In our previous blog, we addressed data quality: how to improve the quality of your data and why it is essential to get that step right. The task of data quality and control will never cease. But rest assured, the benefits are more than worthwhile. Just think about what you can accomplish with better data. More effective strategic decisions, higher profitability, and cost savings are at your fingertips.
Cleaning up your data might seem like a herculean task, and it certainly can be. That’s why it is imperative to identify what data you need to collect and manage going forward, so you can focus your efforts on where they are rightly needed.
Data refinement is just the beginning of the process for digital transformation, however. Quality data sets are the ingredients you need to get started, but you still must have a kitchen and a chef to create the meal. While you know your data best, it’s common not to have the knowledge or capabilities in-house to manage a successful digital transformation. No one can do it alone. That’s when companies like yours seek out a digital technology partner.
The choice of partner is an important strategic decision, so be sure to do your research. From our perspective and based on the experience of our clients, we find it works best if you partner with a digital company that truly understands your business and industry. After all, you are going to grant your digital partner access to the core of your business, to your most sensitive data. Trust, as you can well imagine, is an essential aspect of this relationship. Call it instinct or a gut feeling, you nonetheless need to feel completely comfortable that you can count on your digital technology partner to lead you to where you want to go. If you don’t see yourself having two-way open and honest conversations with a potential partner, do not move forward!
Once you have whittled down the list of potential consultants, look for a partner that that can grow with you over time, one that offers scalability. In other words, a great digital partner for your business has experience working with customers who have achieved what you are setting out to achieve. And beyond technical capabilities, don’t forget about the final ingredient: fit. Find a digital partner who can work well with your team.
How you establish a digital partnership can be just as important as whom you partner with. Before you begin a relationship with a digital partner, ask yourselves what you want to accomplish and what your timeline is. There may be several outcomes you would like to achieve during this process, so be sure to rank them in terms of importance to your organization. A good digital partner can offer invaluable insight and guidance during this delicate stage where expectations and plans are established. Now is the time to agree on milestones and high-level deliverables. Next up is to evaluate your internal strengths and weaknesses and share your analysis with your digital partner so that together you can create a plan of action that takes these important issues into account. Finally, summarize your analysis, the ensuing roadmap you have prepared, the timeline and deliverables you have agreed on thus far in a partnership agreement that outlines a clear strategy and set of expectations for both you and the technology company. Allow for flexibility, but know who ultimately will be accountable and for what.
We pride ourselves on using an approach and methodology that puts into practice all the above issues not just from our point of view as a trusted or potential technology partner, but from the point of view of the company we will be partnering with during a digital transformation. We recognize it’s not easy. Partnering takes trust, it takes work, it takes time. A great deal is at stake. But digital transformation – your pathway to redefining goals, reinventing business models, improving speed and reaction times, and engaging your customers like never before – is too critical and complex a task to go it alone. Have the confidence to take your time and find the right partner for your digital transformation.