De-risk your Digital Transformation with this one simple service

Many companies adopt an infrastructure-first approach. There’s something about buying an off-the-shelf solution through a big name like Salesforce, that feels sensible.

I understand. When I’m making a purchase, I’m reassured by believing there’s a certain quality guaranteed in paying a premium.

But without considering the people that use your service first, you run the risk of wasting a lot of money on a solution that can't add the value that your users crave.

By adopting a user-first approach, you'll discover how to create value that’s way beyond what’s achievable with an infrastructure-first approach.

In fact, by using customer insight, you’ll better understand how to facilitate this value through technology rather than letting technology dictate what you can do.

In this post, I shed light on a service we provide that underpins the successful delivery of digital transformation programmes.

Our test and learn approach

At cxpartners, we offer a phased test-and-learn approach which is designed to de-risk your investment by continuously involving customers and the business: Accelerate, Innovate, Generate, and Establish.

As a part of the Accelerate phase, our world-class user researchers work to understand user behaviours, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, interviews and other feedback methodologies.

To complement this work, we recommend a Technical Discovery. Informed by our hands-on delivery experience and a solid understanding of the surrounding technology landscape, we conduct a collaborative study of your technical capability and appetite to inform what technology is needed to support future services.

Alongside understanding the needs of your service’s users, we need to uncover how technology can support them. We need to build the right thing before we can build the thing right.

Success will only happen if the sweet-spot between business needs and user needs is identified. By understanding both can we find a win-win solution.

Understanding your organisation

As we endeavour to understand the technical landscape, we investigate the organisational context.

As part of this investigation, we will need to know who the decision-makers and other stakeholders are, what their goals are, and what success looks like to them.

By determining who is responsible, accountable and who needs to be consulted or informed - we can start to think about how the proposed work will be socialised within the organisation.

We’ll work together to understand your ways of working so that change can be embedded effectively. We’ll gauge the skills of the team currently available and whether the skills that exist in the organisation are the ones needed, and advise on training and recruitment that might be needed or an outsourcing strategy.

Understanding your direction

When choosing technology, it can be really beneficial if you make choices that allow you to change your mind at a later stage. The ability to adapt your technology as your understanding of how to meet user needs changes will allow you to experiment, innovate and to stay relevant.

You may already have existing tech that can be part of a solution. We need to gain empathy around previous technology decisions - for example, if some departments have preferred programming languages or databases, or why certain software was procured.

We can work with you to keep costs low, minimising the total cost of ownership, to help make sound software development decisions and/or procurement choices and make sure you always have full control of any data you store.

Once we understand how your current services work, and how different systems glue together, what your appetite and capacity are for change, we can help draw up a roadmap, or understand how we can fit in with existing plans.

It's important that your digital strategy is considered, as knowing the technical constraints project teams will be working within will ensure that any solutions will be viable. We can also identify opportunities for optimising and future-proofing your current capabilities.

Understanding your environment

As well as understanding your users and your organisation, we also need to appreciate the organisation in its environment. Are there policy or regulation-based constraints you need to adhere to? There’s no point in designing something that won’t float past an industry regulator. (We’ve been doing some really interesting work in this space in our Financial Services pod - check out our Evidence-based compliance approach).

Upholding your integrity

We’re a people-first company, and your users’ data privacy and security are paramount. Your business data needs to be secure too. We’ll need to talk to who has responsibility for data to understand how we can work to ensure its integrity as we work together.

We’ll also work with you to assess the likelihood and impact of cyber-security threats. By thinking about security upfront and making each element secure by design, we can bake in robustness to the design and build process.

In the context of the specific project we’re undertaking, we’ll need to understand what data held elsewhere you’re likely to depend on, which systems will be expecting data from you, what interfaces with other systems you’ll need to test, and so on.

Moving forward

The Technical Discovery informs the capabilities that are likely to be needed by the team who will carry out the next phase of work - our Innovate phase. It may also offer some hypotheses about what technology can help solve the identified problem.

Our next steps will be some early-stage prototyping - exploring and learning with throwaway code and experimentation with new tools. We’ll create one or more Proofs-of-concept that test that our technology choices can satisfy your users’ needs.

Ultimately, if we are to affect change in your organisation, we need to know the processes and controls over deployment. So part of the Technical Discovery is understanding the process of how to make outputs live. When it comes to deploying solutions, we’ll want to move quickly so we can start seeing the fruits of our labour and measure the impact of our work.

A little investment that goes a long way

As you can appreciate from the above, the small investment for this piece of exploratory work can massively inform future stages of work and help mitigate the risk involved in capital outlay for digital transformation projects.

Part of the innovation and design process is about moving from a place of uncertainty to certainty. The Technical Discovery, by answering crucial questions upfront, unlocks the creative process - so we can deliver innovation at speed.

Get in touch at hello@cxpartners.co.uk if you would like to find out more...

Dave, our Creative Technologist, likes playing the guitar, drinking good coffee and trail running - but not all at the same time.