In an age of digital transformation, companies are struggling to answer questions such as: \u201cHow do I go about a large-scale transformation underpinned by technology change?\u201d \u201cDoes my technology meet my business objectives?\u201d and \u201cWhat have other organizations that are in my situation done in the technology space?\u201d\u00a0\nThe answer to those and many other questions can be found through a coordinated framework and common approach to Technology Strategy & Selection (TSS), which helps organizations develop the strategies and identify the technologies that support strategic business objectives, drive business value and enhance performance. According to Donna Meshaka, managing director at KPMG US, TSS can help companies create a transformation vision, design an integrated roadmap, and get started toward reaching their technology goals.\nOver the past several years, she explains, organizations have wanted help determining the right ERP platform, as well as what applications should support HR, finance, supply chain and other functional areas. \u201cWhat we found as we embarked on that process with our clients is that many of them hadn\u2019t thought through a lot of strategies needed to make a comprehensive and valuable transformation, which is necessary in a very cloud-based and solutions-oriented world,\u201d she explains.\nApplications were often seen as pure technology plays, she says, as opposed to fully aligning with the business and understanding the imperatives the business is asking IT to fulfill, as well as the pre-implementation opportunities they could be taking advantage of.\nThe need for large-scale transformation \u2014 with a push from the business\nToday\u2019s savvy businesses want to learn more about how disruptive technologies \u2014 such as blockchain, AI and RPA \u2014 can support them in creating competitive differentiation. As a result, they are pushing IT to be more than just about plan, build and run. \u201cThe business wants IT to step up and be more of a strategic partner to them and help them to think through those opportunities,\u201d says Meshaka.\nIn addition, organizations across industries have realized they have been handcuffed by what may be two-decades-old implementations that they have, at best, done a technology upgrade on. \u201cIT may never have taken the opportunity to say, \u2018This is the world today and here is what our business is asking us to do, can we do that?\u2019 They find that they cannot support that.\u201d One client, for instance, has 26 systems supporting HR. \u201cIt is just something they are used to supporting, but imagine all the increased cost related to supporting that number of applications as well as integrations,\u201d she says. \u201cIt doesn\u2019t allow them to be nimble and support the business.\u201d\nTSS helps take organizations far beyond software selection to a business-led, technology-enabled strategic effort, she says. \u201cPutting together this comprehensive framework and common approach can help organizations accelerate transformation and take advantage of some of the newer disruptive technologies that can provide immediate benefit, even before going live with the actual implementation,\u201d she explains.\nFor example, she recalls a client going through a TSS effort, which can take between 12-18 months, depending on the maturity of the organization and its ability to sustain transformation. \u201cWe found there would be an immediate opportunity in the payroll area using robotics process automation (RPA),\u201d she says. \u201cThe potential benefit was so great that it made sense for them to move forward.\u201d\nThe TSS framework: What you should know about driving transformation success\n\n It\u2019s about coordination between IT and the business. \n\nThe TSS framework is all about coming together to develop a target operating model that allows the organization to get to a foundational space that allows the business to be more aspirational in leveraging technology. \u201cThe majority of ERP implementations don\u2019t fail because technology fails, or because processes fail, but the lack of adoption of the employees within the organization,\u201d she says. \u201cSo getting that buy-in earlier and creating a coordinated and aligned vision around disruptive technologies really helps to ensure the success of transformation.\u201d\n\n Establishing a Transformation Management Office is a must. \n\nAn essential part of the TSS approach is tying everything together with a Transformation Management Office that provides a governance framework and an organizational vision around tracking the value of the transformation. \u201cI\u2019ve met many CIOs over the years and asked them to quantify the benefit of their ERP implementation \u2014 and they often weren\u2019t sure,\u201d she says. \u201cThe Transformation Management Office ensures the ability of the C-suite to go back and support a decision they made 18-24 months ago.\u201d\n\n It allows IT to understand business goals across functions. \n\nMeshaka stresses that the TSS approach allows the IT organization to tackle more than one function at a time in an overall ERP strategy and selection \u2014 creating opportunities because of the dependencies from one function to another. \u201cDoing this singularly creates more rework later in the process and may even require reimplementation, because the organization hasn\u2019t thought through the implications of HR on finance, or finance on supply chain, for example,\u201d she says.\u00a0 This can be a launching point to make sure there is alignment on ERP selection requirements based on unique things the business needs to be doing for competitive differentiation, she adds. One of the immediate benefits is cost reduction: \u201cSome of our clients have realized hundreds of millions of dollars in savings through such an exercise, where we\u2019ve done together the process work as well as technology requirements in implementing disruptive technology as ways to drive immediate savings.\nThe future of the TSS framework in a fast-moving era \nRequests for the thoughtful, integrated, strategic work of the TSS framework often comes, interestingly enough, more often from the CFO and the COO than the CIO. \u201cThat\u2019s why it has not been terribly difficult to get the buy-in,\u201d says Meshaka. \u201cExecutives quickly understand that this is probably why they didn\u2019t get the full benefits when they did their technology implementation before, because typically it was a pure technology play \u2014 now it\u2019s a different world.\u201d\nThe TSS-style framework will continue to evolve as disruptive technologies \u2014 such as cybersecurity as a business imperative \u2014 become more and more critical. \u201cThere is even more stress on the framework to make sure it stays current and valid and brings the latest to our clients for them to consider,\u201d she says.