Technology solutions: making the final push toward digitization

Posted 10/16/20 Team Vaco

With the end of a tumultuous 2020 in our sights, it’s clear that for individuals and corporations alike, COVID-19 has proven itself to be tech adoption’s unexpected cheerleader. From online everything to back-to-back Teams meetings to juggling virtual school schedules, we’re living in a time when technology (and tech support) is a defining feature of our lives. Given how deeply entrenched we are, it may seem hard to believe that it’s not necessarily how we’re using technology, it’s about how the world is using it. 

While we’re busy clicking on that “place order” CTA, companies are quickly prioritizing digital transformation projects and they’re using technology to provide creative solutions for unexpected problems. 

Even before the global spotlight was shining on new ways to use technology, Vaco’s technology experts were working with business leaders to streamline processes and optimize business practices. Today, those very same experts are helping companies find new ways to thrive and make that final push toward digitization. 

We decided to check in with a few of our practice leaders to see what they have to say about digital transformation and technology solutions including:

  • Machine learning & artificial intelligence
  • Next-gen database development
  • SaaS
  • IT strategy 
  • Business transformation 
  • Process optimization 
  • Application development 
  • Data governance & analytics 
  • Digital infrastructure & cloud support 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Risk management

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence should be on the mind of every company that uses data. The trend toward democratizing ML and AI to enable any organization to benefit from their value should shift the focus more toward the applied side of AI/ML to improve their business. With trends such as automated machine learning, availability of pre-trained models, Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) and Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS), the barriers to start exploring and implementing solutions within AI/ML have been eliminated.” 

— Tarek Atwan, data analytics director at MorganFranklin

Next-gen database development

“The new trends in database development enables organizations to think in terms of their corporate data assets differently. The new trend is shifting the focus toward developing data-driven analytical applications, whether for internal consumption or client-facing. Emerging trends in database development  make it easier to deploy data-driven applications with less overhead and less technical debt when compared  to traditional database development. Now, corporations have more options than ever when it comes to selecting a database in terms of capabilities including  distributed cloud databases,  NoSQL, NewSQL, Graph databases, Search Engines, TIme Series databases, and  multi-model databases. Selecting the right technology stack though can seem overwhelming at first, but with a better understanding of these new capabilities making a choice becomes much clearer. 

— Tarek Atwan, data analytics director at MorganFranklin

Software as a Service

“With infrastructure and software being available in the cloud or as a service, , there are now  more options to select from and the ability to – evaluate, implement, integrate and optimize these solutions is much faster. The architecture allows for a more coherent  integration  framework  and open flow of data between systems.”

Matt Taylor, managing director of IM&T at Morgan Franklin Consulting

IT Strategy

“Every hour there’s more and more data. Those companies that understand and can harvest the value of their data, they’re the ones that are going to have strategic advantages over their competitors. The companies that are intentional in investing in the technological knowledge base and the tooling and the reporting capabilities can tie it to dollar signs.”

Alex Naddell, Vaco managing director and technology practice leader

Business transformation

“Everything’s driven by data. And we use it to find out how we can improve our experience with our clients and how we can better serve them. We use it to gain an understanding of what can help them drive their business. During this unprecedented time, everyone is figuring how to stay relevant and how to be the best so they can deliver for their clients. Any type of technology tools, be it actually implementing — and not just talking about — artificial intelligence or bringing more RPA [robotic process automation] to their organization in order to best serve their clients. Ultimately it’s about customer success and what you can do for your clients. There’s so much technology out there that companies are really looking to see which platforms, what software drives success to the market.”

Wendy Liu, Vaco managing director 

Process optimization

“Process efficiency and optimization can come with very real returns. The savings of time and money, of course, but it also helps companies resolve challenges and issues much faster … or prevent problems from occurring in the first place!  For example, we helped one client assess and optimize their end-to-end business processes and apply them to their investment in technology and software.  The elimination of manual, inefficient, and redundant job processes produced a significant time savings for their labor force.  In the first year alone, this was estimated at an $8 million dollar savings. That’s not a one-time event. It’s a recurring cost savings because they’ve been inheriting it year over year. When you factor that improvement in and start freeing up people’s time to be more proactive about what their job should be, then you also get a return on performance back into the company.” 

— Matt Taylor, managing director of IM&T at Morgan Franklin Consulting

Application development

“If a client has an idea or a proof of concept, and they need to build it out in a scalable way to deliver to market, we can come alongside them and partner with them and give them access to an elegant solution. We’re providing enterprise application development for clients that have an application or product that has been on the market for years … and they need someone to come in and modernize the application. We can also help with greenfield development. If a client has an idea and the architecture in place, and they need hands to dive into the code and build a solution from scratch, we can do that. To build something from the ground up.” 

— John Wyckoff, Vaco technology solutions and advisory practice director

Data governance & analytics

“Data governance is more front of mind right now. We may be in a conversation about the ERP or accounting and finance transformation with a client, but when we start asking questions about reporting and analytics, it exposes that they tend not to have a data governance and management strategy. So, much of their frustration is that they can’t get to the answer for the question they are asking because the information they need is everywhere. Over the past year, businesses have been adapting and trying to get better transparency and insight into their revenue and their customers — so they can figure out what’s working and what’s not in today’s market. They’re trying to leverage the massive quantities of data that they have, but they’re realizing that pulling that information together is difficult without a clear strategy and solution in place.”  

— Matt Taylor, managing director of IM&T at Morgan Franklin Consulting

Digital infrastructure & cloud support 

“Companies are looking to deploy information into the cloud and they’re looking for DevOps experts. They’re looking to open up their APIs so there can be a sharing of data and integration. They’re looking for DevOps who can spool things up into the cloud securely and optimize it and make sure that apps are connected or find synergies with other apps. So there’s more integration. Of course, this all ties back to security. Where does the push for increased profits and collaboration become, from a risk mitigation perspective, a lower ROI because they’re opening up security concerns.”

— Alex Naddell, Vaco managing director and technology practice leader

Cybersecurity  

“VPNs are a smart IT investment and ensuring employees use work-authorized devices rather than personal devices is another wise investment. Investing in spam control, virus software, asset tracking systems, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions are all part of a comprehensive, modern security plan for businesses supporting remote workers.” 

Steve Shoemake, Vaco managing partner and national technology practice leader

Risk Management

“With the rollout and adoption of new technologies, expect more investment in risk management, including compliance with data privacy laws. Highly sophisticated risk mitigation plans must be designed and implemented to mitigate vulnerabilities such as cyberattacks and data breaches. Secure, powerful, safe, and user-friendly attributes are paramount for effective and sustainable technology.”

Franzuha Byd, MorganFranking Consulting chief information officer and managing partner

Need some help to make sure your company is on the forefront of digitization and digital transformation? Contact the technology solutions experts at Vaco to come up with a solution that’s right for your company.

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