Choosing the right digital transformation partner

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Emergn.

In today’s ever-changing markets, business leaders understand the benefits of digital transformation. In fact, a PwC study found that: 60% of executives globally believe that digital transformation of enterprises is a critical growth engine, whether that growth goal is to improve customer experience, productivity, products or services. However, a business transformation of any kind can be a heavy burden on a company, especially when most companies have little to no internal transformation capabilities.

It is one of the many reasons organizations seek help from external consulting partners. In reality, 88% of companies use third-party providers for at least one part of their digital transformation. While leading companies around the world have recognized for decades that consultants can be an incredibly effective way to stay competitive, I don’t believe the adage “no one has ever been fired for choosing IBM” translates into digital transformation partnerships. The fact is that, as the global consulting industry continues to grow (at a projected estimated value of $525.57 billion in 2027), the market for experienced digital transformation consultants is scarce. With countless consultancies to choose from, it’s critical for businesses to avoid partnering with a vendor that lacks digital transformation expertise.

Identifying an Inexperienced Digital Transformation Consultant

To spot inexperienced digital transformation consultants, you need to look beyond the industry buzzwords and dig deeper to discover the real value they bring to your organization. What types of expertise do they have in terms of human resources? What experience do they have in your sector? What experience do they have in guiding an organization through a change or transformation program? What processes and customer management processes have they implemented?

If they can’t properly answer those questions and instead try to put decision-makers at ease by making the complexities of digital transformation easy to digest, they probably aren’t the right fit for them. The right transformation consultants take into account a company’s distinctive business processes — how they manage customers, employees, operations, etc. — to discover where and how digital intervention can improve business outcomes.

Out-of-the-box methodologies and recommendations also tend to oversimplify digital transformation solutions and create an inaccurate reflection of the effort and time required to successfully complete certain projects. Further, these undefined, broad strategies cannot meet the specific needs of an organization, leading to one of two outcomes.

• An under-addressed digital transformation strategy that leads to a less productive and not fully optimized digital business.

• An exaggerated digital transformation strategy that requires lengthy or never-ending consultation, which can quickly evaporate a company’s budget.

In either case, hiring the wrong digital transformation consultant can negatively impact a company’s productivity and bottom line and push a company’s hiring manager to the unemployment line.

Hire the right digital transformation consultant

When hiring a digital transformation advisory group, to find a true transformation partner who invests in the success of your organization, business leaders should look for a consultant who takes a personalized approach, aligns objectives with business goals, and has an exit strategy.

How every business works is unique and requires an equally unique digital transformation plan. That’s why it’s essential to find a supplier that doesn’t push simple, one-size-fits-all transformation strategies. Instead, look for consultants who take a personal inside-out approach. A robust digital transformation strategy should start with a structured analysis of an organization’s situation with data on current operations, past experience of change implementation, and work culture. A well-rounded analysis will also consider a company’s employees, understand their knowledge of innovative tools and processes, and ensure they are on the same page with the digital transformation plan.

A formidable consulting team must also work with business leaders to clearly define the business outcomes they hope to achieve for their clients. This, in turn, will help the company and its partners better understand the problems they are trying to solve and help align objectives with business goals and customer outcomes. For example, suppose a company’s goal is to provide faster customer service. In that case, a coordinated goal could be to implement CRM software or automated tools such as chatbots for customer support activities.

Finally, more often than not, a digital transformation consultant who has really invested in a company’s long-term success will introduce an exit strategy. While a full-scale digital transformation can be complex and constantly evolving, the right consulting partner will create a plan that will teach a company over time the skills to not only support positive change in its digital operations, but also implement it itself. . Therefore, it is imperative to look for digital transformation consultants who focus on empowering employees by teaching them agile methodologies and progressiveness through knowledge-based learning.

While the pool of digital transformation consultants doesn’t necessarily have to be deep, business leaders who know what to look for will have the most success finding a partner focused on the continued success of their business. And by heeding the warning signs of an inexperienced digital transformation provider, decision makers can avoid unnecessary costs or the potential for a failed digital transformation. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?