Vitria's Chris Menier Describes Critical Framework Necessary for Digital Operations and Successful Transformation Initiatives

Organizations seeking to leverage the latest technologies to digitize their business processes must carefully consider how to integrate operational processes all the way from the back end to the front end, says Chris Menier, Vice President and Transformation Strategist for Vitria, in an audio interview for journalists.

"For established companies -- the non-digital natives -- there is a degree of friction that is holding them back from pursuing real transformation initiatives. Part of the problem is a general resistance to change. But there are also the additional challenges of legacy thinking, systems and processes. All of which makes it difficult to change an organization's cultural DNA," explains Menier.

Given the opposition that organizations must deal with it is important to recognize that this is not a simple switch.

"Serious transformation initiatives are not simply about picking up additional tools and creating a short-term solution. Organizations need to start in the areas that they can logically support -- and transform -- and then move toward the future, leveraging legacy systems, people, and processes where possible, and phasing them out over time," says Menier.

Frameworks Critical in Setting Proper Perspective

Many large organizations have made the mistake of rushing too quickly in an effort to capture the benefits of transformation. This rarely works, and most are better off developing plans for structural change that are sustainable over the long run. That is why a carefully considered strategic framework is essential.

"A good framework can establish the roadmap that integrates long term thinking," says Menier. "By approaching the transformation in this way, you can focus on the proper context of time that needs to be invested to achieve success. It can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years of investment to fully digitize and transform an organization -- though the process never really stops."

With a long-term framework in place the next step is to coordinate across the organization.

"The key to successful transformation is to make sure that the operations team is in line with the sales and marketing revenue generation teams. Small changes can be made locally, but everything should be done in the context of the global objectives," says Menier.

Customer Experience as a Smart Investment

The best way to get cross disciplinary groups focused on common, global objectives is to focus on the customer.

"Large organizations are finally starting to embrace the customer experience and a service-oriented focus, and this ultimately creates a shared vocabulary that cuts across the different segments throughout the enterprise," explains Menier.

"It's a major cultural shift to have internal conversations begin to revolve around how changes to the network impacts service to the customer as opposed to how the changes impact the performance of infrastructure, applications or devices," says Menier.

The impact of organizational shifts such as these are paving the way to companies establishing points of differentiation.

"In laying out the strategies and describing how incremental investments push towards the end goal, customer-centric digital operations can help companies reduce churn and operational expenses while generating new revenues. That is no small feat in today's extremely competitive market," says Menier.

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