6 Tips for Choosing the Right Implementation Partner
Bringing about a major change within an organization requires careful planning, execution, and management. It is best undertaken under the guidance and controlled monitoring of experts. This helps to improve the chances of successful adoption and integration. Hence the need to partner with the right implementation partner firm that has good experience accomplishing this kind of feat.
Tips for Choosing the Right Implementation Partner
Most firms, particularly those not IT related, lack the required expertise to undertake digital transformation changes on their own. Even the digital partners they may already work with to maintain their legacy systems may lack the capacity and skills to manage a task of this scope. While it can be tempting to work with people you do already know, their shortcomings in handling this job may lead to severe disruption to your business and ultimately big losses.
To effect change the right way, organizations should have some criteria by which to select the right implementation partner that will deliver the desired results.
1. Relevance of Expertise with Scope of Current or Planned Project
As companies grow, they steadily add to their existing systems to keep up with increasing production and workforce. The changes are done gradually and companies often contract an IT partner that will help provide the required capacity and capability. With a digital transformation, the changes that need to be done are more widespread and intensive.
Most IT firms tasked with maintenance and security work often lack the expertise to bring about digital transformation on a large scale. Because they specialize in maintenance and upgrading rather than change, they are often limited in terms of mindset and skillset.
Finding an implementation partner with relevant expertise and a strong understanding of how to plan and execute such projects offers the best chance of success. Rather than seeking to retain systems they are most familiar with, they can make objective assessments and determine the best approach to bringing about the desired changes.
2. Project Scale Matching with Past Experiences of Partner
Whenever a business undertakes a project, capacity can be just as important as expertise. Even if they have the right technical knowledge, it can be detrimental to the project’s success if they cannot match the scale. With limited capacity, the project may advance at a slower pace than expected and lead to delays.
While digital transformation can be done in phases, it remains a big change that requires the services of an implementation partner with suitable capacity. The partner must be able to match up to the scale of the project in terms of both expertise and scope.
When choosing a partner, it is important to gauge the size of the projects they have handled before. Those that have worked with similar sizes of organizations are better suited to understanding how to execute strategies at a matching scale and understand how to manage all the moving parts involved.
3. Flexibility Rating
When looking to bring about change, a certain level of flexibility is ideal. Many technology firms tend to be rigid in terms of the products they offer and how they execute plans. The reality is that not all client organizations work the same way. Being able to adapt to the different manners in which firms operate and are structured ensures that projects can be tailored to specific circumstances, and even altered if the situation calls for it.
As a partner customizes these digital strategies, there should still be some room for change as the project goes on to be implemented. As changes take place, new solutions may also need to be developed for emerging demands from both outside and inside the organization. From interfacing between the front office and back-end applications to cloud computing, new challenges can continually emerge, calling for a partner that can keep up.
4. Reliability of Potential Partners
When selecting an implementation partner, it is advisable to delve deep into their reputation. It is not just about the slew of services they offer, but rather how reliable and effective they are in delivering these services. You will need to carry out some investigation to discover if they can perform as they claim to be able to.
Look into case studies and references they provide to ensure they are capable of undertaking the scope of the project. Not only will you want to ensure they have executed similar projects before, but that it was successfully undertaken, delivering a positive impact to those organizations. Customer feedback will give a good idea as to what kind of reputation they have cultivated.
The number of years the technology firm has been in operation, the types of projects they have successfully worked on, and industry connections can help discern their reliability and authenticity. You will want a partner that is just as reputable to clients as they are to their peers in the technology world. Rather than work with a firm that is aligned to specific brands and products, consider one that takes a more agnostic approach, focused on best-of-breed solutions from vendors that bring new innovations to the digital transformation space.
5. Culture and Diverse Workforce of Potential Partner
Cultural diversity is an often overlooked quality in technology partners. It does however speak to the capabilities of the firm and their ability to work with clients who are also staffed with a diverse workforce. By matching your organization to a widely diverse partner, you are assured of their ability to relate and understand your team.
A diverse team also indicates that the company values talent above all else. A hiring criterion that gives priority to skill and experience will often result in a diversified workforce with the right mix of strengths that makes them amongst the best in the business. This open-minded nature also often correlates with a company that is objective and flexible when it comes to selecting vendors and products that are best suited to matching client needs. This helps keep them competitive and able to offer the best value for money to client organizations.
6. Evaluate Support Extension Models
Every digital strategy project goes beyond just implementation. Bringing about effective transformation across the organization takes time and ongoing support. It is vital to determine what level of support extension you will get from a prospective technology partner to minimize the risks of future integration challenges, facilitate ongoing training of teams, and resolve conflicts with legacy infrastructure and applications.
Your implementation partner needs to do more than just train on using new technology. They must have a broader understanding of the business and how the changes they are implementing will help to grow it further, boost profitability and customer satisfaction. These changes should not just be seen as a short term goal, but rather as a step in the right direction of achieving the overall short to long term goals of the organization. This is an ongoing process that will require support during the transition until successful full integration and adoption.
Just as every organization is unique, so too should be the digital strategy execution project that is being developed. From the internal structure and functions of your organization to the unique characteristics of your target market, you will need a provider who has good experience and understanding of your particular industry and the skills to plan and execute projects that match up. With the right implementation partner, you can be assured of well-customized options within your allocated budget.
Through due diligence, you can narrow down to the best-suited choice of partner with the expertise and capacity to execute and support this digital transformation. Forming an alliance with the right provider will not just see to the proper implementation of desired changes, but also enhance the chances of early and widespread adoption of new technologies that will help give your organization a competitive edge.