Selecting the Right Partner for Successful Digital Transformation
June 06, 2016

Pete Goldin
DEVOPSdigest

Businesses that want to win, serve, and retain customers on digital platforms are increasingly turning to American IT firms who can get them to market faster with more effective customer engagement solutions than offshore providers, according to a new CapTech study, Onshore/Nearshore Services Thrive in the Age of the Customer.

Read the study findings in the previous blog: America Does Digital Better

CapTech provides tips for selecting the right partner for successful digital transformation.

Business leaders looking for a playbook for selecting the right partner for digital transformation initiatives can look to this study for recommendations. The study reported that the type of provider selected can improve prospects for success, but how a business engages with that provider has the ability to make or break digital transformation projects. In order to set up a project for success, it is critical to validate key capabilities in potential partners and manage directly to those capabilities. When you are evaluating a provider, it is recommended to focus on three key elements:

1. Expertise

Do not assume that just because a third-party provider offers a particular service that it has the expertise that maps to your specific needs — no two projects are alike.

A good partner should not only have qualified personnel with the skills needed to execute your digital transformation project, but it also needs to have experience in your industry and an awareness of how that may affect the design and execution of the project.

Further, project success is contingent upon your provider having a clear understanding of requirements upfront — without it, you run the risk of encountering project delays because rework is needed to fix errors.

2. Technical capabilities

One of the primary goals of any project is to get a high-quality, error-free deliverable. Ensure that a prospective partner has a track record for high-quality architecture as well as quality assurance checks in place throughout the project.

Going hand in hand with high-quality architecture is making sure the final deliverable will integrate with your infrastructure. If the final product doesn’t work with your current environment, you could find yourself back at square one.

Make sure potential partners are able to outline how the deliverable will integrate with your existing systems and identify any potential integration issues upfront.

3. Project management style

Smooth project delivery hinges greatly on day-to-day interactions with your provider. Lack of communication can lead to a host of issues, including the issues with the deliverable and project delays. Have suppliers build regular calls or emails into the project plan to ensure you are kept up-to-date on the progress of the project and can address any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Regular communications can also aid in managing timelines and keeping your project on track.

When issues do arise and you need to make changes to requirements or the project scope, it’s important that your partner has the capabilities in place to quickly adapt. Suppliers that use an agile development methodology are continuously evaluating every aspect of a project — including requirements and design — throughout development. Iterative work cycles, or sprints, give teams the opportunity to make adjustments over the life of the project. This approach can not only speed time-to-market but also result in a lower total cost.

CapTech is a national IT consulting firm that bridges business needs and technology. CapTech serves as a trusted adviser to some of the largest companies in the United States in the retail, banking, utilities, hotel and entertainment industries, including a number of clients ranked in the Fortune 50, as well as some of the largest state governments in the country.

Pete Goldin is Editor and Publisher of DEVOPSdigest
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