"Only change is constant" applies perfectly to today's business. The company must continuously evaluate its operations and make from time to time corrective actions to its business strategy and operations.
The business is being digitalized and new business models as well as new players come to markets. New competitors and changing consumer behavior will challenge traditional business. This requires business, current information systems and new technologies to be well integrated.
Only seldom a company has an opportunity to develop its activities from scratch without existing solutions creating obstacles. It is better to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of the current operations and existing information systems, as well as system related potential gaps and risks when planning the next development step
Even a small step forward requires amendments to both the organization's operations and information systems. Typically, an organization is running several parallel projects with numerous suppliers. However, the success of projects culminates in an internal change management and ensuring an adequate level of competence of staff. Successful project management, therefore, requires a variety of skills, technology skills alone is not enough.
Everybody is talking about digitization. Hard competition and cost pressures create the need to take advantage of new ways of working. Changes have traditionally been made in existing information systems. Often the utilization of existing systems features is enough to give additional time for a larger change.
However, the actual digital leaps are made by changing dramatically business processes and practices. You need a good understanding of current practices and know-how of new digital opportunities, as well as their implementation in order to make a digital leap.
The outcome of the first digital leap may still be a consumer webshop (B2C), or an integration between companies (B2B). The best operational benefits are achieved only when all the backend systems and their processes are integrated with seamless and automatic solutions. A replacement of a complex “Word-Excel-email” based sales process with use of an online tablet application available “everywhere for all” can also be a digital leap.
You can make a digital leap by using mobile applications to make your internal tasks and work-flows easier and shorter. Many application, earlier available only for large corporations, are now offered also as cloud-based mobile applications. With modern usage-based pricing they are now reachable for all size of organizations.
Making a digital leap does not necessarily require large one-time investments, but it always requires extensive know-how. In addition, the organization must be ready both for changing business practices and for utilizing cloud services. Services build within a successful digital leap are easily scalable.
The information system is always a big investment. The implementation of a system may not be outsourced to a supplier. The success of the project is based on well-defined business requirements. A careful selection of the software product, the supplier and the project's key personnel, as well as the active participation of management throughout the project are the basic conditions for success. The ultimate profitability of the investment is ensured by systematic continuous system development and user training.
System requirements must not only be based on the functionality and identified weaknesses of the existing systems. Also future requirements need to be described based on the business strategy and changes in the industry
In addition to the information system special attention should be paid to skills of the project organization of potential service providers. A skilled project team gets the most out of any product, but a good product alone does not guarantee success.
The best results and agility are achieved by combining a number of information systems. Digital leap can be made by combining the existing and completely new operating models and information systems.
Cloud based system services scale easily upwards and downwards creating needed flexibility and agility. Costs of on-demand cloud services follow the actual usage unlike capital expenditures of traditional investments. The need of in-house expertise is also changing. Cloud services change the traditional IT-investments to variable costs.
Too little attention is paid to use of existing information systems. Systems are not fully utilized or an organization has often parallel solutions for the same purpose. Even excel-tools are used in order to replace inadequate business systems. After system and organizational changes it is always necessary to verify the real need for licenses.
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