Especially in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) world, it’s common for transformational projects to stutter. For example, smaller or mid-market companies may be using immature technology systems, such as spreadsheets or siloed databases that haven’t been modernized or that don’t integrate easily with the acquirer’s systems.
Regardless of whether your organization currently has an exit strategy or M&A plans, you should have a digital transformation strategy. Legacy systems and processes end up increasing costs, often due to the manual nature of collating information. Digitizing data and processes lead to faster and better decision making.
This is a topic that RKON CEO, Jeff Mullarkey, recently discussed with Robert Sheesley, the CIO of Wrench Group, which is a national leader in home repair, replacement, and maintenance services that has made numerous acquisitions over the years.
Although the exponential growth of data has played a significant role in Wrench Group’s drive to glean insights, their digitization efforts leaned into the need to uncover and make sense of existing data.
“Now we’re creating data from data,” Sheesley said. “With artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’re creating insights as a result of the relationships of all these data elements.”
Robert added that since they embarked on their digital transformation strategy in 2019, Wrench Group has been turning data into wisdom. It has involved tying together platforms and solutions — such as clouds, data lakes, and analytics tools.
“For many midmarket companies, this idea of creating wisdom and knowledge from data is new,” Sheesley said. “And to be fair, to get to what a holistic ‘data estate’ is not an easy endeavor.”
That’s why we advocate for companies to gradually move toward IT maturity by following four stages or phases:
- Create cohesion and efficient operations among existing systems and technologies
- Work toward improved infrastructure performance, whether through automation, consolidation, or integration
- Use AI-related technologies such as machine learning and analytics to glean insights across shared systems
- Use the wisdom gained in the transformation stage to innovate new products, services, and data models
Stage 4 is the money phase. Transformation should ultimately enable your company to lean on a scalable system to monetize those data insights. For example, companies should be able to tap into customer behaviors or market trends to more easily make decisions and pivot when necessary.
At the end of the day, reaching IT maturity with digital transformation efforts is about value creation, including identification of new possibilities for monetization and revenue generation.
Watch the full conversation between Jeff and Robert here, which includes thought leadership and guidance around consolidation, process harmonization, enterprise information management, and much more. And if you have any questions, please reach out to us.