Technology as an enabler of Business Change

Modern businesses are in a constant state of flux as they respond to market forces. Or they’re called Toys R’ Us. One of the key causes of inefficiency in an organisation is because “we’ve always done it that way”, “it’s worked fine for 15 years, why should we change now”

Let’s take it as granted that the answer to why is to become more successful  – company, team, or person – take your pick.
Let’s look at the how – rather than looking at the floor – let’s look at the horizon and work out how we get there.
Once there’s a desire for change, initiatives often stutter – yet organisations often make the same mistakes:

Change the business first, then the tech follows.

Push through a major restructure, but leave the technology alone.  It does seem obvious – adjust your business to the target end state and then implement the technology changes to match. The company sees technology change as a prohibitor to business change – there’a a fear that if the tech changes fails, the business changes may falter. It’s worse than that though – because something else happens with striking regularity.
  • The business change function is successfully executed and the project is hailed as a success.
  • Roll forwards 3 months though and the same slips, gaps, errors & inefficiencies are starting to creep back in.
  • The business has switched back to doing things the same old way. The reason is that it’s easy to do so – it’s easier to do do things the same, comfortable, way they’ve always done things, and it’s easy to revert back to old habits.
 Definately a nope!

Change the tech, then morph the business to follow.

As a change method, this is the tail wagging the dog. You can’t change the tech if the business doesn’t change…period. But what you will find is a tech change not embraced by the business – and in most cases, this ends up with multiple legacy systems all carrying on – IT costs increase, license costs increase – everything just becomes more expensive. And when the business does change – will the tech be the right tech? Businesses can change rapidly and can evolve significantly over the lifecycle of a change program. This one’s a no-go too.

Use Technology as an Enabler of Business Change

The right answer is you have to do both together.
Create enough of a change in systems to encourage people to embrace a change in behaviour – and using the tech to facilitate this is the perfect way.
Based on our experience, an important aspect of delivering any change programme is to ensure that business & tech changes keep pace with each other.
Create enough of a change in systems to encourage people to embrace a change in behaviour – and using the tech to facilitate this is the perfect way:
  • Make it easy to keep doing the same thing – and people will keep doing the same thing.
  • Make it easier to do it the new way (and almost impossible to do it the old) – and people will naturally do it the new way.
Our recomendation is always to manage projects well, sequencing business & tech changes intelligently & logically – this ensures team will come with you on the journey and you’ll promote the maximum rate of change.
One final note – we also recommend remembering to take the time to explain “why” – many team members rarely have the opportunity to see the whole picture; bring them along for the journey and enable them to see that there’s a bigger picture to any changes – make them your champions!

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