Change Management: Embracing digital change to maximise growth opportunities

May 2021


Ross LeCarpentier, Director in Risk and Advisory services.


As we move into 2021, BDO are increasingly finding that businesses who continue to embrace and deliver successful digital change are well positioned to maximise the future growth opportunities. There is increasing acceptance that when done well the effective use of digital solutions can have a profound impact not just on existing operations but sometimes on the direction of the business itself.

Whilst some organisations embrace change and transformation, others remain hesitant about embarking on such investments and are concerned about the challenges. The risks can be perceived as being too great and can compromise existing operations. We believe that digital adoption, however, is too significant to ignore and all businesses should have a clear view on their digital position and the digital opportunities, or they risk being left behind.

So for those who are embracing digital solutions, the challenge switches to effective execution and at the heart of this will be having a clear focus on the opportunities and value that will be delivered coupled with close monitoring of the risks. From our years of experience in helping businesses embrace and deliver effective technology-enabled change, there are key points which we believe should underpin every digital transformation project.

What should you consider in digital transformation projects?

  • It’s important to remember that even though technology and digital solutions provide ideas and opportunities, they can only do so if there is genuine business issue to fix or opportunity to exploit. It may seem counterintuitive, but technology should not be the immediate focal point when looking at a digitalisation programme. Digitalisation should be viewed as a means to the end, not the end goal, it’s important to bear this in mind when thinking about a successful change strategy.
     
  • The first practical step in any change programme should be to focus on improvement opportunities within your business. Maybe you could benefit from reducing working capital, increasing productivity, collaborating across your supply chain or helping ensure new product development is focused on what your customers need. We recommend that you identify the needs that digital tools can solve.
     
  • When looking to implement new digital solutions for your business it is natural to have concerns, and be nervous about such technologies. However, many digital tools, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, real time reporting, 3D printing or the Internet of Things, are already being used widely. It is the risk to your business of not using some of these technologies which should increasingly become the key question to ask.
     
  • Regardless of your company’s appetite for innovation, it makes sense for early digital efforts to focus on smaller key projects and ‘quick-wins’. We recommend that a business chooses areas where digital solutions can be introduced quickly and easily, and gain clear, rapid results which build confidence and buy-in.
     
  • Finally challenge yourself to think about what you do, what your customers need and where you can keep improving. By bringing together your knowledge of what makes your business work well and combining this with experienced digital transformation specialists you can create realistic and compelling improvements which will deliver provide long lasting and meaningful change.

If you would like to discuss change management processes, contact Ross LeCarpentier, Director in risk and advisory services, on 0775 3928 343, or email [email protected].

 

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