How to get more (knowledge) from your technology solutions provider
What you don’t know can be costly. It’s why you need a knowledge transfer plan between your technology solutions provider and your team.
Most digital transformation projects between organisations and vendors require sharing documents, files and data, from spreadsheets and customer databases to security codes and passwords. This information – knowledge – tends to be updated by either party on a regular basis and exchanged with the other.
As your digital enabled business transformation gathers pace and results emerge, keeping tabs on whether your business has the internal skills, resources, experience – what is better described as “tacit knowledge” – to be able to successfully leverage all digital opportunities to deliver business growth.
How important is knowledge
A Deloitte study ranks “knowledge management” as one of the top three issues influencing company success, yet only 9 percent of surveyed organisations feel ready to address it. The transfer of knowledge has become even more essential, post-pandemic as staff and team members spend less time together in physical spaces.
When you are evaluating vendors that will support you in delivering your digital technology-enabled business transformation, your criteria should also include ways of assessing not just technical expertise and industry experience but a proven track record of knowledge transfer.
What is a knowledge transfer plan?
Is your technology solutions partner familiar with the concept of a knowledge transfer plan? Knowledge transfer plans are already used across large, tech-oriented companies to minimise any deficit caused by people leaving the business and taking with them valuable knowledge.
Knowledge transfer plans do this by systemising and standardising capture and documentation of information from all experts and specialists within a business. Such plans also ensure this information is organised in such a way as to be easily stored, accessed and shared among relevant staff and stakeholders.
A knowledge transfer plan equips an organisation to deliver its digital enabled business transformation successfully.
A vendor that is familiar with, or supports the idea of knowledge transfer, is demonstrating that they are committed to empowering their client to be able to achieve its goals. If a problem or glitch occurs, it’s the difference between someone saying, “leave it to me. I will fix it” and them saying, “Can I show you what you need to do if this happens again in future”.
Here are a few pointers to help you capture and transform knowledge from your technology partner to your team in the future.
Identify what you want to learn
Sometimes it helps to frame interactions with your technology solutions partner with an end goal of what you want to achieve. Whether that interaction is a regular meeting, a project update, or a quick call. It can start with an outline of an objective and a few questions to direct the focus of discussions towards that objective. This encourages people to think more objectively, in terms of establishing interactions that have wider value for the organisation and engendering a “knowledge management” culture.
The basis of any form of knowledge transfer is the process of recording, documenting, storing and organising important and critical information. It may require some change to how things have normally been done.
Training programmes, mentorship sessions, organised online or in person. Whichever approach is preferred, skills transfer is critical and necessary for any organisation that is undergoing a digital technology-enabled business transformation. In doing so you are future proofing your business, by ensuring you have members of your own team who are more technology-literate and confident about using it. Skills transfer could be as simple as making sure that a person within the organisation knows how to run new software programmes. In time they can also train up other people internally. Assessing where the company has skillset gaps, can inform hiring strategy, such as is now the time a chief data officer?
Establish a collaboration forum
Use technology to establish forums which allow everyone to contribute and discuss issues, in relation to the knowledge transfer process as well as wider matters relating to the company’s digital technology-enabled transformation. Forums are a way of sharing information and ideas and allows colleagues and partners to flag issues quickly, without going through traditional hierarchical management structures that can take up valuable time.
Final piece of advice…
Technology is becoming more pervasive and embedded in the everyday. Businesses can no longer treat IT as something that is outsourced. They have to become invested. The way to do that is to treat your technology solutions vendor as a partner. Be open to sharing your vision, capabilities, challenges and concerns. And be prepared to be flexible too. As your business transformation gets underway, new problems or challenges are likely to emerge. Knowledge transfer approaches maximise opportunities to find the best solution as client and vendor are both invested in achieving success.
Chief Customer Officer
- Top five ways marketers can embrace AI today
- Retail AI discovery workshop: How to create more value from your data – 6th December
- Xiatech and OneStock release first-of-its-kind 2023 Business Value of MACH Technologies Survey Results
- Celebrating a decade of success
- Mercaux partners with Xiatech to accelerate the transformation of physical retail stores into omnichannel destinations
Subscribe to The Hyper-Insights Newsletter
Discover the benefits of a Hyper-connected business with infinite possibilities. Bringing the latest news and tips to your inbox from our expert team.