A SmartIT Blog Series: Business and Digital Transformation – A Staffing and Consulting Company’s Transformation Journey

January 25, 2017 Posted by Steven Farley

Part I:  Preparing for the Transformation Journey

 SmartIT is a staffing and consulting firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.  Since being established in 2005 as an IT staffing firm, we have had continuous growth and are currently undertaking a business transformation initiative to prepare for years of aggressive expansion.

Three years ago, SmartIT expanded to include consulting services as part of its service portfolio.  In addition to the introduction of consulting services, SmartIT further defined six service lines:  Contingent Talent Services, Managed Talent Services, Direct Hire, Application Development and Maintenance, Data Analytics, and Integrated Placement Services.  SmartIT also launched Smart Life Sciences, which focuses on Quality and Compliance within the Life Sciences industry.

The Transformation Process

There have been a multitude of books, articles, infographics, blogs, cartoons, and memes created around business transformation and digital transformation.  Since this is not an academic piece, the best way to think of this blog is as a travel journal describing SmartIT’s journey through business and digital transformation.  Since the journey is just starting, this blog series aims to be a monthly educational, and potentially entertaining, glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of business and digital transformation.

Empower Good People to Do Great Things – Company Culture

In 2016, SmartIT was ranked #15 Best Places to Work in Indiana and voted a “Best Places to Work in Cincinnati.”  Our core values of Service, Mindfulness, Appreciation, Results, and Trust – which cleverly spells SMART, making it easier to remember during corporate trivia games – exemplify our culture and drive to provide value to our clients, employees, and communities.  Kym Findley, Director of Engagement, performs in an exemplary fashion to reinforce the values of the company through entertaining and engaging exercises.

Every company’s culture is driven by leadership.  SmartIT’s leadership team focuses on its clients and employees throughout each of the organization’s values—an important aspect that will be outlined later in this blog and throughout the series.

Past Success Does Not Guarantee Future Results

As with all young and quickly growing organizations, SmartIT has outgrown many of its current systems, processes, and even organizational structures, that have made it successful.  Many businesses experience this natural progression and determine that business transformation is required to ensure future growth and consistent results.

In 2016, KPMG conducted a survey of more than 1,600 senior executives across 16 industries and found that 96% of the organizations are in some phase of business transformation.

SmartIT’s rapid growth did not allow for leadership to focus much attention on an internal IT strategy.  Investment in infrastructure was seen as an as-needed expense and was not necessarily part of the enterprise strategic planning process.  SmartIT’s senior leaders identified a need to continue to add leadership to each service line, as well as major functional areas within the organization to help drive strategic and operational improvements.

This is where I came into the picture.  I started with SmartIT in July 2015, when the offices were located in downtown Indianapolis at the Region’s building.  It was the first time I had worked in an office in a downtown location.  I have spent most of my career traveling to hospitals across the country and India.  Most of those hospitals were in urban locations.  My desk was a file cabinet, cafeteria table, pub, café, hotel room or anywhere else I could find Wi-Fi.

When I interview for a new position, I ask how much autonomy I will have to “look into things”.  By that, I try to understand the company’s openness to improvement and gauge the amount of time I can dedicate to such endeavors.  SmartIT is favorably disposed to such work, and is a collaborative and supportive environment to pursue improvements throughout the organization regardless of the originating department.

My objective for writing this blog is to offer insights into the strategic direction of SmartIT from a staffing company to an integrated staffing and consulting company. Additionally, it exemplifies our dedication to the user and client experiences, the importance of attracting and keeping top talent, and this blog will aim to collect input from thought leaders about the best way to serve our clients and talent.

SmartIT’s reasons for going through business transformation are not uncommon.  These are some capabilities SmartIT wishes to enhance:

Of course there are challenges like these that we face implementing the changes:

Source: Overcoming the Common Challenges of Implementing a Process Framework

However, the value of the transformation is expected to greatly outweigh the costs:

In the Spirit of Collaboration

My position within the company limits my direct exposure to clients, however, leading the business transformation initiative greatly impacts our clients.  The importance for me to create client-centric processes that provide value to our clients and consultants is critical and sets the foundation for achieving SmartIT’s strategic vision.

I don’t want you to get the impression that I am doing this alone or that my colleagues are not contributing their client and consultant points of view. Rather, I think our efforts would be remiss by not taking advantage of the connected economy and propensity of human nature to actively participate in an initiative that will affect you and your organization.

So with you – client, prospect, employee, consultant, contractor, candidate or thought leader – in mind, I am extending an invitation to contribute by providing feedback on how SmartIT can better serve you, your organization, and our broader community.  Every expedition requires sponsors, a crew, local guides, and the right equipment to successfully navigate unknown challenges.  Everyone is unique and cannot be confined to generic profiles, which is why social interaction is the key to understanding our corporate and individual customers.

Source: Bitbang.com

Even if you don’t participate, think of this as a travel journal describing SmartIT’s expedition to the future.  Every audience contains those that are preparing their own journey, those looking for advice or those generally interested in the exploits of others.  That’s right, I am speaking to those of you who spend too much time on Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube.

As our transformation journey continues, I will post ways to provide input into our processes.  In the spirit of the shared economy and crowd-sourcing, we want your ideas on optimal user and client experiences.  How can SmartIT more effectively engage users and clients to create a uniquely SmartIT experience within the confines of SmartIT’s strategic objectives?  Perhaps you can help.

If you haven’t picked up on it already, I love to travel. Compared to planning a trip, SmartIT’s strategy determines the destination, lodging, mode of transportation, and even some of the attractions to visit.  The voices of the client and talent consist of the travel apps to download (engagement methods), restaurants to dine at (cultural experience and basic needs met), whether to take a taxi, rent a bike or walk (user experience), or even whether to take day trips to see nearby cultural landmarks (innovation and creatively expanding current experiences).

For current clients, employees, consultants, and contractors, feel free to contact me via LinkedIn or reach out to your points of contact about how you can best contribute to SmartIT’s business and digital transformation.  For all others, please check back here often as we will post how best to contribute to current efforts.

I look forward to this journey together.


About The Author: 

Steven Farley is SmartIT’s Director of Service Delivery. He has over 10 years of experience in the healthcare and financial services industries. He focuses on the delivery framework as it relates to client engagement, specifically in the areas of business process management, project management, and continuous improvement. He has extensive experience delivering value to clients throughout the US and India.