Digital Transformation and the Business Analyst
Implementing change within your business can be a long and winding road. Find out how a business analyst can help you navigate the way.
I was visiting a friend after work recently who lived in an unfamiliar part of town. I had successfully used my phone to help me navigate to my friend’s house, and upon jumping in my car after our catch up, I gave my phone the usual “take me home” command. The maps app opened as expected, but instead of being presented a few seconds later with the familiar turn-by-turn directions to my house, I was looking at a spinning wheel with the word “loading….” displayed prominently on the screen.
For whatever reason, at that moment my phone was unable to determine my current location, and therefore I was going nowhere. Sure, I knew where I lived, I knew my suburb, I knew my street name and I knew my street number. I knew exactly what my house looked like - inside and out. So I knew exactly where I wanted to be, but I wasn’t able to determine how to get there because my phone was missing a key bit of information….my current location.
What is the current state of your business?
Whenever you are setting off on a journey, be it home, an overseas holiday, a journey of personal discovery or a process to transform your organisation, one of the key determinants of achieving a successful outcome is knowing where you are starting from - where am I? While it sounds simple in practice it is one of the most difficult tasks in the digital transformation process.
With digital transformation, we are not just talking about a one or two step improvement in the efficiency of traditional practices, but a profound change to the kind of work being done and services provided. A perfect example is how Amazon has changed the retail industry, or the impact Airbnb is having on the hotel industry.
It is no longer sufficient to just have a vague emphasis on customer experience, but customer expectations are now so high that speed, simplicity, convenience, and personalisation are the new norms. For example, a charity taking contactless donations or insurance customers managing their claims entirely from a mobile app. And because of the potential profound changes necessary in order to successfully achieve your business goals, having a clear picture of the current state of your business is even more vital than ever before.
The role of the Business Analyst
A business analyst firstly works as a liaison among your stakeholders in order to understand the current structure, policies, processes and operations of your organization (where you are). From there the business analyst plays a key role in helping your company take the necessary steps to identify your needs and goals (where you want to get to) and finally, recommend solutions and innovations to transform your services (how to get there) so that you can move towards becoming a digital organisation.
Working with a business analyst offers many advantages. Here are a few of them:
- They ensure business needs are clearly understood and communicated so that solutions meet the business needs and goals.
- These solutions may be IT related, non-IT related, or some combination of the two.
- Some parts of the proposed solutions may not actually involve the use of information technology. The business analyst actually might help reduce costs for you by finding more cost-effective solutions.
- The business analyst has an external view of the organisation and its practices and are able to bring a fresh pair of eyes.
- They are politically neutral without baggage or vested interests. This can help break down barriers amongst stakeholders whose ideas may differ and assist them to reach agreement.
- They act as a link between business and technical minds – the business analyst is a bridge between the business and the development team.
Customer expectations are now higher than ever, which means the pressure is on for companies to have a better understanding of their customers’ needs and to translate those needs into innovative digital solutions. A business analyst can play a key role to help your company reach that goal.
To discuss your digital transformation get in touch today.
Speedwell is a full-service digital development and integration agency. Our specialist areas include business analysis, user experience (UX) research, design and technical development. We work closely with clients to design, build and maintain secure digital solutions and applications that align with their business processes and strategy, and integrate with existing systems.