Two crucial concepts that often emerge in conversations around scalable digital transformation are proof of concept (PoC) and proof of value (PoV). Here, we take a look at the differences between each term and what they mean for your digital transformation journey.

These terms may sound interchangeable, but they carry distinct implications, especially in critical operational environments where risk mitigation, technology integration and resource allocation all directly impact any changes to current operational processes.

Proof of concept (PoC)

A PoC is a preliminary demonstration or experiment that aims to show the technical feasibility of a concept or idea. It’s a controlled experiment designed to answer a fundamental question: “is this technology suitable for our needs?”

PoCs are typically carried out in a controlled environment, with the primary goal of answering questions like “can it be done?” Or “can we make this work?” PoC’s are also an opportunity to identify bottlenecks, assess technical risks, and validate whether the core idea has merit. PoC’s act as the litmus test, gauging the viability of a technical solution before allocating substantial resources.

Proof of value (PoV)

A PoV, on the other hand, goes a step further. It is no longer about technical feasibility, but about business impact. It aims to demonstrate the business value and benefits of a solution. A PoV is designed to address questions like “does it provide tangible value to the organisation?” Or “does it solve the problem effectively and efficiently?” Here, the question importantly shifts from “can we make it work?” to “does it work for us?”

A PoV will usually involve implementing a solution in a real-world environment, with real data and user scenarios. An integral part of a PoV involves measuring the solution’s impact on a relevant business KPI like operational efficiency, cost savings, staff safety, etc. It showcases the technologies’ true potential to deliver tangible value to the organisation.

Do I need a PoC or a PoV?

A PoC is typically employed in the early stages of a project to demonstrate the feasibility of a specific idea or technology. It aims to validate whether a concept can be realised using the chosen technology or approach. A PoC often involves building a small-scale prototype or model that showcases the core functionalities of the solution. The focus of a PoC is on technical viability and feasibility.

You might need a PoC if:

• You want to test a new technology’s compatibility with your existing systems
• You need to validate whether a certain approach can solve a specific problem
• You want to assess the usability and maintainability of the technologies
• You want to assess the technical challenges and limitations before committing to a full-scale implementation

On the other hand, PoV provides the empirical evidence required to convince stakeholders that an innovation isn’t just the next shiny object, but a strategic investment in technology. It lays bare the concrete returns on investment and justifies the deployment of resources for wider implementation.

You might need a PoV if:

• You want to showcase the actual business benefits and outcomes of a technology or solution
• You need to secure buy-in from stakeholders by showing concrete results and ROI
• You’re considering a larger-scale implementation and want to ensure the solution aligns with your organisation’s goals

Creating a PoS

Combining both a PoC and proof of value PoV creates a powerful proof of solution (PoS). When these two processes are combined, we have a comprehensive document that not only confirms the technology’s feasibility but also demonstrates true potential by highlighting its measurable business value and benefits.

A well-crafted PoS helps refine options early on, streamlining decision-making and mitigating risks, and provides the empirical evidence needed to secure stakeholder buy-in and justify resource allocation for broader implementation and a scalable rollout of technology.

Ultimately, the successful creation of a PoS empowers organisations to confidently embrace and implement new digital solutions within their operational landscapes. A solutions provider such as Madison Technologies can play a crucial role in delivering a PoC, PoV, or PoS by providing expertise, resources and guidance – and can greatly enhance your confidence in the solution’s feasibility and value.

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