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Digital Technology Consulting: Navigating the Digital Landscape

Digital Technology Consulting: Navigating the Digital Landscape

By: Jim Gitney   |     February 19, 2024

Staying competitive and relevant are two key issues on the minds of senior leaders and boards of directors. The rapid evolution of technology plays a pivotal role in addressing these two issues. To successfully navigate the digital landscape, leadership teams turn to digital technology consulting firms like Group50® Consulting. They do so to identify ways to optimize the operation of their company and to increase their competitiveness. Companies who do this successfully focus their digital technology projects on the intersection of people, process, technology and cobotics, as shown below.

Strategy 5.0 requires optimizing a business at the intersection of people, process, information technology and cobotics along with a robust organizational development program following the Group50 change management framework called the Business Hierarchy of Needs

As shown, information technology is the backbone of today’s companies. These backbones direct all activities throughout the company and the interactions it has with customers and vendors. While this is true for all companies, it is especially critical in manufacturing and distribution companies.

There are very few things a company does today that isn’t dependent on digital technology. Group50’s digital technology consulting practice is focused on assuring clients that their technology will improve the way their business operates. Successful companies leverage their technology backbone to optimize their operations for maximum productivity, best in class customer service, provide digital access to all products, improve speed to market and create the lowest possible operating cost. In this comprehensive article, we will explore, from a Group50® Digital Technology Consulting practice perspective, how companies use digital technology consultants to increase both top line sales and bottom-line financial performance.

Understanding the Digital Technology Consulting Landscape

Digital technology consulting, a form of management consulting is a holistic approach to understanding how digital technology addresses the unique challenges businesses face in their served markets. It is focused on helping companies leverage their technology and data in the quest of value creation and achievement of their strategic objectives. Leadership teams who do not understand this will struggle to remain competitive and relevant.

Digital technology consulting firms provide leadership teams with strategies and tactics that will improve the effectiveness of their business on both the top and bottom lines across the entire business ecosystem. Top tier digital technology consulting firms will have the resources, methodologies, and capabilities to work with clients to address the wide range of business processes, services and products a company manages. They should be able to work on projects that vary in complexity such as:

  1. Strategy and Planning
  2. Technology sourcing and implementation
  3. Technology optimization
  4. Data Analytics
  5. The application of Artificial Technology – AI
  6. Cybersecurity
  7. Blockchain and IoT
  8. Digital Marketing – OMNI Channel
  9. Digital transformation

Digital technology consulting firms use tools such as a Digital Technology Assessment to lay the groundwork for businesses to use technology to streamline workflows, increase productivity throughout the company, improve customer experience, lower manual errors, and speed up decision-making processes. They also help organizations identify ways to better leverage their current technology stack, and plan for the implementation of new technologies that are aligned with the company’s strategic plans and customer requirements. They help ensure a seamless transition from traditional business models to digitally empowered ones that leverage data analytics and customer insights.

Digital technology firms who also have a management consulting practice are most effective. This combination allows companies to work with a firm that can make these recommendations and is capable of implementation across the company. Success includes not only making recommended changes to digital technology but also includes change management, business process reengineering, value stream mapping, organizational structure and design, as well as other needs. Most digital transformations fail because companies do not consider all of these needs when implementing their digital technology strategy.

Group50® Consulting is one such company that excels in both practice areas. To understand the role of technology in a company’s success, Group50® consultants view business in a unique way. The following chart takes a holistic view of how businesses operate and depicts the operations of every company, no matter the industry in three horizontal business processes as shown in the diagram below.

These three horizontal business processes can be defined as follows.

Market Effectiveness summarizes all the activities a company does in the interaction between itself and its customers. The compilation of business activities that interact with the customer need to be coordinated and managed. Business strategy, the core of all market facing activities defines a term we call “Where to Play” (WTP) and “How to Win” (HTW). WTP defines the products, services, customers, and the appropriate channels of distribution for the company. The technology backbone must be designed to properly interact with customers during their Customer Journey – The moments of truth. A company’s technology backbone not only needs to support the company’s ability to develop and manage its portfolio of products and services, but it also must be outstanding at supporting its customer’s OMNI Channel needs. At Group50® Consulting, we define OMNI channel through the 6 A’s:

  1. Digitally Acquire research on your products and services
  2. Buy from your company Anything you sell
  3. Do it Anytime
  4. From Anywhere
  5. Using Alternate payment methods
  6. Access to the status of their order at all times

We define OMNI channel this way, because as consumers, we have grown accustomed to the services of companies such as FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Walmart.com and other retailers. We, as consumers and buyers expect all our suppliers to deliver the same types of service. We want to be able to research the product we want to buy, understand where to buy it and be able to access a portal to transact business. Companies in the B2B space need to consider these realities of today’s marketplace.

A properly structured technology backbone, as shown in the second horizontal process, communicates with and draws information from customers. It

  • collects data to provide reactive and proactive scorecards for all market facing activities.
  • receives and processes orders.
  • accounts for payments and costs
  • tracks inventory
  • manages product configurations

The technology backbone consists of a multitude of software programs that should seamlessly work together to provide a complete picture of the marketplace and communicate the demands of the marketplace for the company’s intended product and services. These activities include but aren’t limited to websites, customer service, chat bots, surveys, product information, customer portals, artificial intelligence, ERP, the cloud, and many other forms of communication and analysis. Effective technology backbones will also include systems such as MRP, MES, WMS, EDI and other systems that will communicate with the third horizontal process: Value Added Activities.

The demands of the marketplace are communicated through the technology backbone to the third horizontal process called: Value Added Activities, also known as the supply chain. If you think about it, every business has a supply chain. They take raw inputs, add value, and convert them into a product or service their customers want to buy. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional services firm, a service only company, a SAS company or a manufacturer or distributor. You have a supply chain that you need to manage and nurture through technology.

Inputs from customers are contextualized and digital systems tell the value-added teams what to build and when to deliver goods and services to customers. In order to do this effectively, the entire supply chain is run by technology. When properly constructed, these digital systems tell the value-added teams when to buy parts, how much inventory is needed, how to make and assembly parts into finished products, how to schedule resources to meet market demands and how to know if the manufactured products are good to ship them to the proper location on time and in full.

Digital technology is not just a tool but a strategic enabler. Digital technology consulting involves a multidisciplinary approach that combines technical expertise with a deep understanding of the client’s industry and specific business needs.

What is Digital Technology Consulting?

Digital Technology Consulting is the practice of helping organizations leverage digital tools, processes, and strategies to achieve their business goals efficiently and effectively. Digital technology consultants play a vital role in guiding businesses through the change management process required by better utilization of existing technologies and preparing for new technologies that will transform parts of their business or their entire business in a meaningful way. The Digital Technology Consultant will work with leadership to understand the following:

  1. The company’s strategic plan
  2. The effectiveness of its current state when compared to an optimal solution at the intersection of people process and technology.
  3. Operating gaps in how existing technology is being used and supported.
    1. Technology
    2. Organization
    3. Training
    4. System performance
    5. Total Cost of Ownership.
  4. Strategic gaps that exist and are required to be closed in order to realize the company’s strategic objectives.

This understanding is typically defined through a Digital Technology Assessment.

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What is a Digital Technology Assessment?

The primary goal of a Digital Technology Assessment is to identify areas where technology can be leveraged and optimized to support the organization’s strategic objectives. This process involves:

  • Strategic Alignment: Ensuring that technology investments align with the organization’s overall strategic goals.
  • Assessment of Current Technology Stack: Reviewing the existing technology stack to identify redundancies, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement.
  • Benchmarking: Comparing the organization’s technology capabilities with industry best practices to pinpoint gaps and opportunities.
  • Organizational: Assessment of the capabilities of the current organization, its structure and the network of outside providers who manage the technology backbone
  • Risk Analysis: Evaluating cybersecurity measures and identifying vulnerabilities that could pose a threat to the organization.
  • Technology Succession Planning: The current technology roadmap for implementing new systems and retiring unused and systems that need to be retired.
  • Cost Optimization: Analyzing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of technology assets to identify cost-saving opportunities.
  • Effectiveness: Assessing how the company’s technology backbone properly supports the operational needs of the business.

When Group50® Consulting conducts a Digital Technology Assessment, they will identify a host of recommendations for a company’s technology backbone. They work hand in hand with the client to define and implement necessary changes that align with the strategic vision. Group50® Digital Technology consultants use a three-phase approach:

The Digital Technology Assessment will include a recommended roadmap for improvements that will significantly enhance the operation of the current state and make recommendations on projects that will close strategic gaps and prepare the company for the future state. Group50® consultants work closely with the client to create the recommendations. The next step is an implementation workshop, where Group50® Consultants facilitate a 1-2 day event where the leadership team and other critical stakeholders get together, utilizing a Kaizen process, to plan the recommendations that will be accepted and implemented. The output of the workshop is as follows:

  1. A detailed roadmap of the implementation
  2. Chartered cross functional teams with defined sponsors, objectives, and timelines.
  3. Identification of key resources needed to implement that plan: Internal and external.
  4. A change management strategy
  5. An analysis of the cost and ROI of the projects.

The third phase is implementation, which is where Information Technology (IT) consulting is required.

What is Information Technology IT Services and Consulting?

Information Technology (IT) Services and Consulting refer to the comprehensive suite of services offered by firms specializing in technology solutions. Information Technology Consulting involves guiding organizations through their digital transformation journeys that were defined in the Implementation Workshop. They provide the client with advice on how to find the right software systems, utilize IT assets and resources and properly implement the digital technology roadmap. It also involves contracting subject matter experts in areas that the company lacks expertise. Group50® IT consultants act as program and project managers as well as subject matter experts in sourcing, implementation of new systems, moving to the cloud and leveraging existing software systems.

The core functions of Information Technology Consulting include but aren’t limited to:

  • Collaborating with clients to implement their digital strategies, including goals, KPIs, and the implementation workshop roadmap.
  • Solution Design: Designing customized solutions that align with the digital strategy.
  • Implementation and Integration: Overseeing the deployment of technology solutions and ensuring they integrate seamlessly with existing systems.
  • Change Management: Assisting organizations in managing the cultural and operational changes that come with digital transformation.
  • Digital Transformation: Guiding organizations through digital initiatives and ensuring they remain competitive in a digital world.
  • Technology Implementation: Deploying hardware, software, and network solutions to support client objectives.
  • Managed IT Services: Providing ongoing support and maintenance for technology systems.
  • Cybersecurity: Protecting client data and systems from threats.

Schedule a Call Meeting with our Subject Matter Expert

Conclusion: Group50® Consulting’s Digital Technology Expertise

it is important for the leadership team to choose a firm that offers a suite of services from strategy to implementation. When a company works with a firm that does digital technology consulting, information technology (IT) consulting, and management consulting, the results are far superior.

Group50® Consulting is one such firm who excels in this area. We take a holistic approach and work with our clients from strategy through implementation. We are especially good at the application of technology in manufacturing and distribution companies. The following links will provide you with insight on our approach to leveraging digital technology:

  1. Digital Technology Consulting Practice
  2. Digital Technology Assessment
  3. Digital Transformation
  4. Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP systems
  5. Digital supply chain technology
  6. Infrastructure services
  7. Business-IT Alignment
  8. Information Technology – Total Cost of Ownership
  9. Market Effectiveness technologies – Marketing, Sales, Product Portfolio Management
  10. Automation and industrial transformation
  11. Data Center and Cloud Services
  12. Blockchain
  13. Internet of Things (IOT) technology

Group50® Consulting stands out as a top tier firm. Our expertise in helping organizations navigate the complexities of digital transformation sets us apart in the industry because of our approach to digital technology from a holistic perspective. While it is relatively easy to make systems work better, it is a bigger challenge to design and implement technology backbones that work seamlessly and are aligned with business strategies and fully meet the needs of a client’s unique customer base.

Talk to a Digital Technology Consulting Expert by calling (909) 949-9083, sending an email to info@group50.com, or requesting more information here.

About the Author:  Jim Gitney is the CEO and founder of Group50® Consulting which has worked with over 200 companies in improving their top line performance and bottom-line results by over $300M. Jim and the Group50® team specialize in working with D2C and B2B companies and they fully understand the current challenges in marketing and sales as well as optimized supply chains. Group50 clients routinely see a 10X return on their consulting investment.  You can see some of the clients and results of their efforts here.

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This entry was posted in Blockchain IoT, Business Transformation, Information Technology, Strategic Execution 5.0 ™, on February 19, 2024

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