Optimizing technology to avoid technology overload

The technologies organizations acquire and maintain over years of operation are often extensive and the thought of replacing, upgrading or optimizing technology can be a daunting task. Questions like whether to opt for in-house development or outsourcing, pursuing an upgrade or an overhaul, selecting between customized or out-of-the-box solutions make an already complicated process even more challenging.

Simultaneously, organizations are being asked to prioritize broader business initiatives while adhering to tighter budgets and utilizing less resources, making the promise of quick technology fixes even more enticing. But investing in technology without first assessing the current and future needs of your organization can result in large investments with little return. You need to ensure the changes being implemented will make sense for the unique characteristics and goals of your business.

Barriers to success

Many organizations struggle with problems that stem from either their technology, people or the area where those two intersect – processes. Having top-notch technology alone doesn’t ensure impactful outcomes unless you have the right people and processes in place that can work efficiently with the technology.

Efficient, well-defined processes are key, where individuals understand expectations and the technology in place consistently minimize obstacles, instead of compelling workers to perform inefficient actions to comply with the system in use.

Undergoing a strategic assessment to objectively determine the capabilities needed for success and then partaking in a technology assessment to evaluate your existing technology landscape and identify future needs, is the best way to ensure future success.

Strategic assessment

Strategic assessments provide critical insight for successful digital transformation initiatives, as it works to establish a structured framework for aligning business goals with future technological initiatives. This helps your organization anticipate potential challenges and enhances the likelihood of achieving a successful implementation.

A strategic assessment begins with gathering information on how your organization operates and engages with your current technology, where improvements or overhauls should be done, what initiatives should be prioritized within the allocated budget before constructing a road map to serve as a project guide of how and when these changes will take place.

Technology assessment

Technology assessment development is critical for understanding your organization’s unique needs to create an implementation approach that works in collaboration with your existing technology and supports future needs.

By undergoing a strategic assessment first, your organization will have a strong understanding of your organizational goals. That assessment should be used as a guide during a technology assessment to identify the future needs of your existing technology landscape. This approach ensures that the implementation approach taken makes the most sense for your organization and its future state goals.

Real world example

This financial services company was struggling with their traditional monthly processes. Tasks were overwhelming and too time-consuming, requiring a substantial amount of work to be completed within tight deadlines and with little margin for error.

Learn how a process and operating model assessment helped them identify operational and technical inefficiencies to decrease time spent on non-value-added activities.

Digital transformation considerations

When looking at beginning your own digital transformation journey, the following outlines starting points to be considered by your organizational leadership to support the transformation initiative.

  1. Establish a digital transformation office: A digital transformation office can be an enabler of successful project outcomes. Led by project and change management resources they help to track progress, budget tracking and centralize dependency management across the road map.
  2. Leverage consistent project standards across projects: By defining and distributing digital transformation methodologies, processes, tools and templates across your organization, standards will be better understood, and projects can be executed effectively. Tracking the adoption of key processes and technology will help to measure the success of projects being implemented.
  3. Clarify and strengthen accountability: Your organization should develop a meaningful set of project metrics to evaluate project outcomes for short and long-term strategic priorities. This works to drive ownership towards objectives and highlights the need to interact across siloed departments or functions.
  4. Support a planful approach to talent management: Transformation needs will likely change throughout your organization’s journey. Understanding resource needs and skillsets and facilitating knowledge sharing will enable success to achieve transformational outcomes.
  5. Celebrate wins to build momentum: Celebrating successes broadly across your organization as capabilities, efficiencies and operational budget improvements are obtained, will help improve morale and momentum of transformation across people, process and technology.

How to get started

While the promise of quick technology fixes is enticing, without a strong understanding or your organizational needs the correct people and processes in place to support the implemented technology, these initiatives may fail to deliver the expected return.

It can be difficult to know where to start which is why Baker Tilly Digital works with your organization to ensure your digital transformation initiatives make sense for the unique characteristics and goals of your business. Interested in learning more? Reach out to one of our professionals today.

This article was derived from the Technology Overload: Assessment to action webinar, watch the full recording below. 

not-for-profit and higher education accounting and tax update
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2023 not-for-profit and higher education accounting and tax update