4. Overlooking today's modular architecture

Historically, organizations have looked for an industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to address all of their technology needs — that silver bullet we mentioned earlier. However, these systems still resulted in a lot of manual workarounds to fit the unique specifics of the organization.

With the workforce challenges firms are experiencing, today’s systems need to eliminate manual processes and improve on automation.

That’s why organizations are now implementing a decentralized set of systems that connect via integration platform as a service (iPaaS) tools such as MuleSoft. These tools connect your CRM, ERP, data warehouse, project management system and more so that changes to a record in one system (such as contact info, budget or timeline) get automatically changed in the other systems. 

5. Not bringing in the right mix of positions and departments

Getting the right people involved in the project is critical to its success. You’re going to need a mix of people from all levels of seniority and across departments. A technology ecosystem can’t be “corporate’s baby.”

The changes your organization will undergo throughout your technology journey need the input and buy-in from various organizational levels.

Senior leadership will secure the investment budget, gain approval from the board and provide the highly visible buy-in and communication the project needs to gain adoption once it’s implemented. Mid-level management will drive the technology implementation process and paint the vision of how this will benefit everyone in their day-to-day roles.

Those across departments will work together to determine individual and overarching pain points and put together the technology road map. They’ll bring the insights needed to determine what you need to improve the employee and client experiences.

6. Not talking to your peers — or asking the right questions

When it comes to technology, where have your peers and competitors had successes and failures? These insights can be critical to help you avoid mistakes right off the bat and set expectations for how your future technology journey may unfold.

Make sure to ask the right questions, too. You may be tempted to ask them which tool they picked and how much it cost when you should be asking what led them to move forward with their investment, how they built their vision and how they structured their road map or created a program for digital transformation. How did they think through their business case and determine their ROI?

And talk to them to better understand the corporate governance and capital allocation elements of getting approval for technology projects so that you can better set yourself up for success.

7. Not understanding how to effectively find a return on your investment

At its simplest, ROI is determined by subtracting the costs of the investment from its determined benefits in some number of future years. But what goes into determining the benefits and what are the costs you need to consider?

Direct benefits include items such as increased revenue or changes in headcount. Indirect benefits are items such as higher client or employee satisfaction.

A project also has costs and risks to factor into your ROI calculation.

  • Direct costs: Examples include hardware, software licensing, implementation consulting, integration consulting, training and change management.
  • Indirect costs: Perhaps the best example of an indirect cost is the short-term impact to productivity for your internal workforce as they devote time to the technology implementation while still performing their normal day-to-day work.
  • Potential risks: Examples include budget overrun and the project taking longer than anticipated.

How Wipfli can help

It’s not easy to embark on a digital transformation even when you know your organization needs it. You simply can’t afford to lose your competitive position by continuing to operate with less-than-optimal processes and systems. From digital strategy and data analytics to enterprise solutions, Wipfli Digital can help your digital do more.