs and improve profit and shareholder value.
Business Transformation Services
Business transformation is “the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model” (Gartner) and involves changing the systems, processes, people and technology across a whole business or business unit, to achieve measurable improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, and stakeholder satisfaction. Transformation should always be a step-change in the right direction for an organisation. As such, this organisational change could be sought with the aim of capturing a new segment of the market, adding commercial value to the business, improving information technology efficiencies through leveraging big data, automation and cloud computing projects and/or, designing and implementing disaster recovery programmes that transforms a business’ resilience.
Data and automation transformation forms a key part of the engine that underpins successful digital business transformation. The opportunity data brings, from reducing waste and costs through to identifying new revenue from your IP can be leveraged relatively quickly through data transformation efforts (data architecture, integration and management). Automation outcomes such as process speed execution or enhanced organizational integration can be achieved through automation landscape readiness and process opportunity pipeline approaches (process mining).
Cloud computing transformation is the process of moving your work to the cloud, including migration of apps, software programs, desktops, data, or an entire infrastructure in alignment with the business objectives of the organisation. Moving to cloud computing sometimes reduces the cost of managing IT systems, but it’s true value comes in the ability to scale, build robust business continuity capabilities, and gives access to agile, enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble.
Disaster Recovery planning is not just clearly marking exit points, practicing fire/safety drills, or making sure you have a data backup ready to go in case something happens. It is about having a clear plan in place to assist your employees and sustain your business. It also means using a secure, secondary infrastructure that hosts all the critical data and systems that run your business and can be accessed when disaster strikes. The benefits and importance of a DR plan are clear. Once a thorough plan is designed and implemented, if an unforeseen and damaging event occurs, you can mitigate risk, minimise downtime, remain compliant and ensure client records are safe and protected.
This kind of transformation allows businesses to stay competitive in a changing environment and lure new clients with a better managed services, enhanced customer experiences and stable, scalable offerings.
Approaching Business Transformation
There are five key tenets of business transformation: strategy and direction, goals and measurement, design and implementation, cultural change and continual improvement
Strategy and Direction
A business strategy, defining an organisation’s purpose, business goals and how they’ll be achieved, is commonplace. An IT transformation strategy, describing the business’s future state in terms of technology, organisation and process along with a compelling business case explaining how these support the company’s business objectives and a plan for delivery, is equally important. The research and analysis undertaken during the development of both business and IT strategies enables an organisation to identify critical success factors and develop a plan to achieve them. A clearly defined strategy also provides an organisation with focus, enabling managers and staff to understand how they contribute to delivering strategic objectives and concentrate on the activities that support them.
Successful IT transformation strategies have many of the following approaches in common:
- Strategic planning is a joint activity, with business and IT leaders establishing a shared understanding of business goals, tactics and constraints and fully exploring the potential of IT to enable business success
- Business and IT focus on IT capabilities rather than features, products and protocols
- The IT strategy is accessible and communicated clearly and regularly to staff, customers and suppliers/partners
- Dependencies across the portfolio are actively managed when making decisions about individual projects
- The IT strategy recognises that the journey to the future state begins in the present and reflects current strengths and weaknesses
- The journey is reviewed frequently, responding to disruptive events such as changes in markets or technology and is re-calibrated according to experience to date
- The IT strategy describes the organisational capability necessary to implement it, including costs and activities
- The future state of IT is described as a journey via a number of transitional states, aligned with planned milestones where decisions can be made to “do more”, “do different” or “stop”.
Business Goals & Measurement
Transformation without clear measurement will never be achieved. Setting business goals and benefits from your transformation efforts will set the right behaviours and created a shared vision for your programme teams. The actual realisation of transformation benefits should be managed as a key part of programme delivery. Throughout the programme, individual benefits must be tracked, measured, managed, and realised by the business. Effective transformation involves pursuing the organisation’s fundamental purpose, within the context of its core values, in ways that effectively and optimally meet and reconcile the current needs of the target market and of key stakeholders. Some realised benefits could include service improvement, customer retention, an uplift in customer or user experience, process reengineering & optimisation and/or, reduction in costs
Design and Implementation
Designing and testing the implementation of your transformation programme should be approached by focusing on small incremental steps towards an overarching goal. Running pilots and proof of concepts before implementing new tools and moving forward with your plan. If the technology you are planning to implement is new to your business, it might be difficult to anticipate how things are going to work or how it will affect your processes. But you need to stay realistic upfront and build stakeholder checkpoints into the plan. That is how you can ensure that everyone is aware of how your transformation journey is progressing and can reduce impact of mis-understood requirements or technologies. Start small, learn and scale should be the mantra for any transformation efforts.
Cultural change is fundamental to any transformational efforts – after all it’s your people that will make or break that change. Transformation can only happen through the careful orchestration of different organisational capabilities that serve the mission, vision, and business goals.
Transformation is a process that gradually takes organisations through different phases of innovation and allows them to become nimbler and more competitive in the current market. Moreover, it is a holistic and comprehensive process that covers a number of processes, interactions, technological changes, as well as internal and external factors. This ongoing journey needs to be supported by the right leadership and people long term, not just the right technology infrastructure.
“The secret to digital is analog. By analog we mean people: People who are collaborative, agile, analytical, innovative and who have the ability and desire to exploit emerging technologies for better business outcomes.” Gartner
Lastly is a focus on continual measurement and improvement – transformation does not really have an end state its’ a journey with a continual focus on better customer or user experience. You can never really say transformation has stopped – your organisation’s ability to enact change through an agile and flexible culture will determine future success.
One way to look at this is through the lens of the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. The idea here is to test your hypotheses on a regular basis, gain actionable insights, and then adapt or discard experiments along the way. That way, you will avoid investing in IT assets that do not really bring you that much value and might be expensive to develop. Moreover, this approach helps to connect innovation to the big picture vision of your business. Make experimenting easy for employees and encourage that type of experimentation – foster a design and learning mindset.
Why Peru Consulting?
Peru practitioners are transformation experts, assisting and supporting private, non-for-profit and public sector organisations modernise and transform their teams and technology. We specialise in helping our customers digitise their business, source the right capabilities, and deliver lasting change. Our people reflect our values, and we guarantee a collaborative, quality, agile and trusted managed service. We only hire experts in their fields; sector focused, customer led and technology agnostic. As Peruvians we differentiate ourselves through our “Triple A” consulting principles: Accelerate – Identify and deliver value early, Assure – the right things and provide certainty and Augment – be a part of the team and hit the ground running. The value we bring is through our market insight, our accelerator tools, our commercial focus, and our flexibility.