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How Microsoft Catalyst can support your organisation's transformation.

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Hitachi Solutions > Blogs > 2021 > 08 > How Microsoft Catalyst can support your organisation's transformation

Since Microsoft began rolling out its Catalyst programme to inner circle partners in 2019 I have witnessed, first hand, the difference that it makes in the work that we do with our customers and the fundamental shift in the conversations that we are having.

Microsoft Catalyst is a framework (The IDEA framework) of activities designed to support organisations that are about to embark upon some form of transformation.  The framework has 4 stages, each of which moves you closer to achieving your transformation.

You may notice that I didn’t use the term “Digital Transformation” above, this is deliberate because Catalyst does not place the focus on the “digital” element of transformation. Catalyst places the focus, where it should be, on organisational transformation and on business outcomes, some of which may be supported by technology, and some of which may be supported by the implementation of Dynamics 365, The Power Platform and Microsoft Cloud.

Catalyst engagements come in different shapes and sizes. Some are completed in a few weeks, others can last a few months but they all share some common characteristics;

  • They take customer stakeholders through a highly engaging journey to envision what the future state of their organisation could look like.
  • They are delivered through a series of workshops that are designed to encourage conversation and collaboration between the stakeholders.
  • They utilise techniques that are based upon design thinking principles that encourage curiosity, bold thinking and a focus on people.
  • They take time to reflect on the current state and the future priorities of the organisation before arriving at a technical solution.
  • They identify the value opportunity in your transformation, highlighting where the biggest impact can be.
  • They ultimately arrive at a transformation vision and a technical solution that are aligned with each other, and that are based upon a foundation of business value.

From a personal perspective, I find Catalyst engagements extremely rewarding. As a technologist, undertaking a process that moves the focus away from technology seemed counter-intuitive at first. However, what has transpired is that I find myself in conversations with stakeholders from CEO’s to front line staff that truly enable me to understand the customer’s business and what they are trying to achieve, rather than validating a list of functional requirements they want. I’m also delighted to say that our customers overwhelmingly see the benefits of this approach, which include;

  • Helping you to determine “where to start” on your transformation journey.
  • Enabling you to validate where the real value opportunity lies in your transformation.
  • Bringing stakeholders from different areas of your business together to engage in discussion, highlighting where there is alignment, or misalignment in views, goals or strategies.
  • Encouraging your stakeholders to break away from conventional thinking and the constraints of the current state.
  • Laying the foundation for organisation change, by helping your stakeholders to understand the challenge, envision what the future state looks like, and motivate them to promote the change within your organisation.

At Hitachi Solutions we firmly believe in the value that this approach brings, and the outcomes that it delivers for our customers. We are backing up this belief through investment in our capability to deliver high-quality Catalyst engagements. In the past 6 months, we have created our first role entirely dedicated to Catalyst, created a centre of excellence for Catalyst delivery and have more than doubled the number of Catalyst certified consultants to almost 300 worldwide.

If you would like to discuss how a Catalyst engagement could support your organisation’s transformation speak to our experts today.

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Carl Gallagher

Carl Gallagher is Design Thinking Director at Hitachi Solutions. Carl has worked with Microsoft Dynamics since 2008 in both delivery and pre-sales roles, working with customers from wide ranging industries. Whilst retaining a healthy interest in Microsoft Dynamics, the Power Platform and the Microsoft Cloud, Carl’s primary role is now to have business strategy, business value and design thinking led conversations with customers that are about to embark on a transformation journey.

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Author Spotlight

Carl Gallagher

Carl Gallagher is Design Thinking Director at Hitachi Solutions. Carl has worked with Microsoft Dynamics since 2008 in both delivery and pre-sales roles, working with customers from wide ranging industries. Whilst retaining a healthy interest in Microsoft Dynamics, the Power Platform and the Microsoft Cloud, Carl’s primary role is now to have business strategy, business value and design thinking led conversations with customers that are about to embark on a transformation journey.

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