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  December 9th, 2020 | Written by

Top Five Questions Every Tech Decision Maker Should Ask When Evaluating Major Change

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  • The first and most crucial aspect required for successfully implementing change is the underlying business objective.
  • If the organization is not culturally ready for the technology, people will likely reject the change. 
  • Decision-makers should identify the sponsors who will help drive the change.

Organizational changes could entail many major transformation projects related to business processes, organizational structure, culture, leadership, and technology. From a technology point of view, one can expect these changes:

-Technology upgrade: An organization decides to upgrade its technology ecosystem with best-of-breed tools for each function.

-Tool standardization: An organization sees the need to standardize its technology ecosystem by following a single-vendor strategy.

-Cloud migration: An organization decides to move to the cloud and either ‘lifts and shifts’ workloads or rearchitects the existing applications, or replaces legacy systems with modern, cloud-compatible systems.

Underlying business necessities drive technology changes

Organizations launch new technology initiatives and projects every day to enhance their performance and increase their competitive edge. By and large, these technology changes are driven by one of these three business necessities:

1. The company wants to re-imagine and redefine its customers’ experience.

2. The company seeks to re-engineer its business fluidity.

3. The company intends to reduce internal and external risks and get more control over the business.

Key success factors for a technology transformation project

Many technology changes fail because decision-makers sometimes do not thoroughly think through all the major factors that can contribute to the success and failure of the project. The five questions listed here will help decision-makers systematically look at each aspect of their decision and evaluate how ready their organization is for the project.

1. Why are you considering this change? The first and most crucial aspect required for successfully implementing any change is the underlying business objective behind the project. When asking this essential question, decision-makers should acknowledge the true motivations for their potential decision. Does this change effectively help drive real business value — either enhancing the customer experience, engineering business fluidity, or reducing risks for your organization? Reasons such as all other companies in your industry undertaking a similar project should not be the sole motivators of considering a significant technology change.

2. How can you mitigate the potential risks that might derail the project? This question will push technology decision-makers to identify early-stage warnings and possible hazards facing any project before beginning. Leadership teams would be wise to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that should be tracked in order to determine the project’s success and establish the foreseeable roadblocks that may threaten the achievement of these KPIs. They should also ensure that the project gets tested in a real environment before being planned for global execution. Proof of Concept (POC) is the litmus test for a project’s possible outcome, and it should not be compromised or skipped. The feedback and learnings coming out of the early-stage warnings and the POC should be incorporated in the project execution plan.

3. Have you mapped the key stakeholders who will sponsor and champion the project? Decision-makers should identify the sponsors who will help drive the change. Ultimately, the enduring success of the change initiative depends on how actively the sponsors are talking about the project and the level of engagement of those championing the shared vision. Decision-makers should also identify the known detractors and have effective strategies to engage the sponsors and manage the detractors.

4. How foreign is this change to your organizational culture? If the proposed technology doesn’t fit within the existing culture, decision-makers need to be aware of this from the onset and then decide whether to move ahead with the project as a whole. If the organization is not culturally ready for this technology, people will likely reject the change.

5. Do you have the funds to support this project, even if it goes 50% over budget? Given the complexities and organizational mind-shift required for the successful implementation of foundational changes, there is typically a high chance that larger projects will run over budget. Therefore, for significant technology-change projects, the organization should be ready to accept a 50% overrun.

Beyond satisfactorily evaluating the answers to these five questions, the decision-maker should have strong sense of purpose and willingness to take on challenges and see the project through completion.

Managing a significant technology change

Continuously showing return on investment (ROI) is an essential must-have at every stage of the project to keep people engaged. Governance, tracking, and support from senior management are other crucial ingredients for managing an enterprise-level technology change. The executive leaders must become active ambassadors of the project for it to be successful. If leadership support is not visible at the grassroots level, people will not be motivated to complete the project successfully.

Finally, one of the key bedrocks of any organizational change is frequent and meaningful communication to ensure no surprises for anyone at any stage of the project’s lifespan. The mantra decision-makers should always strive to follow for any ongoing project is: “95 percent of the information needs to be communicated to 95 percent of the people, 95 percent of the time.”


Salil Godika, chief operating officer – India, Synoptek

Salil Godika is an experienced business leader with over two decades of functional experience across sales, marketing, corporate planning, product management, delivery, development and alliances. At Synoptek, Salil is a part of the core management team and oversees India operations. Reach out to Salil at