What does the digital transformation of a software provider look like? Let's take a look behind the curtain.
As an ERP provider, we support our customers in their digital transformation every day. But how do we approach digitalization in our own ranks?
We talked to Oliver Wein, our Head of IT & Organization. He told us how our own transformation is coming along and what the perfect team for a digitalization project looks like.
- How far has proALPHA come in terms of digitalization?
As a solution provider, proALPHA has always been quite advanced where digitalization is concerned. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that we've always made it to the end of a process, haven't fully digitalized all of the processes. We combine these last meters with the validation of already implemented solutions regarding new requirements like usability.
- How do we plan the individual stages? How do you approach a digitalization project and how do you prepare for the implementation?
We start systematically with our core processes, which we analyze and describe from end to end. Major adjustments are handled in projects of their own and are controlled with our program management system. So-called "low hanging fruits" are tackled immediately.
- The IT department has grown in many companies, so they're making use of the already established expertise. What's necessary to optimize a legacy IT and make it fit for the digital transformation?
Some legacy systems only need new paint or an upgrade to the latest version in order to be able to use their potential in the best way. You have to be honest with yourself here. In distributive markets, as we've seen them in the last years, some solutions have not made the transformation. An open discussion as to whether the existing solution, an updated solution or a whole new solution makes the most sense is most welcome.
- What does the ideal team structure for a digitalization project look like?
I prefer small, powerful teams with interdisciplinary members from totally different areas. Digitalization is supposed to make life easier, so there's no need for an overcomplicated solution.
- How do you determine the precise demand for digital tools across departments?
The end-to-end analysis of our processes moves the departments more and more into the background; we determine the demand based on the process, achieving a high level of consistency.
- Do you see yourself and your team as internal "digitalization consultants" for the departments of proALPHA?
Yes, but often unconsciously. Digitalization has become a kind of an instinct. We integrate it in every solution.
- How important is the management competence of the project manager within a digitalization project?
Each project manager is responsible for achieving the goal together with all persons involved. Our motto: no one gets left behind! A successful project manager must be able to inspire and motivate, but also establish barriers.