Enterprise technology and digital transformation programs are notoriously challenging. A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article stated: “Success requires bringing together and coordinating (a) far greater range of effort than most leaders appreciate…More than anything else, digital transformation requires talent…Of course, even the best talent does not guarantee success. But a lack of it almost guarantees failure.”
So, how can organizations ensure their information management transformation is a success?
Most organizations deploy a range of information management technologies – such as Content Services, Customer Experience Management, Discovery and AI. These solutions offer incredible potential to transform your business. However, integrating them with your existing application technology ecosystem is key to enabling user adoption and achieving transformation. As HBR notes, “most companies have enormous technical debt — embedded legacy technologies that are difficult to change”.
Legacy solutions and repositories, ranging from local disk and file servers to a multitude of information management point solutions, further compound the need for great planning and solution architecture expertise. Successful organizations combine technical know-how with business knowledge and a business-centric change management plan to deliver solutions that are attractive for business users.
The volume and variety of data is growing exponentially in every organization, leading to issues around data quality and data silos – making information unavailable when and where it’s needed. A planned approach to data management must account for unstructured information, big data and stringent privacy regulations (e.g., CCPA and GDPR). This requires enhanced models of data ownership and stewardship, and commonly involves supporting decentralized stewardship (i.e. business ownership rather than a centralized approach housed in IT or information management departments).
For unstructured information, fostering a culture for – and skills of – data stewardship by the business are key investments. ERP-based data has a long proven value, but this structured data often has an unstructured data sibling that completes it – e.g., a business object for an insurance claim commonly has documents and images that tell the rest of the story. Overall, a planned approach to data management is key for a successful transformation.
Simply automating a bad process without re-thinking the process – commonly referred to as “paving a cowpath” – will not yield significant business benefits. But process re-engineering and associated change management are non-trivial undertakings. Process tools can be effective towards digital transformation when used to automate, examine and integrate processes across the organization.
But most important to the transformation is fostering an innovative mindset about process optimization and automation with staff in IT, Information Management, and business disciplines; driving transaction and knowledge-oriented processes. Education and active promotion of “the realm of the possible” and prior successes, within the organization and externally, will build upon initial successes.
Digital transformation isn’t exclusively a technical challenge. Establishing competencies in technology deployment, data/information stewardship, and process optimization, as described above, are foundational. Likewise, change leadership by executives is essential in establishing the vision for digital transformation which all staff are expected to support.
With isolated exceptions, digital transformation objectives are achieved through business-team and ultimately business-user buy-in. Business-user adoption of new information management solutions is imperative in the planning and execution of transformation projects, but it is also key that business teams lead the change. Developing business-centric success criteria and deliverables, coupled with great partnering between the business, IT, and information management expertise are important to align everyone involved.
Building the ideal team
According to HBR, “assembling the right team of technology, data, and process people who can work together – with a strong leader who can bring about change – may be the single most important step that a company contemplating digital transformation can take.”
With the requirement for such a diverse range of skills and expertise, many organizations look for trusted partners to help deliver success with transformation. The OpenText™ Professional Services team has field-proven experience, guiding organizations through digital transformation with comprehensive but pragmatic approaches to aligning business outcome vision to EIM solution roadmap and effective project execution. We take pride in offering a wide range of domain experience and the world’s largest team of OpenText product-certified experts, supporting customers to address needs described in this article.
Learn more about OpenText Professional Services.