There are four common best practices among companies that achieve digital transformation success. According to the 2016 Mid-Market IT Report by SWC Technology Partners, these successful companies:
1) Ensure that chief technology officers have a seat at the leadership table. CEOs invite IT leaders into the inner circle to enable them to bring valuable insight and context to key decisions, and ensure tight alignment between technology and business strategies. They also identify a business champion for each IT project and create incentives for success. IT executives earn this position by knowing the business, defining success, holding themselves accountable and making recommendations based on value.
2) Are migrating to the cloud for agility, scale and economics. Recognizing the rewards reaped by large enterprises and small businesses that drove the bulk of early adoption, mid-market companies are now committing to using mature cloud technology in meaningful ways. Why? Cloud solutions allow companies to move quickly to address risks or seize opportunities, to start small, scale immediately and realize significant savings (when all of the costs of a data center are factored in).
Companies achieve success by taking a measured approach to adoption, always keeping users at the center of everything and ensuring integrations do not suffer. They also identify business value and ROI, consider the cloud first for new implementations, and proactively address continued management and security responsibilities.
3. Are making data-based decisions about their growth. Rich and flexible data allows executives to make decisions based on fact, not gut. Companies that find the most value in their analytics platform tend to focus on decisions, not efficiencies. If an analytics solution is built to save a person time in preparing reports, it is often not worth the money invested. Truly valuable analytics solutions allow for better decisions—big decisions that have significant value or many small decisions that add up to big dollars over time. Successful companies start small to manage project risk and to ensure that the highest-value problems get solved first and quickly.
4. Realize they cannot afford to build IT teams that provide the breadth of expertise required today. It is increasingly challenging for mid-market companies to cost-effectively do everything needed in IT to support the business and contribute value, maximize employee effectiveness using technology, staff and retain the right experts and ensure 24/7/365 support. This is in part because really great technical people tend to specialize as they advance their career, and companies only need a slice of more than a dozen experts at any given time. Best-in-class companies solve the mid-market resource problem through outsourcing, which may include staff augmentation, project outsourcing, targeted outsourcing or vested outsourcing.