No one wants to be that person that kills a digital transformation before it even starts. However, within any large, complex organization, unless your initiative is married to the realities of your organization, expect it to be dead or arrival. But there are some ways to keep this from happening. CI&T has been involved in numerous transformations over the years, and without fail, the ability to find hidden resources is one of the best ways to ensure that your transformation is a success.
A new mindset
Transforming any organization requires a new way of thinking. It’s also important to manage expectations, and understand that innovations happen slowly as you begin applying Design Thinking, Lean principles, and Agile. But one of your first steps should be a rigorous, bottom-up analysis of business goals, stakeholder needs, and expectations.
Moreover, a rigorous P&L diagnosis can help liberate funds for your transformation. And this is a step that far too many organizations overlook. To identify and understand your resources, it’s important to take a hard look at where there are “leakages” in your budget.
On the ground insights
Darren Person, SVP/CTO information and analytics provider RELX, shared some strategies with us. In his case, whenever he’s asked to work on a digital transformation, the first thing he examines is the cost of key areas.
“I try to identify the things that are consuming the most resources and money along with what opportunities there are to bring those costs down: Where’s the low-hanging fruit? Having worked for six companies in an 18-year time span, I’ve seen this with every company. There’s always that opportunity. Always. The value comes from being able to use the cost savings to drive the more complex changes in other areas of the company.”
One way to think about this is using a simple analogy where we replace the idea of a company with a home. “If you track and measure your monthly bills, you can identify opportunities for improvements rather quickly,” he continues. “For example, you could swap out traditional light bulbs for LEDs and on the next month’s billing statement see how much money you saved. You could switch from traditional credit cards to cash-back cards and use the savings for re-investment. In short, look at your costs and see if there are areas where you can make big changes with the least impact—contract renegotiations are a great starting point.”
Turning obstacles into stepping stones
During your analysis, don’t forget to look for allies. In fact, large, slower-moving bureaucracies often foster “shadow” IT practitioners who have found nimble ways to maneuver around barriers to change. They can point you to where you can find hidden efficiencies and cost savings. Make these people your friends, and you’ll probably find yourself with more resources than you ever thought existed.