Bridge the Experience to Operations gap
The "Experience to Ops" Chasm
Digitization is becoming a widely adopted phenomenon in all industries and business sectors. While numbers may vary from source to source, every year at least one trillion dollars are spent globally on digital transformations. Businesses of all types invest in technology to add new sources of revenue, change business models, improve customer experience, and streamline their processes and operations.
We are at a point in time where fewer and fewer question the ‘why’ behind using technology to enable business. Even the most skeptical verticals – traditional industrial sectors such as energy or construction – are adopting digital practices. Oil companies are using sophisticated data models to geo-locate and improve the productivity of their drilling. Utilities are adding digital leak detectors to gas grids and using predictive models to schedule maintenance. The examples are limitless. The question is now shifting towards the ‘how’.
How do we successfully deploy and apply technology to achieve those business goals? There is a myriad of tech vendors claiming to have all kinds of solutions (apply AI for whatever business problem you have, use workflow automation for your people intensive processes, automate your interaction with your valuable customers via bots, etc.).
You name it, or better yet, Google it, and you’ll find a technical solution for whatever issue you are facing. Then why do surveys show that more than 80% of companies declare “they have failed to achieve their digital goals”?
There are many well documented reasons why digitization fails. The majority of them are rooted in the cross-functionality and deep operational nature of these projects. Project ownership moves from business teams (product, marketing, sales, customer success or G&A) who define the strategies and the future experiences, to operational executives (IT, Ops, Supply Chain, etc.) who translate those future experiences into capability requirements (new processes, tools, data, skills, etc.). That translation and orchestration create friction, frustration, and long timelines. This is the Experience to Ops (ExOps) gap. Software development was in the same situation over ten years ago. The evolution to cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) models forced a change in how software was built and released. Development and Operations (DevOps) created a set of tools and new ways of working that reduced software release times from months to hours, while simultaneously improving the quality, cost and flexibility of software.
Digital projects are at the same critical point software was a decade ago; the current environments are not conducive to the business pressures all companies are facing.
Main Pain Points and ExpOps Goals
In our research, senior executives mention the following pain points as some of the most relevant obstacles to successful digital projects:
- Difficulty In Translating Digital Strategy Into Tangible Use Cases
Businesses are fast at declaring transformation intentions, but it takes effort to translate this into actionable elements (use cases).
- Long Cycles to Define Operational Requirements
Specifications on processes, flows, systems, data, etc. are written and rewritten by internal teams without leveraging industry best practices.
- Manual and Sequential Environments
Design, configuration and simulations are done sequentially using manual processes that are long and prompt mistakes and rework.
- Inefficient Development
Taking the specifications into production environments is an expensive, long, frustrating, and often outsourced development process; this is especially difficult for companies without access to technical talent.
- Visibility Blackbox and Use Case Updates
Executives tend to lack an efficient way to monitor digital impact and to ensure the freshness of use cases. This leads to expensive re-do assessments every two to three years.
In today’s business world, where efficiency and innovation are paramount, the right SaaS tools are more crucial than ever.