Selecting future-fit technology to enable a seamless omni-channel experience

by Samit Chandra

by Jessica Flynn

Technology platform selection is often a contentious topic for enterprises – whether it’s for small initiatives or for large-scale transformation programs. Choice of platform can be heavily influenced by sponsors or decision makers who have their own personal technology preferences or relationships with vendors. The choice can be further led by market hype, news coverage, recent research papers, or competitor activity. It is important, however, to choose a platform that is future-fit, rather than a technology or system that is fit for purpose today. Systems of engagement are crucial to enabling an omni-channel experience, so having a strong ecosystem will enable the business to innovate and move faster in the future.

Based on experience working across multiple transformation projects, Blackdot has identified the key steps leading enterprises take to achieve implementation adoption and success. Our best practice approach to technology transformations is based on a five-step recipe for success.
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Our previous blogs explored:

1. Assessing current state
2. Defining future state organisational capabilities
3. Designing a high-performing architecture practice

This blog explores step four: Selecting the right platform. Once a current state has been defined, leadership has a view on the capabilities needed to execute and the technology architecture approach has been designed, it is time to empower business leaders to make technology choices based on a capability to evolve and innovate.

The biggest challenge faced by most enterprises is choosing a technology that is right for them. Most often, the technology or system is chosen to address current needs and known future needs. However, over two thirds of transformation costs are related to technology implementation – with over 80% of transformations experiencing a change of scope during their execution. Best practice is to choose a platform that has flexibility, an innovation pipeline and partner community that supports agile evolution in the future.

The traditional approach is technology-led system selection, and typically this means focus tends to be on implementation ease and operational supportability to deliver on a standalone business case. With a business-led transformation, the focus is on functional fit, end-user usability, strategic alignment and – most importantly – the strength of the ecosystem. The two approaches can result in very different choices of platform, which will set the organisation up for dramatically different transformation outcomes.

BEST PRACTICE TIPS

Make the business accountable for technology decisions, supported by IT

A best practice approach is for the business to take the lead and be accountable for technology decisions, with the support of IT. Traditionally, technology-enabled programs are run and sponsored by IT. This has since changed to business leaders cosponsoring these programs. In both scenarios, it is common that business sponsors do not take full accountability for delivery of business case outcomes and IT take the blame when things inevitably go wrong. Making the business fully accountable solves this issue.

Ensure technology people are business-minded & business people are technology savvy

There should be closer alignment between business and technology roles and skills. In a business-led IT environment, business people need to be more tech savvy, to be able to make informed decisions on platforms, service providers and transformation execution. To partner with the business for technology-enabled business transformation, IT leaders must be able to think and act like business owners to deliver business value, in addition to technology execution.

Base technology choice on interoperability & strength of the ecosystem

Choose technology platforms based on the strength of the ecosystem and how it will support future innovation. The platform must have a proven innovation pipeline and an interoperable environment to allow for easy integration and seamless handoffs with other best of breed systems. The platform innovation pipeline should be enriched by leveraging industry knowledge and experience across their partner and customer base.

What's next?

Our next blog sets organisations up for successful execution with best practice tips for building an implementation roadmap in the final step of our 5 Steps to Implementation & Adoption Success series.

Want to know more about how technology enables organisation-wide implementation & adoption?



Written by Samit Chandra (Head, Technology Advisory) with Jessica Flynn