Cost-effective Digital Transformation Delivered Remotely — Myths and Truths

Most investments in digital transformation can’t be avoided. Yet, certain costs can be minimised. Enter—remote digital transformation.
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Published November 24, 2021
Last updated November 26, 2021

Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential part of any organisation’s long-term strategy. 

Companies benefit from digital transformation in various ways, including improved process efficiency via automation, enhanced customer experience, shortened sales cycles, and new revenue streams.

Undeniably, digitally-savvy companies have a competitive advantage because they can rapidly adapt to changing market circumstances. 

By 2023, digitally-transformed enterprises are expected to account for more than half of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), totalling $53.3 trillion. 

Nonetheless, signing up for a digital transformation project will raise many concerns, particularly those around the cost. The truth is, digital transformation can quickly drain financial resources. Global investment in digital transformation technologies and services is expected to exceed 2.39 trillion US dollars by 2024. 

The question has to be asked—can organisations have cost-effective digital transformation without endangering the high standards of the business?

The answer lies in strategic remote digital transformation delivery.

This article will examine the myths and facts of fully-remote digital transformation projects, weighing the pros and cons along the way.

Myths and Truths About Remote Digital Transformation Delivery

 

Remote digital transformation implies low quality

The assumption that a remotely-engaged workforce will yield low-quality results used to be prevalent, however, this no longer rings true.

With an increasing number of teams effectively working remotely, the chances are that most business projects today are delivered—remotely. Additionally, after the pandemic-induced mandatory work-from-home, and the following ease of restrictions, many professionals decided to continue working in the same way. Some even resigned when the companies demanded from them to come back to work from a fixed location.

Post-2020, circumstances are much more conducive to effective remote project delivery, with cloud-based collaboration tools and platforms for instant cross-team communications. All have served the same purpose, to do business without interruption from anywhere.

Some might argue that global teams will exhibit a slower output delivery due to different time zones and be burdened by language barriers. To some degree, these factors can cause a slight disturbance. But if they were strategically addressed from the project start – they don’t have to.

Pro: Remote project delivery has already reached productive maturity, and as the new status quo, the remote collaboration will continue to improve over time.

Con: Different time zones, cultural backgrounds, or language barriers might cause friction if not addressed strategically.

 

Remote digital transformation is more cost-effective than on-site

Digital transformation projects require assembling a team of specialists with a particular skill set, which is often not that easy. Due to the scarcity of niche skills in a specific market and the growing demand for digital-savvy professionals, their hourly/daily rates grow accordingly. 

As businesses have budget caps, recruiting highly-demanded digital transformation specialists becomes challenging. On the other hand, bringing in a consultancy team to a specific location may be adding costs. Consultant’s on-site visits, travel and lodging are all expenses that can be avoided.

However, with remote digital transformation teams, extra expenses are minimised. Additionally, working remotely opens doors to hiring experts from any location, reducing staffing costs significantly. 

Lastly, remote teams can offer niche proficiencies and geographically-specific perspectives to design solutions that give companies a real competitive edge.

Pro: Companies have more competitive costing options when working with remote teams due to a richer pool of specialists to choose from.

Con: Remote digital transformation delivery model might still accrue additional expenses with consultants visiting client’s offices, should they be required.

 

Remote digital transformation projects can exceed deadlines

One of the critical motivations for hiring a dedicated on-site project team is a better synergy with in-house employees.

project delivery

The fear of a language barrier, different time zones, and lack of control further contribute to prolonging the timelines of the digital transformation project.

However, many technology tools we have available today can compensate for the lack of in-person meetings. The truth is that delivering projects remotely will require attention to detail and streamlining priorities as the project unfolds. 

Still, with the dedicated support of remote-first consultants, companies can obtain continuity and meet the delivery deadlines as scheduled.

Pro: Technology tools help deliver the project on time.

Con: Possible lack of synergy due to a fully-remote approach.

 

Remote teams are not committed to long-term support

It is common to link digital transformation with a one-time IT-specific upgrade. Sometimes, new system implementations are performed quickly, with little or no involvement from early system adopters. Then after the system is implemented, employees are left in the dark without proper resources to deal with the new technology.

Thus, it is often assumed that having a team of experts on site is paramount during the implementation stage, as employees expect to receive resources and training to facilitate the digital transformation.

Nevertheless, 69% of successful change projects rely on pre-and post-solution training, which specialised experts cannot consistently deliver at the client’s premises. 

Digital cross-company solutions necessitate ongoing administration, training, and tune-up with the company’s strategy and evolving expectations.

However, many industry-leading consultancies offer tailored remote training and support packages, ensuring that users can successfully adopt the system and use it to its full potential.

Pro: Customised remote consultation and support packages eliminate the need to visit clients on their premises.

Con: Complex digital transformation projects might require on-site support during the early stages.

 

Final Thoughts

Organisations are now needing to do both; perform a digital transformation within the company and, at the same time – cut costs. To this end, digital transformation providers are becoming highly efficient in remote project delivery, which can satisfy the market demand for cost-effective digital transformation.

Connect with Behavioural Response to learn more about remote digital transformation projects and how they fit your organisation.

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