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Sitting Down with Digital Strategist Ryan Prindiville to Talk About Common Digital Transformation Misconceptions and How Companies Solve Them

September 01, 2021

Customers have grown accustomed to immersive digital experiences from all types of organizations. From scheduling dentist appointments through an app to being able to see their vehicle’s maintenance record and statistics from any location, at any time, customers want and expect seamless technology-driven experiences. Digital transformation is the process that helps organizations transform their operations to meet those expectations.

For business leaders, however, digital transformation can be daunting. We’ve seen many of our clients struggling with concerns about making the right investments as they take it on, including concerns about whether they’re adopting the right strategy to ensure their digital transformation journey is a success. So, we set ourselves the goal of making digital transformation less overwhelming and more achievable for organizations of any size.

The result was not a product or a service but a start-to-finish methodology, called DataVue™, which companies can use to create their own holistic path to digital transformation. (You can learn more about the methodology in our quick video.)

To see how the DataVue approach works in the real world, we sat down with Ryan Prindiville, a partner in Armanino’s Strategy & Transformation practice. Below, Ryan shares how organizations are using Armanino’s DataVue methodology to overcome four common misconceptions, address their digital transformation hesitancy and take steps toward a customer-friendly future.

Misconception 1: Digital transformation is only for large companies.

Digital transformation fits into every business’s overall strategy, and it enables organizations of all types and sizes to take the next step in their digital evolution. It looks different for every organization, but the key is that it is for all companies because it’s a market imperative. Everyone’s customers want a seamless, easy digital experience.

Of course, the process of digital transformation looks very different at a large Fortune 50 tech company than it would at a privately held manufacturer, a smaller family-owned business, a hospitality group or any other business. With our DataVue approach, we build a roadmap outlining digital transformation, leveraging our proven process but customized for each organization, identifying the practical tactical steps as well as the big, ambitious goals clients want to achieve.

While we do use technology in the process, success depends on people and the strategy itself. The path to leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and ecommerce is dependent on business leaders understanding what the technology is doing for them, why it’s part of their digital transformation roadmap and how their people will adapt rather than just implementing technology for technology’s sake.

Misconception 2: Digital transformation is too complicated for companies like mine to take on, and I wouldn’t know where to start.

Many business leaders might be surprised to learn that we’re seeing digital transformation happening already in every single industry and business segment. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, countless family-owned, local businesses have had to undergo digital transformation to meet their customers where they are. All organizations have faced it in one way or another, from offering mobile-based delivery to shifting to ecommerce.

While digital transformation can be a survival strategy, it’s also an intentional growth strategy for middle-market organizations. Engaging with stakeholders, sponsors and customers in new ways allows organizations to create better customer experiences and differentiate themselves.

Of course, analysis paralysis with digital transformation is real. It can be complicated, and it’s hard to know where to start. Our approach with DataVue includes understanding where organizations are today and where they want to go. We call that defining the “North Star.” This helps clients see the types of possibilities they may not have thought of before.

Overall, our methodology takes the fear out of the change of digital transformation because clients can see the steps and what’s coming next, and it’s all tailored for their organizations and where they are right now. We also put plans into motion along a timeframe that’s best for each individual client and guide them along the way.

Misconception 3: I know digital transformation is important, but it’s not critical for my business right now.

Customers’ expectations have changed over the past five to 10 years, and the pandemic accelerated those expectations — they’re here to stay! Business partners and vendors supporting your organization also expect you to have digital capabilities. Your supply chain, your procurement process and all points of customer engagement are all areas where expectations for digital engagement are high.

Companies also face an expectation from their employees. The next generations of team members are coming into the workforce now and expect to work in organizations that have been digitally transformed. Lagging legacy organizations or those that are perceived as such will suffer in terms of their ability to recruit and retain talent, let alone their ability to recruit and retain customers or business partners in a digital B2B world.

We want organizations to understand there are many ways to transform now, so that they’re ready for tomorrow and beyond. Some transformations are more visible, like selling products online or offering a customer experience through an app, but often the transformation is behind the scenes. Examples include enabling employees in the field, simplifying operations in the warehouse or distribution center, streamlining product management, enabling demand planning pricing and more.

When we work with clients undergoing digital transformation, one thing we often hear is that they don’t have the resources or people to focus on digital transformation. Our DataVue approach also helps organizations identify where and when they may need outside expertise, whether it’s with strategy, technology implementations or adding outsourced staff. Sometimes this outside help is exactly what you need to get everyone on the same page and act on a plan.

Misconception 4: We’ve already tried implementing expensive technology and it didn’t work. How can we change our entire organization after that failure?

Our research showed that more than half of businesses surveyed started digital transformation and failed, and only 7% succeeded at full implementation. Many organizations end up spending a lot of money on technology like a customer engagement platform or a website without first understanding their strategy and goals, so they have no North Star to measure against. The good news is we can learn from those past experiences and failures, especially where it’s hard for an organization to test the digital transformation waters again.

Digital transformation with the DataVue approach isn’t one large leap. It’s a process that can encompass an intentional set of just a few or many small steps. The roadmap we create for each organization outlines strategic decision points, which eliminate the guesswork that costs time and money. The methodology is like a compass that makes sure that together, we are on the right path to help organizations achieve their goals and reach their North Star.

Every organization makes decisions about their investments every day. Are they going to hire a new employee? Are they going to open an office or close an office? Are they going to sell a product online? Are they going to sell it in person? How are they going to enable it to be sold across the globe? Are they going to purchase new technology?

Those decisions can be made with clarity and ease within the right digital transformation framework and a solid roadmap that aligns with overall goals and having executive leadership on board. DataVue methodology gives you the tools to do just that, and to know exactly where your organization is headed and how digital transformation enables progress.

You can learn more about DataVue here.

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