In this four-part series, we discuss the similar yet distinct terms of technical debt and digital debt. We’ll talk about what they are, and why they’re a problem, not just for IT teams or those selling software, but also for organizations in the language industry.
In our previous posts, we discussed what technical debt is and how you can minimize technical debt levels, before going on to define digital debt and explain how it affects companies’ abilities to compete. In this post, we’re going to discuss three steps you can take to reduce your current amounts of digital debt and prevent more from accumulating.
To reduce accumulated digital debt, you need to establish a robust, bold, and future-facing digital strategy. This strategy needs to embrace and promote wide-scale change. It should be aligned with your overall organizational goals. In fact, it can act as a roadmap, showing how your digital infrastructure, investment, and processes can help you achieve those overarching goals.
But it shouldn’t be set in stone. It should be a working document. Rather than sitting on a metaphorical dusty shelf, it should be constantly referred to, and changed as needed. As new opportunities and technologies emerge, new priorities are set, and the working environment changes – revisit and amend your strategy. After all, what use is a digital strategy that doesn’t reflect reality?
Make sure your strategy is holistic and comprehensive. Seek out input and perspectives from across your organization. This will also improve employee buy-in, giving your strategy a better chance of success.
Get the right systems, tools, and organizations on board to help you implement your digital strategy. They should help you achieve your goals while ensuring your digital debt is kept to a minimum.
What does this look like in practice? It means systems that scale as you need, and that are equipped to meet your needs not only today but also tomorrow. In other words, systems, and tools that are cloud-based and scalable. That are at the forefront of the industry. That innovate to reflect new needs. And that makes the most of the latest technological developments.
Some excellent examples of this in action are our Business Barometer, Chat, and Customizations, and our approach to client feedback.
- Business Barometer is a business intelligence solution that gives you insights into your operations and trends in your business. It helps you identify issues as well as opportunities, gaps in the market so that you can overcome and capitalize on them.
- XTRF Chat is a scalable messaging system with project-based chat rooms. It makes communication among project teams easier and faster and overcomes problems associated with email, such as integration.
- Customizations are our not-so-secret weapon. We’re proud of our ability to build almost anything you can think up. We can create the specific features, functionalities, and integrations you need, so the system can evolve as you do.
- Client feedback is invaluable to us. We take on board all feedback and requests, and this drives our ongoing improvements and developments in the system.
Once again, you can’t forget your team. After all, they’re the ones using these tools and systems day in and day out. But large-scale change like this won’t be welcomed by all. Change management experts explain that you’ll always have some team members that will be fully behind adopting new ways of working, while others will be resistant to change. The trick is to tip the scales. Use early adopters as ambassadors for change, communicating and encouraging others in the organization to give your new systems or processes a chance.
In the localization world, we’re familiar with the unattainable triangle concept, where achieving quality, speed, and the price is considered impossible. ‘Pick two’, as they say. Well, this holds true not just for localization projects themselves, but also for the tech that supports them. The cost and time involved in reaching your desired level of digital transformation may seem daunting. But if you prioritize either speed or price over quality, chances are you’ll end up with systems and tools that don’t do all you need them to. Or ones that aren’t able to adapt to meet your changing needs. In fact, as we discussed in our previous posts, not prioritizing quality is often how organizations accumulate digital and technical debt in the first place.
This means you need to work with organizations that will help you come up with the best solutions for your business. Here at XTRF, our methodical approach to implementation is a perfect example of putting quality first. We take the time to delve deeper, finding out more about your organization, what you do, and what your needs are. We help you rationalize your translation workflows and processes, to help you work smarter. And we do all that before we even start implementing the system. Why? Because this allows us to achieve the best possible outcome for you, our valued clients.