CPAs have a particularly unique vantage point in organizations because they can see all of the things that are going on and see things that others can’t. So when you’re stuck down in a functional area, you can’t see how what you’re doing necessarily impacts the other parts of the organization because digital transformation is such a sweeping change that impacts everyone. It isn’t something confined to sales or operations, it touches everything, and in order to do it right, you have to think through how it impacts all of the different areas of the organization and how different parts of the organization will have to work together to support it. That’s why CPAs are in such a unique place to be able to lead that transformation.
Building support for digital transformation is always the biggest challenge, and in order to garner that support, you have to think about the feelings people have as they contemplate change. You have to address the fear first, and so one of the best ways to mitigate that fear is to look for quick, early wins in the process. How can we find something that everybody can get excited about, everybody can get behind and that carries relatively low degree of risk, and then build momentum for additional change, going in day one and trying to rip everything out and change everything is a very daunting proposal, and if you have the political capital to make that happen, I don’t want to discourage you from doing it. But if you’re going to identify some early quick wins that will take the fear out of the equation, particularly for some of those that may not really understand the technologies that underlie the transformation, then you can go a long way in building for future success and not cheating yourself before you’ve gotten out of the gate.