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The ABCs of Digital Transformation

Back-to-school season is here and while students are thinking of classes and what they'll be learning in the coming year, business leaders are seeking education on digital transformation and how to improve operations in their institutions. Whether deploying new financials software or modernizing legacy systems to the cloud to take advantage of advanced functionality, proper planning is the crux of a successful cloud deployment.

To execute an easy and successful digital transformation, check out the ABCs of transformation to move your institution to the top of its class.

Anticipate Anything.

Many institutions have a transformation on the horizon, so it’s important to have some wiggle room in your plan to allow for the unexpected, such as last year’s sudden switch to remote work. While the expectation of having a project come in under budget and on time is typical, the road to every go-live is paved with setbacks or issues that can derail your efforts and prevent you from reaching that goal.

Rather than be blindsided, plan for potential pitfalls and how they will be addressed. For example, many organizations underestimate the amount of time needed for testing when implementing an ERP system.  Consider automating the testing process to ensure it is repeatable, requires fewer resources, and takes less time. It’s also important to think about how technology changes impact people and processes – not just systems. Not preparing users for changes they’ll encounter or migrating bad processes rather than creating good ones that address the needs of the business can result in poor user experience and adoption.

Beyond the Deployment.

Successful cloud deployments go beyond technology change. Your cloud migration plan should include management and optimization strategies to get greater value and advantages of new capabilities. Whether you hire internally, bring a team in as a strategic partner with pay-as-you-go or a bucket of hours to draw from, having experts available to maintain your software will allow your IT team to focus on the company’s mission and more strategic initiatives.

Communicate Change.

Even the most tech-savvy users may be resistant to change. To ease the transition, prepare users by arming them with information about what to expect and change management strategies that identify organization willingness and readiness to change. Developing materials such as a “How do I?” FAQ documents or hosting town hall meetings can help users understand the changes and how it impacts them to ease the leap from the old system to a new one.

Modernization is the cornerstone of success when it comes to propelling higher education into the future. By taking time to address the ABCs of deployment projects, your institution can be ready for unexpected events, with its eye on the future, and prepared to help your institution adopt new ways of working.