On this episode of the Zero Hour Podcast, we talk to Sam Schutte, CEO and founder of Unstoppable Software. Sam talks about how a well-planned digital transformation strategy involves prioritizing intrinsic processes and practices in an enterprise, lest those processes get left behind. We also get into the subject of inclusion in the tech industry and what today's leaders can do about addressing equity for tomorrow.
Why You Should Design Your Digital Transformation Strategy Sooner Rather Than Later
“Maybe that's the key question, when you're doing digital transformation. You don't just sit down and say, ‘What software can I buy off the shelf?’ The important question is: ‘What is important work that I want people to still do?’”
Timing is Everything
Sam has worked with software product development companies and startups for over a decade, prior to founding Unstoppable Software. The company specializes in custom software to help clients drive software development innovation and drastically reduce costs through automation.
The decision to start a business was not easy. “We had our house on the market trying to sell it,” Sam said. “I was going to night school for my MBA. And I said to my wife, “Hey, I think I want to start a business.” And she kind of went, ‘Well, timing is everything.’”
Things worked out in the end. Over the last 11 years, he has worked with 8 companies that have clocked over a billion dollars in revenue, and saved his clients millions of dollars of wasted cost. Sam has had a hand in helping companies make quantum leaps. He's also seen companies wait too long and get passed by their competition.
“You gotta act when it’s the right time to do so.”
“If I had said, ‘Let me wait two years till I get my MBA,’ maybe my first client would have never come back, you know? So it’s like, you gotta act when it’s the right time to do so,” he said. It has been his guiding principle ever since, especially when helping clients with their digital transformation strategy.
Crafting a Digital Transformation Journey
Sam believes there is no fixed roadmap for digital transformation. But by taking a leap and kickstarting your digital transformation journey, you give yourself the opportunity to grow and stay ahead of the competition in today’s market. However, there are still companies or customers that are hesitant or cautious about taking action. They are nervous about applying any digital transformation framework to their existing processes. But this hesitancy can be very damaging.
“It’s just vital. You can't wait till it's a problem because it might not be something that you can fix at that point. Maybe, it's too late.”
Sam’s advice is less about fear mongering and more about fully leveraging the changes and opportunities. “It’s just vital. You can't wait till it's a problem because it might not be something that you can fix at that point. Like maybe it's too late,” he expressed.
Sam has also come across various customers and clients that have just been “literally left in the dust” by every other single competitor in the market. “And I’m like, ‘Wow, you're still doing this all on paper? You're still doing this in a 1980s sort of mindset?’”
The Role of Technology in Your Digital Transformation Strategy
There may be a wealth of digital talent out there, but in reality, being familiar with using technology does not equate to having the skills and knowledge needed to leverage it and apply digital transformation in business.
“People have this idea that automation across the board will deplete jobs, when it's really just a reallocation of that human effort into things that would materially matter to your business, or actually accelerate your business.”
For Sam, simply knowing how to use tools like Microsoft Word or digitizing paper documents isn’t digital transformation. It’s about investing in technology and asking what you can enable or automate in your existing system.
“When you're doing digital transformation, you don't just sit down and say, what software can I buy off the shelf?” he clarified. “This idea that automation across the board will deplete jobs when it's really just a reallocation of that human effort into things that would materially matter to your business or actually accelerate your business.”
The Proper Mindset for Digital Transformation in Business
“The mindset of digital transformation is, ‘How do you overlap and weave tools, software, hardware, and devices into your process?’ Really, it's all about the process.”
Sam believes any digital transformation strategy takes time, because it’s a profound change that influences all aspects of a business. “The mindset of digital transformation is how do you overlap and weave tools, software, hardware, and devices into your process? Really, it's all about the process,” Sam explains.
With the pandemic continuing, a lot of businesses are also navigating uncharted territory. “I think for just about any business, or all businesses, [what matters] is how you sell and have meaningful prospecting calls and relationships completely virtually,” he concluded.
You can listen to the podcast episode here, and is also available on Stitcher, Apple, and Spotify. The Zero Hour Podcast is the intersection of information security and business innovation. Learn from industry experts in cybersecurity, marketing, and business management. We talk about the challenges and opportunities that come with new technology. Join the conversation now!