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In the midst of historic digital transformation, not every business is taking the plunge at an equal pace — or experiencing the same level of success. While investments in digital transformation are rising at more than three times the rate of overall IT spend, an estimated 70% of change efforts will fail outright — often due to employee resistance or an overemphasis on technical performance metrics.
Culture change doesn’t happen overnight, but software for planning, collaborating on, and managing business transformation — otherwise known as change management software — can help to streamline the process. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the market for change management software is anticipated to be worth $3.91 billion by 2027, according to Verified Market Research — up from $1.35 billion in 2019.
Against this backdrop, Dutch business-process-mapping startup ValueBlue today announced that it raised $11 million in a series B financing round led by Octopus Ventures and Newion with participation from ABN AMRO. The funds, which bring ValueBlue’s total capital to more than $13 million, will be put toward planned expansions in the U.S. and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as well as hiring and product development, CEO Wilko Visser tells VentureBeat.
“Currently, we’re working on platform functionality to make business transformation simpler,” Visser added. “By centralizing the strategy and decision-making process, as well as the execution of transformation projects in one central platform, a communication channel between strategy and operations is created. This communication channel — backed by standardized workflows that will allow strategists and project teams to constantly communicate with each other, approving and incrementally optimizing each other’s transformation designs — will help [companies] to approach their transformation journey in a much more structured manner.”
Change management software enables companies to structure and monitor the transformation process in order to identify opportunities, create a plan for implementation, and manage assets and resources. On the IT side, the software aims to minimize disruptions to apps and services while making changes to critical systems.
Ultrecht-based ValueBlue was founded by Visser as a consultancy agency in 2011. Several years later, the company built a collaboration software-as-a-service platform — BlueDolphin — designed to give insight into a company’s processes, architecture, and data.
BlueDolphin enables customers to model projects, apps, systems, and data in a single repository, integrating different modeling languages in a drag-and-drop interface. Using the platform, companies can create visualizations that help to perform impact analyses and map relationships between processes, apps, and infrastructure, elucidating how certain processes impact objectives.
BlueDolphin can import existing app data from other technology sources and features customizable questionnaires to gather data from external stakeholders. It also offers tools for defining scenarios and plans based on organizational objectives, which generate suggestions for efficient ways to deliver programs.
“We have an open API and app store that enables our customers to exchange data with other applications automatically,” Visser explained. “CIOs can accelerate digital innovation and transform the way their organization operates; the platform brings data and insights from IT and the wider business together, enabling signature-ready decisions. Executives can oversee the current business, as well as direct, accelerate, and manage digital transformation initiatives in an agile way, collaborating with operational and agile teams on the best possible solution design at micro-level.”
According to a 2016 KPMG Global Transformation study, 96% of organizations reported they were undergoing business transformations, but only 47% expected to realize sustainable value from those efforts. Through 65-employee ValueBlue — which has over 200 customers, including Wyndham Hotel Group — Visser hopes to substantially increase the percentage of value-generating enterprise transformations, particularly as organizations face pandemic-era challenges.
“We ended 2021 with a realized annual recurring revenue of USD $4.7 million,” Visser continued. “Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 … the company still enjoyed significant 50%-plus growth across 2021 and 2021 … The positive impact was, of course, the forced acceleration of many organizations’ digital transformation journeys, due to work-from-home. This has led to an explosion of technology and integrations and thus a real transformation boom.”
Of course, software is only a part of the digital transformation equation. As McKinsey points out in a recent report, transformations are about the people in the organization as much as they’re about the initiatives. “The long-term sustainability of a transformation requires companies to engage enthusiastic high-potential employees, equip them with skills, and hold them accountable for — as well as celebrate — their contributions to the effort,” the coauthors write. “When embarking on a transformation, executives should not underestimate the power of communication and role modeling.”
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