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Strategies to Help Overcome Challenges in Modernizing Your Business

Modernizing your business Management consulting manufacturing frontline leadership operational performance maintenance improvement shop floor excellence operational culture

The technological platforms for businesses today are not simply new versions of legacy systems. They are enabling organizations to completely revolutionize business by designing a new digital enterprise. They are empowering organizations by allowing them to undergo an entire digital transformation.

When implementing modernization initiatives, however, there are some challenges that will arise. Employees may be unwilling to buy in to the management changes, for example, or there may be inadequate planning or perhaps inadequate resolve to follow plans. The organization may not have its legacy systems under control.

The best way to overcome these challenges is to have long term strategies and options in place for the process of modernizing your business. These include:

1. Focus on flexibility, functionality, and speed.

In order to keep up with an ever-changing landscape, your organization needs to pursue continuous innovation and modernization in services, products, technologies, and practices. With the technology systems of the past, functionality was the main objective. They were made to do one or two things especially well, and when the organization needed to shift its focus, the systems’ lack of features often held them back.

Now, it is not enough to focus on functionality, but systems must also be flexible and fast. They need to be able to rapidly accommodate a wide range of possibilities for both connection as well as configuration. Evaluate which aspects of your existing systems are limiting your speed with respect to change.

2. Plot your journey before you begin.

You need to have a set direction for your modernization initiatives. You need to create a road map that lays out a sequence of markers and milestones to meet along the way. For example, you may need to reevaluate your cloud infrastructure or perhaps each milestone will focus on business goals like automating processes or expanding market share.

Establish the critical steps in the migration to a new system. Create a specific plan for how to “course correct” when unexpected obstacles occur. Put a plan into place for the implementation of each step and the achievement of each milestone.

3. Organize based on capabilities.

It’s impossible to reorganize a legacy system all at once. Efforts to modernize businesses must be divided and sequenced as well as prioritized so they won’t be too complex to manage. Organize your modernization process initiatives by capabilities.

Analyze your business and discover the most critical capabilities that differentiate your organization and provide value. Figure out how your modernization will enable and enhance these assets to give you a competitive advantage. Discover which digital vendors and products will fit best with these capabilities.

4. Take an agile, user-centric approach.

Utilize established agile frameworks in the design and development of your modernization project. Ensure that you train all stakeholders in whichever platforms or products you choose so that they will have a shared understanding of practices that are involved.

You also want to remain attentive to responses from both customers and employees. Introduce new digital features in a way that will allow you to test them across different customer profiles and user experiences. Establish who will benefit the most from these changes and work out how they will be engaged. Understand how you can pivot and shift your approach when needed.

5. Engage with your workforce and company culture.

Modernization is often viewed strictly as a change in technology. Updates in technology, however, only sustain themselves only if teams embrace and accept the changes. It’s therefore essential that you align your new systems with your organization’s culture.

Understand what your teams need from the new systems in order to be more productive. Look at the skills your existing employees already has so you can understand where they will need to develop. Analyze your organization so that you understand where the cultural shifts need to happen for the new system criteria to be adopted.

When modernizing your organization’s technology, you want to have a plan in place for how to sustain these changes so that they can be the most successful. At POWERS, we help organizations to implement modernization initiatives to introduce more efficiency and productivity into your business, which ultimately has a positive effect on your bottom line.

To learn more about how we can help your organization, contact us today.

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About the Author

Sean Hart

CEO, Managing Partner

Sean Hart is an industrial engineer with a background in manufacturing supervision and project management. Sean’s background is in improving overall plant efficiencies and implementing Lean techniques to improve processes.