Digital Decisions : Choosing The Right Technology Tools


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Whether you're a small-to-medium business (SMB) or a department at a large corporate you've probably already had or will have a conversation about improvement of your daily operations through implementation of digital technology tools. With the depth and breadth of competitive landscape changes driven by digital technology and digital enabled business models, increasing productivity and effectiveness of your current operations by leveraging some of already available tools and platforms seems both a logical move to make and the least one you can do. Indeed, putting aside the most publicised, yet scarcest 'disruption' effect, truly present only within handful of market segments, impact potential of digital technologies for most companies and business functions is mostly on the level productivity and effectiveness improvement. Without doubt, new technologies unlock new business opportunities as they improve how we connect, share, collaborate.

Sheer number of available technology vendors, solutions, tools for any and every function and business task is both daunting and paralysing.

Most companies and employees across the world have already benefited from some - such as online meetings, remote or working from home when needed, all which are enabled by (successfully) implemented communication and workflow / project management technology tools. But road to digital enabled business operations, function and teams is neither easy nor straightforward. Sheer number of available technology vendors, solutions, tools for any and every function and task is both daunting and paralysing.

There’s an app for that. Seriously.

 

Whether your organisation is rapidly expanding, just starting up or your belong to a department in a mature large corporate undergoing a digital transformation, getting the right digital tools and solutions is paramount if you want to stay competitive. As the environment keeps moving forward at a faster pace, where every company is slowly but surely is becoming a software company, you have to invest into technology productivity & efficiency enablers just to keep up and over-invest if you want to lead. The right digital tools in hands of right people can make all the difference.

The right digital tools in hands of right people can make all the difference.

But, how do you navigate today's chaotic innovative technology options landscape and decide what options is best for your team, department and organisation? With thousands of SaaS model software tools and solutions going to market every day, feeling lost already at the first step of thousand miles journey to a digital enabled business is becoming more of a rule than an exception. If you Google search for "best digital tool for XYZ" you will be bombarded with "Top 10" lists with latest 'must have' tools for any and every are of business operations and tasks. Most often, authors of those top lists will be this particular technology category vendors themselves, who, conveniently enough, include their own digital solutions and tools within top ranked ones. While some of these tools potentially be game changing for your organisation, a mismatch between an organisation and digital tools can be disastrous not only for employee morale, future digital transformation and digital enablement efforts but also expose company to financial costs and legal risks.

If you Google search for "best digital tool for XYZ" you will be bombarded with "Top 10" lists with latest 'must have' tools for any and every are of business operations and tasks

Real Costs of Poor Digital Tool Choices

 

Whether you end up with a wrong digital tool as a result of a misleading 'top list' review article or you've succumbed a 'new shiny toy' syndrome, poor digital choices have real world consequences. Waste of organisational time, employee morale loss, frustration and data losses are just some of many real costs of wrong digital choices. Poor digital choices have real costs in short-term but also in long term. Wrong digital tools will cost you money in subscription fees in short-term but also potentially in long term as many vendors will try to lock you into a multi-year contracts. Driven by the 'fear of missing out' (FOM) many companies rush into the process of digital tools search and purchase without proper guidance and expertise required to properly evaluate more than overwhelming choices they face. As companies continue to increasingly invest into SaaS based softwares the risks of poor choices increases.

Screenshot : 2019 SaaS Trends Report, Blisfully.com

A mismatch between an organisation and digital tools can be disastrous not only for employee morale, future digital transformation and digital enablement efforts but also expose company to financial and legal risks.

According to the 2019 SaaS Trends Report done by Blisfully, company focusing on harmonisation of SaaS platforms, finds that in 2018, the average company spent $343,000 on SaaS, a 78% increase from the previous year. This research takes a look back at 2018 data from nearly a thousand client companies. As the report notes over the last 5 years, SaaS spending has increased across all company size segments. In 2018, the average cost per employee of SaaS subscriptions ($2,884) was higher than the cost of a new laptop ($1,299 for an Apple Macbook Pro).

Screenshot : 2019 SaaS Trends Report, Blisfully.com

While the explosive rise of investments into SaaS type of digital tools and platforms is more than expected, what is more worrying and pointing to increase in wrong decision making and poor digital choices is the high increase in SaaS application turnover. The typical mid-sized company changed 39% of their SaaS apps between 2017-18. This turnover rate is higher than the industry average for tech employee churn (one of the industries with the highest turnover rates according to LinkedIn).

Pressure for organizations to engage with digital transformation projects is mounting, but so is the risk of wasting money on ill prepared digital tools and solutions purchases.

Pressure for organizations to engage with digital transformation projects is mounting, but so is the risk of wasting money on ill prepared digital tools and solutions purchases. In a 2018 Couchbase survey of 450 heads of digital transformation in enterprises across the US, UK, France and Germany, 52 percent said a fixation on digital transformation had raised the risk of rushing into ill-thought-out projects, meaning that much of their average planned spend of $28 million in the next 12 months could be wasted.

Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools

 

Successful companies embrace digital transformation programs not by indiscriminately replacing the old with the new but by leveraging and aligning their strategic competencies with the potential of new digital capabilities. However, the accelerated emergence of new technologies creates increased uncertainty and confusion about which digital investments are the right strategic fit for the business. Business enablement occurs when the individuals who understand the current state of business as well as it's future opportunities, have the ability to initiate the necessary changes to make that happen. Operational enablement, created through clear improvement plans and coupled with a strong project and change management strategies, are key components of any transformation initiative. Successful digital tool enablement happens when business enablement meets operational enablement through usage of digital tools and digital technologies.

The accelerated emergence of new technologies creates increased uncertainty and confusion about which digital investments are the right strategic fit for the business.

Or simply said, for successful digital tool implementation you need people who will take time to understand the business, its improvement potential through digital technologies implementation and who have a clear overview and understanding of digital technologies implementation process. Some companies already have dedicated digital transformation teams, but these mostly tend to focus on key and high priority organisational level digital transformation initiatives, while individual teams or departments are left without any type of guidance or support. In these cases teams and departments are in an unenviable position as on one side they are facing high performance expectations and results delivery which presuppose digitally enabled functioning, while at the same time they are objectively lacking organisational support and don't have required expertise to tackle uncertainty and confusion surrounding the process of right digital tool choice, selection and implementation.

Teams are lacking required expertise to tackle uncertainty and confusion surrounding the process of right digital tool selection, purchase and implementation.

 

SO DIGITAL Tool Enablement Service

 

With reported average cost per employee of SaaS subscriptions amounting to $2,884 per year and rising, there is an obvious need to ensure that decisions behind digital tool choices companies, teams and departments make are the right ones. Monetary costs of poorly chosen digital tools are compounded with costs of lost organisational time, team frustration and even potential legal costs, as well as opportunity costs of digital transformation programs' postponement.

There is an obvious need to ensure that decisions behind digital tool choices companies, teams and departments make are the right ones

With this in mind, we created a service that aims to provide ongoing consulting expertise and operational support all those who are facing uncertainties about selection, purchase and implementation of digital tools. SO DIGITAL Tool Enablement Service is based on provision of "Key User" role-as-a-service to those teams and companies facing uncertainties about (mis)match between their actual business needs and

"Key User" as a concept originates from complex ERP solutions (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementations and refers to a representative of the company implementing the solution. One of key features of this role / person is that it possesses both company's general area of business knowledge, but more importantly the business processes knowledge which are pending or undergoing digital transformation. As such, this "Key User" has a leading role within digital solution implementations. These people act as link between the organizations and potential digital suppliers (partner). On one side, they have an extensive general expertise in and experience with different digital tools implementations and solutions providers' modus operandi while at the same time they possess an intimate knowledge of common challenges and hurdles organisations face when implementing digital transformation initiatives.

Our team leverages year of experience of digital tool and solutions enablement for both for SMB's but also departments of global brand organisations such as Nike EMEA and Uber EMEA. Contact us today for a commitment free consultation about your digital tools challenges or digital tooling plans you might have.

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References :

Alex Bouwmeester, "Key users and their influence on the success of the implementation of ERP software", Dysel https://dysel.com/knowledge-centre/blog/key-users-and-their-influence-on-the-success-of-the-implementation-of-erp-software

Juanma Roca, "What is a key user?" Triangle.es https://www.triangle.es/en/what-is-a-key-user/

Tina Eaton, "How to Evaluate Which Digital Platforms Are Right for You"; HelloSign, https://www.hellosign.com/blog/evaluate-digital-platforms

Devon Maloney, "Choose the right workflow software by asking these 5 questions" https://slackhq.com/choose-right-workflow-software

Ariel Siegelman. "Pick Me! Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Your Courses" https://teaching.temple.edu/edvice-exchange/2017/02/pick-me-choosing-right-technology-tools-your-courses

Divya Menon, "Digital Transformation – Choosing the Right Technology for Managing Suppliers" https://isg-one.com/managed-services/digital-supplier-management/articles/digital-transformation-choosing-the-right-technology-for-managing-suppliers

Sreejith, "Tips for choosing the right Business Software – Tools vs. Solutions" https://www.fingent.com/blog/tips-for-choosing-the-right-business-software-tools-vs-solutions

Tod Johnston. "Choosing the Right Classroom Tools" https://www.clarity-innovations.com/blog/tjohnston/choosing-right-classroom-tools

Peter Seenan "5 Great Resources for Discovering and Vetting Digital Tools" https://www.leadfeeder.com/blog/5-great-resources-for-discovering-and-vetting-digital-tools/

Macy Bayern, "Here's how companies waste $28M on digital transformation projects per year" https://www.techrepublic.com/article/heres-how-companies-waste-28m-on-digital-transformation-projects-per-year/

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