17th Apr, 2018
, , Designation
In this fast-evolving business landscape, strategic technology investments not only give your business an edge over the competition but also open new channels of revenue and boost productivity, by bringing in much-needed speed, efficiency and innovation to your business.
Seeming simple at the outset, the journey between investing into technology and realizing its impact on the business, that is what acts as a differentiator between a successful and not-so-successful transition. Technology investments are generally taken with a grain of salt.
Beyond a well-planned investment and implementation strategy, there are several challenges that businesses encounter, such as, hidden expenses, features that don’t work as expected, a long-drawn implementation process and all along, any fitment or integration issue that may crop-up, driving deployment (usage) across the organisation etc.
A typical technology solution takes on an average of 6 months for initial set-up to 1.5 years for complete implementation, without a guarantee of success.
The duration of the implementation period depends on how complex the solution is and what is the process that is being followed. Let’s once refresh what a standard technology solution implementation process looks like, to understand the length of this investment to deployment journey:
In this phase, ROI goals are determined followed by an exhaustive analysis of viable products available in the market that can help you reach that goal. The product/solution to be implemented is finalized in this phase.
This phase involves identifying the right implementation partner like Denave, a key decision that determines the success of the implementation. After the SOP is mapped to product workflow and the solution is tested for bugs, the actual implementation of the solution takes place.
Once the solution is implemented, user departments within the organization is trained in its use. This phase involves initial user hand holding and monitoring and tracking of usage.
Business Intelligence & Analytics
Once the technology has been tweaked and implemented according to your business needs, you would need to integrate it with an external BI and Analytics platform for reports in order to derive actionable insights.
To this process, add several hits and misses in terms of the deployment strategy and process integration, and you get a long-drawn out process that might take months before it starts positively impacting your business.
But this need not be the case always.
Making the right product choices, choosing the right implementation partner and establishing a sound implementation strategy can cut down the implementation process by months, saving valuable time and money.
Here are some alternative steps that can be adopted to ensure that your implementation costs don’t stray beyond the red line and the risk of failure gets minimized.
Choosing the right product will determine how well your processes integrate with it. Therefore, go for a product that requires minimal process mapping. This will save valuable time and investment.
For example, instead of opting for a standard CRM software, go for an intelligent Sales CRM software, while instead of going for a pure Sales Force Automation tool, opt for a trade marketing or Retail management specific tool.
Opt for products that come with a pre-defined campaign configurator that allows your teams to quickly setup sales and marketing campaigns without wasting valuable time or without trying to flex their existing process to make those two ends meet.
Business Intelligence plays a key role in gathering actionable insights. Choose products that integrate well with your existing or any other easily available BI platform for process-specific static and dynamic reporting.
Added advantage would be there in case if the product comes with built-in Machine Learning capabilities so that it learns on the job and keeps the processes updated using actionable intelligence.
Better manage the Total Cost of Ownership by investing in a product that leverages the cloud.
Go for a product that has an intelligent and customizable user interface to ensure a smooth deployment across your department processes. A product with a simple, easy-to-understand user interface will see a quicker adoption by your teams across the board.
The right product choice has the potential of greater long-term impact in terms of enhanced productivity and better ROI. But such considerations are often overlooked when the focus is on immediate, short-term benefits.
The above-mentioned steps will not only ensure a shorter deployment cycle but also optimise the investments, along with minimizing hidden costs. Combine this with greater chance of deployment success and reduced TCO and there is a winning strategy that’s charted!
This article was originally published here