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In this four-post series, Avtex Public Sector Services will explore how digital transformation provides an opportunity for process transformation.

A recent study of Government Contractors (GovCon) by McKinsey indicates that an overwhelming majority of the top companies in the GovCon sector have made digital transformation a focus for the coming years. Finding the modern business development (BD) system that combines flexibility with a hardened cloud security environment seems daunting on its own. Add to that the complex functional requirements of Capture, Proposals, Program Management, and Contracts, and GovCon organizations face a significant battle to spur effective transformation. When digital transformation of BD processes is undertaken with the combined support of industry-focused technology and an experienced partner, organizations can anticipate revenue boosts as high as 15 percent while lowering costs by 5 to 10 percent. Focusing on incremental improvement in key areas will make the transformation process more manageable and effective. Avoiding common missteps along the way will further accelerate transformation.

Optimizing BD Transformation

Without the right partner, organizations make costly mistakes laying the foundation for digital transformation and squander the opportunity to re-focus BD systems on optimizing pre-award activities. When digital transformation of BD processes is undertaken with the combined support of industry-focused technology and an experienced partner, organizations can anticipate revenue boosts as high as 15 percent while lowering costs by 5 to 10 percent.

Pre-award activities and data should be managed by BD and stored in BD systems. Legacy BD process automation tools were focused on data collection for management reports. They didn’t really help business developers do the work of opportunity pursuit. There was no easy way to fold in the elements of Capture, Proposals, Program Management and Contracts as opportunities matured through the lifecycle. An effective BD system needs to be laser focused on supporting pre-award activities. A Business Process Review (BPR) at the start of any GovCon digital transformation journey allows organizations to identify and eliminate cumbersome process conditions imposed by the patchwork of inflexible technology systems that is the current state for so many organizations today. The BPR should include input from key stakeholders involved in the process – not management alone – in order to optimize the development of an effective BD system transformation. At its core, BD is a set of possibilities that are slowly distilled to a concrete reality.

While reality influences BD, BD is at its best when it's working with possibilities. A secure, robust BD system should have the ability to seamlessly integrate with emails, schedules, external research services, and internal archives. When BD has the tools of the trade at their disposal whether at their desk, or on their mobile, they get a more complete perspective on the potential opportunity, without having to leave the BD system environment. Possibilities are refined by information rather than sentiment. The opportunity takes shape in the environment as it moves through the lifecycle with an intuitive layout that presents the most important information first, focused on the elements relevant to the role of the user. The visual clutter of fields that hold value for other supporting elements of the BD process is eliminated. The opportunity record becomes a true resource to BD rather than a burden, populated only enough to satisfy requested reporting requirements.

By designing a system that supports the motions of BD, GovCon organizations give the other elements critical to a successful opportunity pursuit a solid start to the work that will support Program Management once the opportunity is won. The next post in our series will focus on how digital transformation can extend the BD system to be an asset for capture support and program offices.

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