6 Tips for Selecting a Digital Transformation Partner

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Vikram Jape

November 27, 2017

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The phrase Digital Transformation may have a different connotation for each organization and industry. However, organizations need to acknowledge that – to stay competitive, customer centric and become more efficient than their counterparts–they need to modernize for the new digital age.

Digital transformation, to me, is a holistic approach to modernizing the IT ecosystem, processes and operating strategies of an organization by utilizing the latest advancements in mobility, cloud, analytics, and user experience to bring about a revolutionary change in the way they work and interact with consumers. Such a transformation can involve enterprise systems, client facing applications or both.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process, and when executed based on a well-defined strategy, it can provide many benefits to the organization, including:

  • Better and effective decision-making processes
  • Increased coverage and customer reach
  • Enhanced customer experiences
  • Improved operational efficiency and profitability
  • And better insights into product performance

Because digital transformation has such a wide scope, organizations need to take a strategic approach to deciding how they should begin the initiative.

Choosing a Digital Transformation Partner

Many organizations, especially in non-IT related industries, may not have all the required skill sets internally to execute digital transformation initiatives. In such a scenario, it’s crucial they partner with the right transformation provider. Partnering with an experienced digital transformation provider also can help businesses better understand the steps involved in such a journey.

But how do you go about evaluating a partner? 

Here are 6 tips for choosing a digital transformation partner to ensure your organization receives the right strategic guidance, help in implementing digital innovation and ultimately gains expected outcomes at an optimal return on investment.  

  1. Technical capability: When evaluating a partner, ask if they have a dedicated team of technical evangelists who can conceptualize your digital solution. Ask for details of their technology focus, operations scalability, workforce models and working prototypes. It’s crucial to ensure that a partner’s technology expertise is the right fit for your specific needs. This is where it makes sense to choose an agnostic consulting firm over a specific product partner.
  1. Organizational footprint: The digital arena is crowded with many digital transformation firms ranging from small boutique marketing consultants to multi-faceted global IT organizations. To help narrow down the playing field, evaluate each company’s organizational strategies, consultants, methodologies, engagement processes and dynamic development strategies. You may also want to specifically check their capability landscape, the toolsets they use, infrastructure and security details.
  1. Share the same goal: A partner’s alignment of thoughts, work ethics, processes and priorities should be on the same page as yours to ensure both parties are working in the same direction. Does the partner understand and believe in your digital transformation strategy, and can it articulate the goal? To analyze whether it does, share your transformation goals and ask the partner to come up with an approach toward achieving your goal.
  1. Client Priority or process priority: Another critical factor when choosing a digital transformation firm is to consider the proposed partnership structure, and how a partner promises to support your organization in tough times. You should inquire about its ideologies while operating during high-priority and time-sensitive requirements. Does it adhere to strict procedures to solve a client’s need or can it show examples of going the extra mile to help resolve a challenge, even if it doesn’t align with its normal processes? Gather how your partner’s teams collaborate with yours, such as how the responsibilities map. Will it be working as part of your team with consistent communication? 
  1. Expertise in your Industry: Review a potential partner’s service experience with other clients in a similar domain. Does it understand your market and the needs of your clients? Evaluate the partner’s case studies and current workload. It also may help to ask for a list of their top 10 clients overall, as well as in your domain.
  1. Escalation paths: It’s also important to analyze a company’s escalation levels, the expected response times to escalations, the designations and roles involved, and how difficult it is to reach the head of these services. Typically, small- to medium-sized providers have lesser escalation levels and hence it’s easier to reach the top management in such organizations.

Path to success

Selecting the best digital transformation partner is a critical step in achieving a remarkable digital transformation. Success will be dependent on the strategic alliance between your company and the transformation consulting and implementation partner of choice.

A detailed due diligence is imperative to choose the appropriate partner with a client-focused and technically gifted digital team where your transformation goals will be delivered on with a passion for quality, innovation and excellence.

Emtec is a right sized provider offering a breath of services and experience with digital transformation—at a smaller, more customizable service level. Contact us to determine how we can guide you on your digital transformation journey. 

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