This article also appeared in VentureBeat on January 6, 2022.
We all know just how difficult digital transformation can be, especially with the rapidly changing business environment and needs of our teams. That difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that so much of the burden for digital transformation falls on IT leaders. If the business isn’t involved in digital transformation efforts, IT can only drive so much change. You need to make sure everyone knows business-led development is a company initiative, that everyone plays their part, and that it doesn’t happen in disconnected silos. And, ultimately, it also comes down to having the right technology in place to drive this success. Here is the current state of business involvement in digital transformation, and how the right technology and capabilities can make a huge impact.
Unfortunately, this isn’t yet happening at a high level. A recent IDG MarketPulse survey found that less than a quarter of line of business (LOB) employees are automating their daily routines or modernizing existing workflows. And it’s not all due to a lack of skill or desire – almost 1 in 5 of the respondents to that survey who are capable of leveraging automation tools are not doing so.
This lays bare just how much potential is being squandered throughout the organization. While IT is shouldering the load of digital transformation, there is technology out there that can make an impact. Currently, only 44% of respondents are leveraging technology tools to improve agility and build complex applications at the business user level. That is why it is so critical to bring on the right digital software solutions to keep up with these changing needs.
Evaluating the right tools for IT and the business
Lack of access to the right software tools for business-led customization and automation is a major hang-up in increasing the reach of digital transformation. For business users to become business innovators, they need to have the capabilities in place to continually innovate and feel supported in that effort.
Finding the right tools for continuous workflow automation and dataflow comes from understanding the needs of both IT and business teams. Across both teams, the survey found that ease of use/low IT support are critical capabilities to any software tool to help build digital transformation success across the entire organization – 71% of IT leaders and 67% of LOB leaders mentioned this as important. This is the key capability that will make digital transformation a true organizational effort, not have it fall on a single team.
From there, the IT and LOB priorities somewhat diverge. Where IT is more focused on compatibility with the current technology stack (56%), LOB users are considering ability to integrate data across platforms (54%) and scaling to support deployment across the enterprise (51%). This data integration is especially critical, as legacy software such as ERPs can often be inflexible and lack the accessible data that business innovators need on a day-to-day basis. Top technologies are finding innovative ways to connect disparate data and integrate existing systems in real time quickly and safely.
By identifying tools that can bridge the gap between these priorities, you can ensure that everyone’s needs will be met and you can engage your entire organization in these efforts.
Digital transformation technology building team confidence
It is imperative that the entire organization is involved to make digital transformation a full-team effort. That takes structure and buy-in, from ensuring executive support of these initiatives to establishing guidelines and guardrails for business innovators to feel set up for success.
But ultimately, it comes back to getting the right technology in the hands of users who can innovate and make a difference.
With the right technology in place, business users are much more likely to become business innovators. Those who are already using low-code platforms to build applications are much more confident in their abilities to take the lead in customization and automation. While 59% of LOB respondents are confident or very confident in their ability to integrate data on their own, users of low-code tools were twice as likely to be confident in their capabilities.
Continuing to stay aligned on these initiatives between IT and business teams will foster continued success, as well as concerted efforts to create a culture of continuous improvement. But ensuring that you are evaluating the right tools, with the right modern capabilities, is the first step.