Cut Through the Vendor Clutter and Crush Your Digital Transformation Goals in 2023

A Quick-Guide to Weeding Out Your Next Digital Solution

by Erin Geiger, Content Lead @Lumos

If you thought 2022 was a roller coaster…just wait until 2023. Economic uncertainty, market fluctuations, and global conflict mean tomorrow can be drastically different than today. So it’s no wonder executives view 2023 through a skeptical lens.

Economic projections are pointing towards a global recession, leaving many executives wondering what type of business environment they’ll be dealing with during the first part of the year. But in spite of uncertainty and market projections, they still have work to do and goals to reach, particularly around digital transformation. And continuing to invest in technology is critical for companies to grow, scale, and achieve the flexibility needed to survive–and even thrive–during the ups and downs of 2023 and beyond.

A recent report also revealed that approximately 60% of companies plan to increase investments in digital transformation this year to reach IT goals

The question is, how do executives decide where to invest to reach their digital transformation goals? Here’s how to cut through the vendor clutter and crush digital transformation goals this year.

The technology ecosystem is complex (and vast)

Business leaders clearly have digital transformation on their minds, and finding the right solutions is a top priority this year. According to Gartner, executives plan to direct $4.6 trillion into enterprise IT spend in 2023–a 5.1% year-over-year increase. A recent report also revealed that approximately 60% of companies plan to increase investments in digital transformation this year to reach IT goals. Executives have the desire to invest and many have the budgets, but that doesn’t address the biggest hurdle of the IT strategic planning process: Choosing the right vendors and allocating that spend.

If companies want to meet digital transformation goals in 2023, they can’t afford to use siloed technology. A modern tech stack must have multiple tiers of technology solutions, all of which must run seamlessly and cohesively. So, when identifying where to spend money to reach IT goals in 2023, executives must look at the entire tech stack–from  front-end technologies to applications–to make the right decisions. And there’s a long list of vendors in each category to choose from. While the value and speed a solution brings to the business are the obvious criteria, software capabilities alone don’t equal success.

The five key challenges of digital transformation

Establishing and executing a successful digital transformation strategy is tricky and can be costly. According to Gartner, a digital transformation project in 2022 took twice as long and was double the anticipated costs. Why? Because digital transformation isn’t as simple as it sounds. A successful strategy takes significant IT strategic planning–and even the best IT planning doesn’t remove all of the challenges

A recent report from BCG shines a light on the top five challenges companies face on their digital transformation journeys:

• Making the right choices among disruptive new technologies
• Reaching scale fast with new digital solutions
• Recruiting talent
• Prioritizing investment and development
• Managing the cost and uncertainty of return on investment

In addition to the challenges, they’ve got complaints.

Here’s the beef: The top four complaints about digital partners and vendors:

• 84%: Cumbersome coordination across vendors
• 74%: Cookie-cutter solutions
• 69%: Inadequate training provided to companies’ teams
• 68%: Lack of help in prioritizing steps of the transformation

How do executives overcome those challenges and find vendor partners to set their digital transformation strategies up for success? More importantly, how can they make the right choices to lock in their IT planning for 2023?

Here’s our four-step guide to help you navigate the vendor review and selection process.

Prioritize the right tools

Tools aren’t just the pieces of technology you purchase from your vendor. The tools your vendor uses are just as important. In today’s connected world, vendors must have easy and seamless methods in place to connect with you–and with other vendors.

After all, your tech stack isn’t going to connect itself. Find out which tools your vendors use to communicate internally and see if you can hop on board. For example, Slack channels can be a great way to get everyone on the same page and smooth out the vendor coordination process.

Look for vendors who truly collaborate with their customers and prospects to get a deep understanding of needs, workflows, and hurdles.

Look beyond traditional solutions

It’s easy to buy within the lines and purchase the solutions you think you ‘should’ have. But will the cookie cutter, out-of-the box tools really work for your business? It’s possible they will, but odds are you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Look for vendors who truly collaborate with their customers and prospects to get a deep understanding of needs, workflows, and hurdles.

Every IT team is a little different and the context in which they work varies depending on the broader business goals. Your vendor should be asking the right questions and coming up with original solutions during the sales process to help you build the business case, demonstrate ROI, and meet your digital transformation goals.

Prioritize support and training

Every successful digital transformation strategy hinges on people. Your people must be on board with the changes, be willing to learn how to use solutions, and be committed to reaching goals together. You can buy the best tools and solutions available, but if your vendor lacks comprehensive support and training you’ll never enable your people to maximize the value.

When choosing a vendor, look for white glove service for onboarding as well as a variety of support tools, such as webinars, a knowledge center, and more. Be sure to do a deep dive into your vendor’s post-sales process and support strategy and tools before making your choice.

Cover your basics

In a sea of digital solutions, it can be difficult to prioritize the purchases you need to make. While it can be tempting to alleviate your more complex problems, it’s important to remember that a digital transformation journey is just that–a journey. Your vendors should help you prioritize the steps you need to take to make your project a success and help you see things from a holistic point of view.

For example, automating your on and offboarding company app management process giving your employees self-service access to company apps is a great way to cut down on the number of IT tickets your team receives. If you can free up their time with automation, they can then spearhead other digital transformation projects that will deliver value for your organization.

At Lumos, we aren’t just another technology vendor.

Our internal company appstore takes the pressure off your IT team to manage even single access requests. By streamlining and automating the provisioning and deprovisioning process, your IT team can breathe a sigh of relief–and focus on making your 2023 digital transformation goals a reality. The best part? We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Want to learn more about Lumos? Book a demo.