As technology improves, including marketing technology, it also grows more complicated. If busy IT and Marketing departments are to prevent resource pressure, they must rely on digital transformation partners for implementation and shoulder a large portion of the burden of upgrading, deploying, and integrating their systems so they can focus on their daily tasks.
While it may appear to make sense to have your technology vendor manage your implementation, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action regarding your digital transformation. Vendors are primarily concerned with their own product, and their teams may be unable to expand (or schedule) to meet your requirements.
Digital transformation implementation partners that are most effective will:
- Rather than merely marking off chores, consult with you.
- Understand how to work with the proper individuals.
- Bring a diverse set of abilities to the project and work to make the technology usable.
- Facilitate integrations between company systems and third-party applications.
Let’s look at how these factors can be used to assess implementation partners.
Digital Transformation and the Role of the Partner
A skilled digital transformation implementation expert will not be hesitant to seek advice. Rather, they will be willing to provide business and process lessons gained from earlier deployments. They’ll assist you in aligning your new or improved platform with your business demands, and they won’t be afraid to question — or even respectfully dispute — your goals and expectations. Some things to keep an eye out for are:
Do the objectives of your potential partners match those of your company? Do they have the knowledge and resources to produce the best solution for your business?
Can they assist you in determining your goals? Are they open to questioning goals you’ve already established?
Do they have a thorough understanding of your market, including the laws and regulations that may influence how your technology is set and implemented? Can they help you discover the skills you’ll need to work with the technology and identify any gaps in your internal resources?
In the end-to-end process, how involved will they be? Do they assist in the definition of requirements? Are you willing to both lead and participate in the implementation? Do you provide training? Is it possible to provide post-launch assistance?
Can they assist you figure out how to scale the system you’re putting in place so you don’t have to fully overhaul it in a year or two?
How to Choose the Right Digital Transformation Partner to Get the Right People at the Right Place at the Right Time
A good partner recognizes the importance of buy-in for adoption and compliance, and they’ll work with you to include important stakeholders and influencers in the process early and often without disturbing productivity. Here are some questions to ask your potential partner:
Do they intend to spend time interviewing actual users to obtain requirements? Include them in the configuration planning process. Involve them in the testing process?
Can they assist in the identification, education, and training of champions? Is there a communication strategy in place? Do they intend to keep stakeholders updated on the project’s development regularly? What format will they use to present the data?
Are they able to effectively communicate not only with developers, but also with end users and, if necessary, executives? Are they able to assist you in creating, compiling, and delivering engaging progress reports?
Adding Supplemental Skills to Project Development may not be the only area where your team requires assistance. An effective implementation partner will be able to assist you in filling other essential support positions to ensure alignment and consistency across your implementation project. Even if you don’t think you’ll need these talents at the start of the project, ask yourself the following questions in case you do:
Do they have their own project managers, or will your PM be in charge of their resources? Is it possible for them to train end users on the solution? If bespoke setups necessitate it, can they supply job aids or reference cards to enhance vendor documentation? Can they assist you with change management tactics and previous project “gotchas”?
Making Technology More Usable
The ability to optimize technology for internal users reveals not only technical competency but also how well your digital transformation partner listened to your stakeholders and evaluated their needs and processes.
Will your potential partner be able to customize any of the new system’s setups or features? Will they be prepared to recommend that you continue with out-of-the-box functionality if it’s more usable or cost-effective than customizing? (Even if it ruffles a few ostriches in that particular user group?) Are they willing to collaborate with you to (re)design business processes and information flows, including those that aren’t directly related to technology? Do they encourage you to keep things simple and not impose all of the platform’s bells and whistles on your end consumers right away?
Streamlining Business Process With Digital Transformation
The most effective implementation partners will be familiar with a variety of technologies and have experience with various forms of integration. Here are a few things to think about:
Is it possible for your potential implementation partner to assist you in cleaning up your data? Is it possible for them to collaborate with your resources to develop a data validation plan or process? Can they quickly learn about (and support) your other business systems and third-party apps (which may require data integration)? Are they capable of maximizing the efficiency of your system through the planned integrations?
Do they have a basic understanding of price models and use scaling concerning your integrations?
And, of course, do they know how to use different platforms? A competent implementation partner will stay up to date on the technology you’ve chosen to adopt. Certifications, specialties, and active participation in the vendor’s forums, seminars, and blogs are frequently used to confirm their competence. Inquire about their credentials and contributions to get a sense of how enthusiastic they are about their work.
Choosing an implementation partner doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should make sure they’re a strong cultural fit as well as a technical fit. They should be able to engage in – and advise your firm through – practically every stage of implementing a new (or upgraded) system. As a member of your implementation team, they should be able to accomplish it almost flawlessly.
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