The ability to shepherd a digital transformation initiative through the full project lifecycle is becoming both more critical and more challenging. Businesses are increasingly turning to more powerful technologies to optimize their operations and deliver new innovations, but these large-scale projects can be unwieldy and disruptive if they aren’t coordinated and managed properly.
Enterprises need access to the right expertise to make these high-impact (and often high-dollar) efforts successful. Unfortunately, a number of factors are in play that make it difficult to find people with the targeted experience necessary to reduce digital transformation project risks and build a modernization roadmap that supports the company’s goals.
For businesses that are running up against issues in a digital transformation project or are preparing to launch a modernization initiative soon, consider where gaps may exist in your internal knowledgebase. These areas represent potential risks that you’ll need to address before they derail your efforts.
The loss of historical knowledge has hurt IT teams. A growing number of groups have seen some of their talent leave the organization in recent years, either to pursue new opportunities or due to staff cuts and reorganizations. That means historical knowledge of your company’s technology stack isn’t as comprehensive as it once was. You need the right expertise to fill those holes and provide valuable perspective, enabling you to understand how factors such as legacy system integrations and access management will affect your digital transformation project.
A tendency toward smaller IT teams creates potential risks. Whether your IT department is small due to financial constraints or a desire for leaner operations, you might be facing some expertise gaps as a result. Smaller teams are more likely to lack deep knowledge about the ins and outs of each of your systems simply because everyone wears a lot of hats and no one has time to specialize. A subject matter expert—contracted directly for the project or provided by an implementation vendor as part of their services—may be needed to fill this type of gap. The right support resources ensure that elements such as integrations and security are handled appropriately, and that the cutover’s downstream effects are properly orchestrated to minimize disruptions.
Going hand in hand with the shrinking size of IT departments is an increased reliance on a broad network of technology providers. These partners offer access to a fantastic level of knowledge when it’s needed, and vendor relationships play a key role in helping organizations implement and integrate the latest technologies. The downside to the growth in outsourcing is that, while teams can contract out software development and other tasks, strategic decision-making skills need to remain within the company. Outsourcing technical knowledge allows your company to build an IT team of more junior-level professionals, but that strategy could potentially leave you without the strong analytic and risk assessment capabilities needed to move technology projects from planning through execution to a successful completion. An experienced digital transformation project management consultancy can help you address this expertise gap without increasing your internal staffing levels.
The array of technologies has grown dramatically in recent years, likely making any task data compiled from previous projects irrelevant. The volume of solutions has exploded in many organizations, and you may not have undertaken a transformative project since adding all those integrations. Historical data, such as what needs to be done in a technology initiative, task durations, and where task dependencies exist, may no longer be useful in the early planning stages of your new effort. Guidance from technology experts and trusted partners is key to infusing your transformation project with current, reliable data.