Is it Groundhog Day?
Every day, we find ourselves engaged in similar conversations with our clients about the latest and greatest technologies. They want to know what’s hot, what’s not, and what solutions will drive their organization forward. The trends du jour include big data, cloud computing, social media and self-service business intelligence, just to name a few.
While technologies continue to evolve, the end goal remains the same for our clients: adopt and implement the best-fit solution that will drive greater efficiencies, improved customer experiences and ultimately...revenues.Many organizations have difficulty reaping these benefits because they get stuck during – or fail to perform – a critical technology change activity. For example, they:
- Fail to properly plan the required change management activities
- Misalign technology to business strategy and operational needs
- Over-customize technology to fit current business processes
- Lack the specialized talent needed to drive implementation and adoption
Avoiding these common pitfalls is not easy, but critical to the success of your new initiative. We've supported some of America’s leading organizations during large-scale technology implementations and know how to help companies push beyond obstacles so they can fully benefit from technology innovation.
Here are the five key activities we believe you need to perform to ensure successful technology change and adoption:
- Understand Your Existing Environment: By understanding your business processes and how data fuels your operations, you will see where and how to apply the new technology to accelerate revenue, efficiency, quality and overall customer experience. Gain a clear picture of your existing technology landscape to determine key points of integration between systems, people and processes.
- Consider Multiple Options: The technology marketplace moves fast and over time migrates to common ground. Do your research and consider several options and vendors. You’ll need to conduct thorough due diligence to determine which option best aligns with your current needs, while providing the flexibility to meet your organization’s future needs.
- Engage End-Users Early and Often: While not all organizations are comfortable with Agile methods, they’ve proven that collaborating with the real end users is important to success. Engaging end users early and often during the technology selection, implementation and adoption process increases your chances for success exponentially. Your users will feel a sense of ownership, commitment and accountability right from the start, helping you achieve best and highest adoption rates.
- Plan for Change & Manage Expectations: It’s no secret that implementing and adopting new technology requires significant change management across all stakeholders. You need a disciplined approach for planning and managing your implementation. By managing user and stakeholder expectations and helping them understand how they can change,they will see the full advantage of the technology.
- Build the Best Team: Sure, you want expertise in a number of exciting technologies, whether it be mobile, cloud computing or big data. However, the real key to success is building a team with multi-disciplinary expertise in the specific technology, your business processes, data and existing technology landscape. In our experience, the most successful companies also plan for flexible on-demand support to meet short-term capacity increases. By doing so, you manage business, financial and technical risk over the short and long-term for your organization.
The benefits of technology innovation are attainable if the evaluation, implementation and adoption are properly planned for and expectations are clearly set and managed. Following these five simple steps will put you on the road to successful technology change. Enjoy the journey!