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IT systems often require changes because of business transformation and IT transformation events such as restructuring or data harmonization. These kinds of digital transformation projects are complex, whether you’re migrating to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, integrating business applications and data after a merger, or carving out business units after a divestiture.

Complexity means lots of potential for issues to pop up throughout the project, so it should come as no surprise that flexibility is key to meeting goals during business and technical transformation projects. How can you bake agility into your ongoing IT processes, so you’re adequately prepared when the need for business transformation arises?

Let’s take a closer look at why flexibility is a crucial element of successful digital transformation, as well as the other elements projects, need to succeed.

Agility Ensures Transformation Readiness

IT agility is an incredibly important challenge facing modern businesses today. As markets experience increasingly shorter cycles of change, what sounds innovative and promising today can quickly become outdated. In order to maintain a competitive edge, enterprises need to evaluate their business strategy periodically, making sure that it’s both up-to-date and ready to adapt to changing conditions.

Securing future business growth and earnings may require mergers and acquisitions, for example. Selling individual business units or other types of carve-outs may be necessary, as well, whether the enterprise wants to raise capital for investments in further growth or simply focus more resources on its core business.

Regardless of the type of operational change, when change is needed, it’s important that the organization can act fast. The speed at which transformations are completed can make or break a company’s success and future viability. IT agility enables rapid and efficient change processes, allowing transformations to be completed quickly and successfully. By maintaining an agile IT environment long before the business transformation is even on the horizon, enterprises can ensure that they’re always prepared to rapidly execute whatever change comes their way. 

Adapting to Anticipated — and Unforeseen — Challenges

Transformation projects are notoriously complex, from managing organizational and procedural changes to handling technical challenges, like data migration. As with any type of complex project, it’s likely that issues will crop up along the way — including both issues that could be anticipated and challenges that no one could have predicted.

Baking flexibility into your transformation strategy is incredibly helpful here. Creating a flexible strategy allows the team to adapt to changes as they come up and minimize potential interruptions. Of course, this kind of flexible strategy requires a migration partner who’s able to keep up, smoothly adapting to changes and challenges without derailing the transformation project. An IDC survey revealed that nearly 35 percent of enterprises are looking for an external transformation services partner who is “very flexible and adaptable.”

The success of transformation projects also hinges upon the early inclusion of IT in the business strategy. Enterprises tend to see above-average success from the flexible implementation that comes with alignment between the business and IT department. When IT has a comprehensive understanding of business processes and goals, they can implement the necessary changes with more flexibility and less friction. Better communication and cooperation between technical and business teams give the project the best possible chance of success.

By aligning IT with your business goals, you give your technical team the flexibility to ensure that the transformation accomplishes what it needs to for the business side, without costly delays from miscommunications.

What Else is Needed to Succeed?

From establishing an agile, transformation-ready IT environment to adapting to transformation project changes, flexibility certainly contributes to fast, effective transformations. But, it’s not the only component needed for a transformation project to succeed.

Projects that leverage automation to simplify and accelerate tedious processes, and projects that rely on trusted partners for execution, can cut down on overall costs and meet impending deadlines.

The Kellogg Company, for example, needed to move its global SAP landscape to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform as part of a push to modernize its global technical architecture. After starting project planning, they realized the complexity of the transformation initiative required a partner who could ensure a smooth transition to the new architecture by minimizing manual effort, project risk, and downtime. With the help of a trusted transformation partner, Kellogg’s leveraged automation to accelerate the project timeline, migrating more than 1,600 users in five markets, all with near-zero downtime.

Whether you don’t foresee any business transformation in the near future, you’re gearing up for an IT transformation event, or you’ve recently completed a transformation project, it’s always the right time to start thinking about IT flexibility. In today’s rapidly changing world, there’s likely to be a transformation event just around the corner. When it comes time to craft a transformation strategy, ensure that you have the flexibility, automation, simplicity, and trusted partner you need to meet your transformation goals.