Putting Business Transformation Into Action

Putting Business Transformation Into Action

Before transformation can begin, the business must first assess where it stands and what’s happening in the market around it, and decide where it wants to go.

By Larry Walsh

Did you know the first video conferencing systems were developed in the 1950s, operationalized in 1964 and brought to market in 1970 – decades before broadband services were widely available and 33 years before Skype was introduced? And, cell phone technology has been around since World War II, with IBM introducing the first touch-screen smartphone in 1993 – well before the smartphone revolution took off with Apple’s iPhone.

It’s hard to see change happening when it starts because it takes time to move beyond legacy infrastructure, processes and culture. The 2112 Group has conducted extensive research on the trends and best practices related to business transformation among vendors and solution providers. No company is immune to changing market forces, just as no company is prohibited from transforming their business and value propositions to meet market opportunities.

Before transformation can begin, the business must first assess where it stands and what’s happening in the market around it, and decide where it wants to go.

  • Market Assessment: Your business need a clear understanding of the trends – technology, market, economic, regulatory – to which it’s reacting
  • Internal Inspection: Many transformations are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It’s important to understand what you do well today and what resources – human, infrastructure and technical – you can leverage for the next generation of operations.
  • Capitalization & Fiscal Health: Your business must have the cash reserves, access to funding and sufficient cash flow to pay for the required investments.
  • Direction: You need to define your objectives: what your company will become and the mission statement around which plans and future operations are built.
  • Risk Tolerance: The average process takes three to five years, and the average solution provider business can tolerate little to no return on investment for 12 to 18 months. Ensuring you have a well-defined measure of risk tolerance will shape the transformation plan and execution.

As Gen. George S. Patton famously said, “A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.” Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all. Solution providers need strategic objectives for their transformation and definitions of how and when they will reach those objectives.

Before embarking, a business must define the objectives of the transformation, as well as the business model it wants to use. Budgetary requirements – both time and money – should also be taken into account in the early stages. No one person can or should be responsible for the entire transformation process. Transformation, when effectively executed, will involve every aspect of a business – including the acquisition of product through partnerships or the development new ones with internal resources; and the marketing resources to define how products will be sold, who will sell them, and how the value of those products will be conveyed to existing and prospective customers.

The biggest secret: The transformation journey has no ending. In fact, the notion that the technology industry is undergoing “the greatest transformative period in its history” is nonsense because it implies a beginning and an end. Business are and always should be transforming themselves to capitalize on the next opportunity and remain relevant to the market. Adjustments can and should be made and having a plan is essential, but sticking to plan even when it’s not working is foolish.

The point of the transformation process is continual evolution. Companies fail when they lose relevancy. At some point, every company’s core products and services will lose value. Through continual transformation executed in a logical, thoughtful process, vendors and solution providers will not just keep current, but stay ahead of the disruptive forces.


Larry Walsh, The 2112 GroupLarry Walsh is the founder, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group. You can reach him by email: [email protected]; or follow him on social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.