One of the most nerve-racking moments for technology leaders of growing businesses face is a boardroom full of business leaders with big ideas for growing their business. From acquiring another company to creating new business models to responding to disruptive threats from competitors, bold moves to drive growth are increasingly essential for survival. And the two words that no one in the room wants to hear is “we can’t.”
Without the right digital platform to support those strategies, technology leaders know they are between a rock and a hard place. In fact, the IDC InfoBrief, “The IT Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Driving Value from Embedded Intelligence,” sponsored by SAP, revealed that midsize companies of all growth trajectories view complex legacy systems, disconnected business processes, and an inability to consolidate and analyze information in real-time as the three most significant barriers to growth.
When overburdened IT landscapes reach their breaking point
The IT landscapes of most growing companies are reaching a breaking point that likely can’t be fixed with the “duct tape and glue” approach used in the past. These short-term solutions such as further customizations, or the addition of still more bolt-on solutions, are creating greater complexity and making it more difficult to get the information needed to make timely decisions. Such tactics only introduce more risk to the core business as processes and decision-making increasingly rely on connected intelligence, automation, and real-time data collection.
However, the idea of transforming a spaghetti landscape of patchworked applications into a simplified digital landscape can be intimidating. From significant investments to concerns over potential business disruption, business leaders have a variety of reasons to be cautious. But their employees may not have the patience to wait for the modern, consumer-like experiences they expect in the workplace and need to get work done.
As more and more companies confront this challenge, there is a greater need for open and honest discussions on balancing the boardroom’s vision and the technologies and tools that the digital environment needs to achieve it. Benefits and risks must be carefully analyzed to help the leadership team understand how technical capabilities and limitations can impact future business growth. Furthermore, this exercise can help shape a clear road map for implementing their digital transformation vision with tangible steps that are feasible, viable, desirable, and scalable.
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