Every three or four years your resident IT department or technology supplier should be advising you to consider upgrading your technology infrastructure. In many cases much of what is needed is ‘behind the scenes’ equipment most of us don’t see and yet all of it will affect everyone.
Proper Prior Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance – the 7 Ps (military adage)
Projects of this nature never completely run to plan and it’s very easy to see why many perceive them to be a poor use of resources. However, with the rapid evolution of the way our staff work tied with the desire to remain competitive in our current economy, simply ignoring the conversation with your IT go-to will be detrimental to your business.
Technology upgrades should be planned and managed properly to avoid the two biggest causes of project failure: poor planning and poor communication. Discussions prior to embarking on the project often fail to touch enough on user adoption in a way that ensures their smooth transition and prevents users from improving their levels of productivity markedly.
Figure 1 Organisations now have multiple devices
After all, to upgrade your IT system only to perform at the same level as before should just be unthinkable. The cost of financing this project in conjunction with the cost of poor ROI from the original investment will only encourage others to perceive IT as a ‘necessary evil’. In reality a correct upgrade will be quite the contrary.
From a user’s perspective, the Microsoft Office 2013 and 2011 suite of applications as well as Business Intelligence services such as Lync, CRM, and SharePoint offer so many new opportunities for businesses. Therefore ensuring your staff get the most out of the features and benefits it offers your business requires more than just a day or two during the bedding down period. Ensuring application training is a central part to your staff’s long-term training plan is key to ensure you don’t further risk increasing your Couts caches (hidden costs).
Some organisations that I work with have two year training cycles that cover Operating Systems as well as the traditional desktop applications such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint. By helping their staff to use joined up applications, which they would not have found out by themselves, they have benefitted enormously in time saving and effort from the IT Training Surgery.
Whether you are planning for, or currently going through an IT refresh, be sure to ask your IT manager what application training will be in place to help support your staff’s professional development and company productivity.