Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination

The rise of SaaS has driven a digital transformation revolution. But why is it many companies find digital transformation so hard?

The rise of SaaS has driven a digital transformation revolution. But why is it many companies find digital transformation so hard?

June 4, 2019
Ankur Verma

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The rise of SaaS has driven a digital transformation revolution. But why is it many companies find digital transformation so hard?

How to get your digital transformation right

The past decade has seen a steep change in how businesses leverage technology. The rise of SaaS has driven a digital transformation revolution. But why is it many companies find digital transformation so hard?

Digital transformation is often seen as a panacea for all of a company’s ills. Executives and senior leaders think SaaS solutions can transform a moribund corporation into an exciting hotbed of innovation, driving revenues ever-upward. Even in successful companies, technology adoption is seen as essential. However, in many cases, the end results prove to be disappointing. The expected transformation never materializes, and the company executives end up feeling they wasted their investment. Here, we will explain why this happens so often, and show how you can make your digital transformation a success.

Getting it right

Digital transformation is the process of moving your company systems over to cloud-based solutions. The arguments in favor of this are pretty strong. Improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased revenues. But these benefits all depend on getting everything right. All too often, executives think they just need to switch over to SaaS and can instantly reap the rewards. However, there are three reasons this is not the case.

Employee buy-in and engagement

Getting your employees on-side is vital if you are going to succeed. They are the ones that will be directly impacted by the changes. And they will need to learn new ways to work. Sadly, some of them will also find their jobs under threat from the process. This makes it even harder to get them to engage in the process.

The interconnected nature of systems

No single system exists in isolation. Yet, SaaS tends to provide point solutions for a specific task. As an example, imagine moving over to a SaaS expenses system. This will make it easy for your employees to record expenses and take photos of receipts. However, your expenses system will also need to integrate with your HR system (for manager signoff), payroll (for the actual payment), and accounts (to keep track). Unless you upgrade these systems too, you won’t see much benefit from the SaaS expenses system.

The time needed to complete the changes

Many executives think digital transformation is a quick fix. And many SaaS companies bill it as such. But all too often, integrating a new system will take months, if not years. You have to train staff on the new system (taking their time and reducing their productivity during this process). Then you need to plan how to switch over from the old system (you could do it on a fixed date, in stages, organically, etc.). You also need to assess in advance all the other systems and processes that will be impacted.

Digital transformation is a journey

Fundamentally, executives need to understand that digital transformation isn’t a one-off event. It is a steady (and never-ending) journey. Each new service you use will impact your business and reveal another area where you can bring about transformation. SaaS tools aren’t static – they are forever being improved and upgraded. SaaS tools are often designed to enable integrations with other SaaS tools. So, as you switch over, you can start to make all your services work together.

How to make life easier

There are three ways you can simplify your digital transformation journey. This isn’t rocket science, just plain old common sense.

  1. Plan properly. You need to have a full plan for your digital transformation. A roadmap for the journey ahead of you. Every company will have different constraints, so every company will need a bespoke plan.
  2. Choose wisely. The best SaaS solutions make it easy to integrate with other tools. They solve multiple problems in a single package. And they are easy to use. Finding the best solution for you takes detailed research and a healthy dose of skepticism about the salesmen.
  3. Get your staff on board. At the end of the day, it’s your staff who will make the transformation work. So, it pays to get them on board from the very start. Show them how the new systems will improve their lives and involve them in the planning process.

How providers can help

Providers such as Functionize can help you get your digital transformation right. For instance, we have concentrated on making our solution easy for anyone to pick up. We use artificial intelligence to simplify the whole process of automated testing. Our system integrates with all the major CI/CD tools. We are also agnostic to your choice of test management tool. The end result is a test solution that is easy to integrate into your existing systems and which is easy for your staff to switch over to.


Digital transformation can indeed be transformative for many companies. But you have to do it right. This means setting realistic expectations, planning, choosing wisely, and, above all, realizing you are embarking on the start of a journey.