Can you imagine a world without laptops, mobiles, broadband wireless, Google, MP3 players, iPads? No, neither can we. IT and so-called disruptive technologies have swept through society and changed the way we live and work. IT has never been more important in helping us to cut costs, reach new customers, deliver better service, or meet new regulatory challenges in an ever changing digital world.
Organisations that want to be fit for the future need to be able to make change happen. IT is at the heart of any major business transformation but to make it succeed organisations need to stop changing and start disrupting.
A previous Standish report found "only 37% of IT-enabled change initiatives deliver the anticipated benefits within planned costs and timescales".
So what can you do to ensure your IT enabled business change projects will be one that succeeds? We believe you need to stop changing, start disrupting, learn from the successes of disruptive technologies, and apply these five lessons.
1. Share the vision, inspire the people – disruptive technologies succeed because they start with a vision for a very different future. Don't just automate today, or accept small improvements, design for a different and exciting tomorrow. PA helped Man Diesel fuse four local companies into one global organisation by developing a common IT strategy, global governance and 'one way of working' which provided the foundation for a successful SAP implementation.
2. Keep it simple – disruptive technologies are simple to use and adopted rapidly. Yet most business systems are horrendously complicated and users go out of their way to avoid them. Time spent designing for simplicity will be well spent, make it work without a manual and make people want it. PA helped the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to replace its current web platform, delivering a high quality online multi-channel service, 24 hours a day to over 24 million people in more than 40 languages.
3. Collaborate and innovate with the market – disruptive technologies often emerge as a result of industry collaboration. Seek out partners who will help you deliver and make it as important for them to succeed as it is for you. Beware the illusion of risk transfer and focus on building strong relationships at the right levels and managing them closely.
4. Lose the army – disruptive technologies are often the product of small, highly committed and motivated groups not large, bureaucratic, programme teams. You can achieve big things with small teams providing you have the right people in key roles that you can trust to deliver.
5. It starts and ends with the people – disruptive technologies succeed because they work for people. Understand them, involve them in the design, during testing, developing training. Pilot, release early, leak snippets to create demand. Recognise that people don't expect perfect but do need help - flood them with support throughout the process.
So is your project or programme a disruptive one? Are users eager to get involved? Are your suppliers as committed as you to deliver? Will your IT system be adopted enthusiastically? If not, you risk becoming one of the 68% that fail.
To find out how your organisation can stop changing and start disrupting, please contact us now.