In today’s business world, organizations need to invest in themselves to keep up with their competition. We live in a time where executives are under pressure to continuously innovate their internal processes, and implement digital tools and strategies to modernize their workforce. Unfortunately, executives don’t seem too confident in their digital investment strategy. From our recent State of Workforce Management survey, “Investing in Digital Tools and Strategies” was the initiative that respondents said they were least prepared for in 2018. It seems, as technology constantly evolves right before our eyes, that today’s leaders are struggling to find the right solutions that will help take their organizations into the future.
To formulate impactful digital investment strategies, executives need to collaborate with internal team members and put time and effort into each decision, regardless of price or purpose. Moving forward with ineffective digital tools and strategies could not only cost an organization valuable time and money, but can also significantly hurt an organization’s attempts to move forward. To avoid this from happening, we created a Decision Checklist to walk executives through every step of the digital investment process. Some of the points covered in the guide are discussed below.
Understanding Organizational Needs
Before making a digital investment, executives need to first determine the exact problem they are trying to solve. It seems like a simple first step, but many executives assume they understand their organization’s problem, and quickly move on to the next stage of the process. This usually leads to executives finding themselves with a tool or solution that doesn’t have all the functionality that’s required to fully solve their problem.
During this stage, it’s crucial that all key stakeholders are included in the discussion. There is no one that understands what is needed from the solution more than the employees that will be using directly impacted by the digital investment the most. if it’s a company-wide tool that will impact an entire organization, it’s important to make sure the solution is user friendly. The time and effort executives put into the needs recognition stage will reflect in the ultimate effectiveness of the solution they decide to move forward with at the end of their digital investment process.
The time and effort executives put into the needs recognition stage will reflect in the ultimate effectiveness of the solution they decide to move forward with at the end of their digital investment process.
Identifying the Right Tools
Once all stakeholders have collaborated and identified the needs they want addressed, it’s time to research different solutions. With so many tools currently on the market, this can be one of the most daunting and intimidating steps in the decision process. It can be easy to move forward with the tool with the most brand recognition, but organizations with unique needs often require a unique, specialized solution to service them. To find the perfect tool, executives should expect to do a little digging.
It’s also a good idea to set realistic boundaries when searching for these tools. What’s your budget? What’s your target go-live date? Will this specific product scale and grow with you? Do you have the internal resources to make the solution work the way you want? Asking these kind of questions early and often during this stage can help executives narrow down the search for the solution that will best meet their needs.
Finding the Right Vendors
In conjunction with finding the right tools, it’s equally important for executives to partner with the right vendors. Having a software vendor that speaks the same language and understands industry struggles is invaluable. Most name brand vendors offer generic, cookie-cutter solutions that work well for the average small-business. However, the rise in technology has come with a rise in specialized software vendors that make industry-specific solutions meant for a niche, targeted audience. While these vendors don’t have the name recognition as some of the major tech corporations, their specialized solutions offer more options for executives.
Industry specific vendors have in-depth expertise knowledge when dealing with clients, and have experienced and overcome many of the challenges that organizations within the given industry have faced. DATIS, for example, specializes in HR and Payroll software for nonprofit Health and Human Services organizations. Unlike the major software players on the market, DATIS has built its software with a variety of features and perks that resonate specifically with Health and Human Services executives. Vendors like these can be found across other industries, too.
When contemplating a digital investment, it’s essential that executives take a few steps back and collaborate with others in the organization to ensure they follow through with the best solution for their organization. Once they have identified their needs, it’s then time to do some research and discover the tools that can take their organization to the next level. Organizations also must be mindful that they are partnering with vendors that understand their business, and can apply best practices whenever possible. Following these three simple guidelines, and others detailed in the DATIS Decision Checklist, will help executives make digital investments that will equip their organization to deal with their current challenges, and achieve their future goals.