Skip to main content

Digital Transformation

The curse of the second-hand jigsaw


Hitachi Solutions > Blogs > 2019 > 07 > The curse of the second-hand jigsaw

Last Sunday morning, I wandered over to my local market and started hovering around the second-hand stalls. I love it there and every now and again, I’ll fork out on something I’ll inevitably regret when I get home.

Then I saw it…the second-hand jigsaw. Inside, I recoiled. Those things are a big no-no. There is, of course, a good chance you spend hours putting it together only to find the last piece missing. But there’s also the worry you’ll end up with a hybrid – you start on a picture of a lovely puppy and find half the pieces are of a steam train powering through the mountains.

Then the thought struck me that you face exactly the same problems when digitalising an organisation.

Think of your IT as a second-hand jigsaw puzzle box. Your legacy elements are your pieces. You don’t know if they’ll fit to create one nice picture, or if bits are missing. Perhaps some pieces haven’t been cut right so you have to kind of hammer them together.

The bigger your organisation, the more complex the puzzle. You find legacy systems tangled into a Gordian Knot. Unreliable data and structures to cleanse and restructure. With random unstructured data, spreadsheets and office applications making themselves at home in every corner of your system.

As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, you also need to keep your operation running whilst you change things.

Doing nothing is not an option

Yet something has to be done. 93% of executives say client expectations are increasing and project resourcing is changing.

You’re also worried you’re not getting the right information at the right time. You face more and more pressure to embrace collaboration globally and virtually. And left alone, you know things will only get worse.

Less like a jigsaw box. More a Pandora’s Box.

See the big picture

It’s all incredibly frustrating because you know what you want to achieve. You can see the big picture.

You want to boost the customer experience and deliver superb service. Be more agile. Improve customer advocacy. And deliver outcomes, not just transformation.

Operational excellence is another must have, so you can recruit and retain top talent, provide best-in-class processes, deliver digital services and cut costs.

And you’ll probably want to achieve growth, by acquisition or organically.

Choose your friends carefully.

Sometimes, it’s best just to toss the second-hand jigsaw in the recycling bin, call a friend and get them to bring round a new jigsaw you can work on together.

But which friend?

Well, ideally one who appreciates that you don’t want technology for technology’s sake – it should empower your business.

One who has a whole team waiting to help you put the pieces together. Industry, business and technology experts who can translate challenges into solutions.

You’ll need other experts too, dedicated to Dynamics 365Microsoft Azure Cloud services, data, information, intelligence and the Microsoft roadmap. Then there are functional professionals, like data scientists and analysts to consider.

But there are other features you should look for in your jigsaw buddy. They should be understanding, helping your people embrace digitalisation. And they should be realistic…the solution they recommend needs to evolve over time as circumstances change.

Your buddy should also be well connected with Microsoft’s mission. They need to create the core of your digitalisation journey, supply the tools to help you use data properly and guide you through the changes.

 So what should your finished jigsaw look like?

Of course, when you’re putting a puzzle together, you need to keep a firm eye on the big picture. Have an image of what the finished product will look like and – crucially – what you want it to achieve.

The pieces you’ll want to look at include giving your people the tools to do their job effectively. Creating tailored, customer-centric applications that boost customer understanding. Improving efficiency, productivity and capacity through powerful apps. Supporting decision making via dashboard intelligence. Explaining data by building new prediction models. And last – but by no means least – automating human tasks through AI.

Achieving this doesn’t mean sending the bulldozers in on a rip-and-replace mission. A solid methodology can really make your transformation easier. That methodology should include giving you peace of mind through your buddy’s experience. Rigorous project management. The option of fixed-price engagement. Fast timelines. Making sure the result is robust, scalable and benefits users. And most importantly it needs to include post-launch support.

Make friends with Hitachi Solutions…

When it comes to the puzzle that is digital transformation, the friend you should be calling is Hitachi Solutions. We’ll bring a box of Microsoft technology and we’re real experts at putting it together to make one big, beautiful picture.

Perhaps it’s because we have 3,000 Hitachi Solutions team members globally. Or our industry focus. Our intimate relationship with Microsoft. Our global capability. Delivery commitment. Or simply the quality of our people.

It’s time to phone a friend…and download Hitachi’s new PointDrive guide – it doesn’t talk about jigsaws, but it does show how you can make digital transformation work for you.


Contact us today!


Michelle Maden

Michelle is a Vice President at Hitachi Solutions and a highly successful architect, having qualified as an accountant and attained an MBA in her early career. She has extensive experience in digital transformation, solution architecture and international project management across multiple technologies such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and SAS.

Recaptcha Failed
Sorry, something went wrong trying to submit your data

Thank-you for contacting Hitachi Solutions. A member of our team will be in contact shortly.