Currently, digital transformation is a key focus for many businesses. Our Head of Professional Services, Erika Wilkins, discusses strategies in delivering successful digital transformation projects.
Please tell us more about yourself, your role and how your team contributes to the successful delivery and execution of transformation projects.
As the Head of Professional Services at OryxAlign, I lead a team of highly qualified technical engineers and project managers who manage, direct and support clients through a range of digital and business transformation projects. Each team member is an expert in their field – keeping their finger on the pulse of technology trends and business needs. They analyse our client’s requirements and complete necessary due diligence before designing the technical implementation approach and successfully delivering the transformation.
How does the Professional Services team work with clients to determine if new technologies and approaches will effectively improve business performance?
We help and advise clients by ensuring we understand their requirements, not just from a technology perspective, but also a business perspective. We dive in deep to give us a complete picture. Ultimately the transformation project needs to lead to critical changes, so we need to have a thorough idea of how their technology, people and processes collaborate.
How closely do you work with clients to deliver their desired goal for their project?
It is often assumed that transformation projects are IT Projects, although technically correct, it always impacts business processes. Our approach to delivering projects is to ensure we consult with our clients on all aspects of the strategy, by supporting clients with their internal discussions. We also make recommendations and provide guidance based on our experience.
We implement our projects in partnership with our clients - working with clients and understanding their full requirements and constrictions is the fundamental part of delivering a successful IT project.
How do you collaborate with your team to ensure optimal success in a project?
We focus on ensuring that the relevant team members with the correct technical background are involved in all communication and calls about the project. We regularly participate in internal discussions to discuss the project status, risks and issues.
When planning a digital transformation initiative, how do you and your team aid IT leaders to keep disruption to a minimum?
We deliver successful transformation projects by managing the risks closely. We identify and mitigate risks that could cause any disruption. These risks are communicated and reviewed with our clients on a regular basis. We are also transparent and openly discuss deployment options with clients, based on the level of disruption where it cannot be avoided.
As someone who drives transformation projects, who/what job roles should be on the deployment team and how do you and your team finalise this?
All transformation projects are governed and overseen by a projects team and require key resources from both the vendor and the client. We actively advise our clients on what resources/roles will be required from them before contracts are signed. This enables our clients to include internal resources in their budget and give them time to plan the resource allocation away from the business.
The roles needed are specific to each transformation, however one of our key lessons learned, is that one key contact for managing all aspects of the project is not enough and leads to complexities and delays within the project.
In your experience managing projects, what's the biggest mistake IT leaders make when planning a digital transformation project?
Not understanding the full scope, impact and timescales of what is needed to deliver a successful project and not assigning the necessary internal resources to make it a success and lastly.
What advice would you give an IT leader about to undertake a digital transformation project?
I would give them 2 pieces of advice:
- To ensure they have allocated the necessary internal resources that has oversight on each section of the project. This could be a single resource for a simple project or multiple (task / technology based) resources for a complex project.
- To invest the time and resources needed into the change management process and communication strategy to ensure the success of the transformation adoption within the business.
Are there any key takeaways from 2020 that you will use as a drive to improve upon this year?
2020 was a strange year for everyone, however the reliance on IT infrastructure heightened in 2020 for most businesses. What we learned is that clients often ask questions about their immediate needs and where they feel they need to make changes. But once we delve into their business, we often discover many other ways we can make our clients more efficient or even save on costs!
This year we will be focused on taking a much more consultative approach with our clients to ensure we know their business inside and out!
In a ‘normal’ scenario we would support our clients with an on-site presence. We’ve now proven that our fantastic capabilities allow us to fully support our clients remotely. Should we need to carry on operating remotely, projects can still be effectively delivered, and we can pull in resources from multiple technology leads.
Thinking of planning your own digital transformation project? Our team of experts have comprehensive understanding of delivering a wide range of digital transformation projects. Combined with an extensive service portfolio, strategic consulting and our proven success record, we’ll be sure to work with you every step of the way. To get started, get in touch today.