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  • Susan Hayer

4 Causes of Digital Modernization Failure: #4 Current Processes are Not Adapted to Exploit the New Technology


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In our experience, organizations fail to achieve improved results for several critical reasons. Let’s look at a fourth reason digital modernizations fail: current processes are not adapted to exploit the new technology.


Aligning for Efficiency and Success: The Intersection of Technology and Business Processes

As technology continues to evolve, so must business processes. Most businesses don’t realize how out-of-date their processes have grown and mistakenly adapt the technology to fit old processes instead of the other way around. As a result, misaligned and inefficient processes deliver sub-optimal performance. Unfortunately, organizations learn how inefficient they are when they lag behind their industry, customers depart because of mediocre quality, and frustrations cause employee morale and performance to dip.


Common visible symptoms of weak or misaligned processes include:

  • Longer development time, higher costs, less scalability, and difficulty maintaining superfluous custom coding to meet specific requirements rather than using pre-existing solutions

  • Continuation of inefficient manual processes that could be automated

  • Duplicated effort, wasted time, and missed opportunities due to lack of collaboration between departments

  • Poor reporting due to inaccurate or timely data about the processes

  • Outdated technology that is no longer up to the task

  • Inefficient workflows leading to bottlenecks

  • Inconsistency, errors, and wasted time from a lack of standard processes


Organizations married to the past customize modern software to retrofit the processes. This leads to unnecessary development time, increased maintenance costs, and software instability at each update. Businesses must adapt core and support processes to meet evolving market demands, technological advancements, and changing business conditions. Failing to adapt to innovative technologies can have significant costs and repercussions for organizations, from lower productivity to higher operational costs and the loss of competitive advantage.


While leadership is ultimately responsible for driving strategic decision-making and ensuring the organization is well-positioned for overall success, process improvement is a team sport. Process owners responsible for specific processes must constantly ensure that those processes are efficient and effective. The IT department is responsible for evaluating, implementing, and maintaining new technologies and supporting their adoption. All employees within an organization play a role in using and adapting to innovative technologies. Their willingness to embrace change and learn new skills is essential for successful technology adoption. Finally, technology vendors have a role in educating organizations about the benefits of their platforms and helping them implement innovative technologies successfully.



Overcome the Issue: Adapt current processes to exploit the new software

Adapting innovative technologies to existing processes presents various challenges, but overcoming them is crucial for organizations to remain competitive and efficient. The following steps are recommended to align processes during digital modernization.


Identify

Developing a strategic vision for adapting to current processes involves:

  • Setting clear goals and objectives

  • Identifying key areas where new processes can enhance performance

  • Fostering a culture of collaboration and communication


Addressing concerns and resistance to change proactively, along with gathering feedback from users and stakeholders, is key to identifying issues and areas for improvement and ensuring that the adaptation to current processes aligns with the organization's overall strategic goals.


Optimize

Optimizing the adaptation of current processes to exploit new software involves providing comprehensive training and support to employees, fostering their adaptation and confidence in utilizing the latest tools within existing workflows. Celebrating successes and milestones helps maintain enthusiasm and momentum for the transition. Implementing a clear governance framework that defines roles, responsibilities, and processes for evaluating and selecting software ensures alignment with organizational goals. Establishing clear metrics and KPIs enables tracking progress and measuring the success of the software implementation. Choosing software that integrates smoothly with existing systems and processes provides coherence and efficiency within the overall technological ecosystem while allowing current operations to evolve and exploit new capabilities.


Sustain

Adapting current processes using new technology requires continuous review and assessment to pinpoint opportunities for improvement, adequate budgeting, resource allocation, and upgrading infrastructure to ensure compatibility with the new technologies. Partnering with technology vendors enhances support and expertise while standardizing data formats ensures effective communication between existing processes and new systems. Initiating pilot projects allows testing and refining how the new technologies integrate with current processes in a controlled setting. Cultivating a culture of continuous learning and experimentation, alongside implementing strong cybersecurity measures, safeguards against threats and fosters adaptability of current operations. Regular monitoring of critical metrics and KPIs and leveraging insights from professional communities ensure ongoing improvement and alignment with best practices in adapting current processes to exploit new technologies.


The reluctance to adapt current processes to fit evolving technologies often leads to inefficiency, missed opportunities, and ultimately, diminished competitiveness. Recognizing the importance of aligning processes with innovative software is paramount for organizations aiming to thrive in today's dynamic business landscape. While leadership sets the strategic direction, process owners, IT departments, employees, and technology vendors all play crucial roles in driving successful technology adoption. By embracing a collaborative approach and following a structured adaptation process, organizations can overcome challenges, optimize their workflows, and sustain their competitive edge. Investing in ongoing training, fostering a culture of innovation, and maintaining vigilance in monitoring and refining processes are essential steps in this journey toward leveraging technology for improved performance and long-term success.

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