How tech is integrated through all work.
All companies are tech companies. We hear this phrase more and more. What’s really meant by this is that technology is in every business process and function. Have we listened to a lot of excitement about the impact of advanced techs like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robot process automation? Almost every day, there’s news about a new application or program that can sharpen your competitive advantage. We hear all the time about our clients wanting to understand what’s available to them and how it can help their business. Many companies are starting to build their internal technology department. Larger companies can afford the full-time costs of a CIO or CTO.
What’s more common for medium to small-sized businesses is hiring IT managers or directors. Often as an IT manager that’s new to a company, you want to build out your own plan for the organization. You’re likely very familiar with networking, hardware, and its administration. And you’re likely aware of the concepts of application databases, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and RPM. You’ve probably got good business acumen and can accurately articulate the reasons to move from one set of equipment, policies, cybersecurity applications to another. However, you might not know where to start is how to build a business case for these other pieces of technology like you can for the networking side. This article intends to describe our digital audit process and work towards a plan that will allow you to have informed conversations with your executive team.
What a digital audit is.
A digital audit reviews the use of technology throughout your organization. It is something that we facilitate, but the responses are entirely from your organization. Typically leaders in each business function or process are involved along with IT. We review 6 core areas of your organization and identify what is working well and what needs improvement. Through this process, we’re able to identify opportunities to use technology to improve.
What the digital audit does is organize concerns regarding business processes and the use of technology. The result is a detailed document identifying what needs improvement. It can act as a guide towards improving your organization’s use of technology. For example, as an IT manager, you may clearly communicate the value of upgrading networking equipment or transitioning to the cloud. This process is similar where it allows you to identify the value of a potential change in the words of the leaders in your organization. The final results of a digital audit contain the information to then roadmap strategic conversations or activities, such as needs analysis, product discoveries, future workshops, surveys training, implantation of new technology, or updates/changes of current technology. You will have conversations about impact, value and clearly define what problems are being solved as identified by leadership.
The goal of a digital audit is to be business objective aligned. We hope to move companies away from the ad hoc experience into a more adaptive position. No longer will companies chase shiny bright objects, but rather a measured approach that is careful and aware of risks and value. After going through a digital audit, organizations will have lean strategic conversations that identify clear, actionable next steps to assist their organization forward with technology.
What a digital audit leads to.
A digital Audit leads to a road map. A road map is a visual document that guides the actions identified as the following steps through the digital audit. For example, it may be determined that more training is needed for a particular application. Training on application XYZ is an action to the road map. Perhaps the digital audit identified that the accounting software does not integrate with your ERP. Reviewing APIs or completing an assessment on the accounting software would be an action to the roadmap. Perhaps it was identified that HR does not use any automated or electronic systems for onboarding. Doing a cost-benefit analysis of HR software or implementing one would be an action to the roadmap. These three items would be prioritized with leadership and then scheduled into the roadmap. A roadmap ensures progress; it is not fixed but rather a guide to keeping your organization adaptive.
There’s even potential for innovative technology identified through a digital audit which can be incorporated into the roadmap. For example, if it was discussed that there are many manual or paper-based processes, There could be the potential for an AI, ML, or RPA project. Typically the next step would be a survey or workshop to identify the problem further. After the surveyor workshop, a solution would be scoped and another item to put into a roadmap.
If this story resonates with you that you know more can be done, but you need a hand, our solut vCIOs can help facilitate this process for you.