Market Watch

Embracing the digital world

For large organizations, embracing the digital world is far easier budget-wise. However, with their limited resources, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) struggle to make the leap. If the money isn’t there, these organizations will rely on old classic manual work to catch up.

But even if the case is made and budget permits, digital change requires skills. And skills can be very expensive, and rare, if you operate systems that rely on proprietary knowledge. Especially for legacy systems, relevant skills will increasingly be high-priced and difficult to find.

Finding the budget and the relevant skills may test an organization’s patience and resources. But it is time that will be the ultimate challenge. Insight from our internal research shows that the implementation of enterprise systems, for example, frequently overruns schedules – more than half for ERP (54%), 39% for CRM and 36% for Financial and Accounting systems. This is mostly due to the significant customization these systems require to adapt to business needs. More than half (55%) of ERP systems, for example, are significantly or completely customized.

Furthermore, in-house development of these systems seems quite popular as well: ERP (9%), CRM (15%), Financial and Accounting systems (9%). This desired level of customization indicates that organizations want for systems to adapt to their needs, and not the other way around. And that equals more time and money spent on this process.

The digital marketplace has its own speed.The question is how much your organization can tolerate losing to your competitor who wins the digital race.

Leveraging digital technologies, and thus rewiring your technology investment towards this direction, is a decision on a strategic level. Whether you are a small or a large organization, it requires the involvement of senior management, to indicate the level of commitment to this initiative. The role of the CEO is especially critical. According to a Forrester study on companies that successfully made the move to customer obsession, there was not a single case without a clear CEO champion.

“New business models based on emerging technologies are forcing business and IT leaders to change the way they acquire and implement all kinds of software. IT leaders need to start helping their enterprises change immediately. It is about more than just technology, architecture, or even the vendor landscape - a deep cultural change is needed that will require taking apart and rebuilding your strategies, systems and organizations.” – Gartner, 2016

Technology is only part of the solution. Your people are the other part. Their willingness to adapt and adopt the new technological regime can really make the difference. You can invest in a cutting-edge technology to improve your customer communications. You can also set up efficient processes. And you can do all this while having senior management support. But nothing will pay off if you don’t get your employees on board. People are resistant to change especially change that forces them to drop systems and processes of years that they feel they have mastered.

Managing the cultural change will not prove easy. Relevant skills are not in abundance. In every organization, though, there will be individuals or groups driving change before it becomes a formal movement. It can be your CMO, for example, or the head of Operations. These change agents can be the initial force that will inspire and pull the entire organization together.

Are you ready to embrace the digital world?

Objectif Lune can help you achieve your goal by easily improving your customer communications!