By: Iwona Olszewska, Global Financial Services Practice Leader
Digital transformation can be a time consuming and expensive process, yet research has shown that 70% of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their goals. A significant reason for this is the lack of planning for how to weave these new technical capabilities into everyday operations. It is not uncommon to have a new technology platform yet find that the same old processes and skills are still being used. If this happens, all that time and money spent implementing new technology is not reaping the reward.
What can you do to make sure that your digital transformation results in organizational transformation? Recognize that implementing new technologies without changing your operating models and reshaping the organization to do different things will not transform your organization, but will instead derail your strategy. Digital transformation is required to execute your strategy but is not capable of organizational change on its own.
Below are three questions you should ask when embarking on a digital transformation to ensure that you will reap the reward from this initiative.
What is the end goal? Before undertaking a digital transformation, it is critical to ask, what do you hope to receive out of it? A digital transformation should not be an end, but the means to an end. What is that end? New advancements in technology provide a plethora of opportunities for change in Finance, Investment Operations, and Accounting teams but without a clear goal of what the transformation is intended to accomplish you may end up with a brand new (and expensive) technology platform used in the same old way.
What does this new technology enable us to do? Consider what previously unavailable capabilities the new technology has that you can leverage. Contemplate new ways to cut costs and increase efficiency through, for example, increasing automation in trade processing from execution through settlement, elimination of data reconciliation tasks, controls associated with disparate data sources, or establishing additional roles around the new capabilities. Digital transformation is about more than doing things better; it is about doing something new. Investing in a technology upgrade doesn’t make financial sense if you use it in the same way as old systems. This is an opportunity to innovate, reinvent the operation, and reassess your capabilities.
How do we integrate this technology seamlessly into our organizational structure? Digital transformation provides an excellent opportunity for organizational change. If technology is updated while your processes, procedures, and organizational structure remain untouched, the point of the digital transformation is missed. For a new technology to be truly transformative, you must have a plan for what it will accomplish and how to convince and encourage people to use it effectively, avoiding a return to the old way of doing things. This is a chance to update and rethink your policies, add new skills to your employee’s repertoire, and reshape your organization to be more agile-adaptive.
Technology is continuously and rapidly evolving. It is not the technology itself; however, that changes us, but how we choose to use it. You invest in digital transformation to support your strategy and be more agile-adaptive in the new age of digital presence, not merely to upgrade technology. Technology implementations need to be carefully planned and intentionally implemented to ensure that you receive the full value from it and attain your business goals.
Interested in learning how we can help you get the right people, with the right skills, into the right roles to drive change, reduce risk, and, ultimately, achieve better business performance? Contact Us!