10 Principles for Modernising Your Company's Technology
In analysis / By Lee Savery / 01 May 2020
More businesses are understanding the need to modernise their technology and undertake a digital transformation. The legacy systems found in businesses today may have served a function a few years ago, but now they’re obsolete when compared to today’s technology.
To have a competitive edge, you must modernise your business technology; however, the journey isn’t always easy. There are certain things you have to consider to ensure a successful transformation. Here are 10 principles for modernising your company’s technology.
1. Customer Value First
The decision to modernise IT systems is caused by many reasons, but the end goal is always the same: delivering value to customers. The end customer must see new benefits in the investment you make, whether that’s a better user experience (UX), improved product quality or better operating efficiencies that add value and reduce prices.
To get the process going, you must have a solid case for modernising your business which will develop value and innovation. The outcomes you want to achieve for customers must be clear and should include how each element of the new IT system will contribute. You must be able to see measurable positive changes in customer retention, sales, UX, recruiting and productivity.
2. Simplify Your Infrastructure
As organisations have grown in the last 10 years, the IT infrastructure has evolved with them, often not in the way it was needed. A single organisation may have IT systems for coding, data structures, integration requirements and support. This has created complex networks of technology, which is perfect for each application but is difficult to adapt and evolve, meaning that any small changes require a significant effort.
Modern platforms make this easier for all involved. With a standardisation of software code and integration standards, this has enabled systems to interact better without requiring their own separate design. APIs (application programming interfaces) let companies develop components that work together without problem and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms can now be linked to one central platform that shares data across the entire business.
Even the way your staff work can be simplified through cloud-based hosted and virtual desktops, where all users log-in to a bespoke desktop, with all the business applications securely loaded into the cloud. Services such as Office 365 also give businesses everything they need in one place, including office documents, applications and collaboration tools. There’s no easier way to simplify your infrastructure than with cloud computing.
3. Flexibility and Speed
Organisations must be able to adapt to an ever-changing environment to keep ahead of the competition. This requires almost endless innovation in products, processes and services. Systems must also be flexible and not just functional like legacy systems were designed to be, which can easily hold your business back.
Cloud computing is perfect for flexibility and speed. Not only can users log into systems quickly, any new programs or services can be added across the business quickly for every user to access. If more users needed to be added, vendors such as Nasstar will have the space to accommodate as you can scale your access as your business grows.
4. Consider Your Staff and Workplace Culture
Workplace culture plays a huge part in a business strategy, so any new systems must align with the culture of the company. If you need to change the culture of the workplace, you have to consider whether you have the time to do so.
Your staff are the people on the frontline, working with customers and clients every day with the systems you have in place. Sales, service and support teams are the link between a company and customers; these teams must be part of your IT strategy. Get them involved and show them how it will improve their processes by bringing them together with a common set of priorities, decisions and behaviours.
5. Adopt a Services Mindset
Your technology is more than just your IT; it is a set of services that your business consumes and integrates when needed. Any platform you adopt must be one that is considered best in class, provides the services you need and complies with industry standards. Nasstar, for example, are accredited with ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials, Cloud Industry Forum certifications and are also an official Microsoft Partner and Cloud Solution Provider.
The service must also provide the customer value you need as part of your end goal. You must know that your investment will help you become the supplier that your customers, clients and business partners need.
6. Plot Your Modernisation Journey
The biggest companies in the world such as Apple, Amazon and IKEA have a differentiated strategic identity that is easily understood by staff and customers alike. Having meaningless statements doesn’t bring a business together, but an inspiring strategic statement will. With that in place, you can develop the capabilities and business models needed to deliver that vision. It’s not always a smooth process, but you’ll learn a lot as your business grows.
Put simply, answer these questions when plotting your modernisation transformation:
- What are the critical steps to migrate your business to the new system?
- Who will be brought together at each step to achieve them?
- How will you plan for when things don't go as planned?
7. Organise Your Modernisation by Capabilities
Not everything can be done at once because this can cause huge problems. When migrating to a new system, changes must be made that won’t disrupt business processes and user experience.
Customer value is delivered by the capabilities and great combinations of people and skills, processes, systems and functions. Modernisation is the opportunity to improve these capabilities for better user value.
You don’t have to be concerned by every layer of the technology, as they’re all a part of your scope. Speed up your digital transformation by adding customer self-service, mobile access and a cloud-based infrastructure.
8. User-Centric and Agile Modernisation
When executing your modernisation, there are ways you can realise your full benefits faster. Avoid landing changes fast as results can take months to be seen. Have a clear modernisation roadmap allowing delivery to be made in small doses, ensuring usable functions are on a frequent release cycle.
If you’re moving to the cloud, you must consider what can and cannot be moved, as not all programs work in the cloud. You must also consider which data you are moving first to give users everything they need to get started right away on the new system.
9. Invest in Resources Your Business Needs
It’s important to analyse everything that is needed to ensure your business modernises successfully. Having staff and tools that support project management and transformational leadership is just as important as the technical side.
It’s important to select the right people to oversee the effort. They must show a desire for change alongside an ability to develop as part of a collaborative team.
10. Find a Digital Transformation Partner You Can Trust
However you decide to modernise, your technology is the key to a successful future. That is why you shouldn’t treat modernisation as just another transaction in the business. You must partner with a company who delivers the benefits required to take your business forward.
For over 20 years, Nasstar has helped businesses modernise and digitally transform their entire business. We can help you with designing systems that will benefit your clients, customers and business and also support in migrating your business to a cloud platform or service such as Microsoft 365. However you choose to modernise your business, we’ll be there every step of the way.
Get in touch today to start your digital transformation.