“Digitalization” is the buzzword currently on everyone’s lips. There are articles appearing on this topic almost every day. However, the keynote of those articles has changed somewhat following the first wave of excitement and the initial call for digitalization. Many businesses are now rather stressed out by the necessity for digitalization.
That reaction is quite understandable. Because the subject matter might not be topical on its own, but the necessity of having to adapt to new conditions has always been.
On the contrary: Businesses have always had to take advantage of new opportunities, either in order to survive on the market or to apply those advantages and set themselves apart from their competitors.
That is why many businesses are right in the middle of the “digitalization” process
The really interesting question here is: Are businesses aware of the potentials inherent in digitalization?
More interesting yet: Are they able to utilize those potentials at all?
We can better elucidate this subject matter with an example:
There are many software solutions on the market that can help businesses run their processes and workflows more smoothly and efficiently. But which one is the right choice? And who is going to make that decision? The users at the business, who work with it every day? Or should it be the IT staff in charge of its configuration? Or the boss maybe?
Every viewpoint is important, but the different parts of the business often do not express their viewpoints in the same language.
Before picking the right solution, a business has to be clear on the qualities of the software they are looking for. Once the required features are established, it becomes a lot easier to compare several offers objectively and pick the best solution.
When establishing these features, you not only need to consider business requirements but also the technical specifications. These requirements and specifications should ideally be established by all the parties involved. But this can lead to communication problems.
Business users often do not know how to formulate the features they require, and IT staff sometimes find it difficult to explain to business users why certain technical specifications are necessary.
This situation often calls for a kind of interpreter; someone who can “speak both languages” and bring the syntax of the different requirements down to a common denominator. Because only when all parties involved contribute their know-how, experience and ideas, can they best help their business choose the ideal software solution!
There are a few methods that make it easier to establish the demands on a software, such as the so-called user stories. They originally come from software development, but they also apply to selecting software. These stories can help users formulate their requirements on a software, without having to know much about technical functions. A recruiter, for example, can formulate a requirement in form of: “I as recruiter would like to know what job interviews are going to take place on which day.” The interpreter’s job here would be to determine the technical functions a software would need in order to fulfil that requirement.
Experience has shown that such interpreters are called in far too seldom, and businesses as a rule pay dearly for it. Companies should really think twice about the merits of saving money on an item like this because in worst case they might end up buying a software twice.
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