All businesses, whatever the industry, are seeing some level of impact of how digital tools and systems are transforming the way we interact with each other – both in and outside of the workplace. There are many ways of approaching these developments and trends, some of which are highly beneficial to business productivity, decision making and diversity.

There are, however, many challenges for business leaders looking to adopt new technology toolsets and frameworks. Most of those challenges sit not with the technology itself, but with operational processes, training and internal barriers on user level.

Let’s look at the following five ways in which your business can successfully harness digital transformation within your teams:

1. Engage users when selecting IT tools

As an innovative leader in any business, it can be difficult to gauge how well a team will respond to being exposed to a new application. As much as the younger generation may bring suggested new technology to the table simply because they are familiar with them, older staff may at the same time struggle to understand the benefits or how they can fit into the process.

Of course, having a group of people in the business who are already strong advocates of a particular technology when you adopt it, not only makes the implementation process less painful – but also reduces the amount of training required to get the team up and running with the solution.

When looking to expand your IT toolbox, it is always advisable to allow the end user to give their view on what they like and don’t like. By collating a wish list you can help to make the selection process more transparent and intuitive.

2. Define clear policies

No game is easy to understand without a rule book. You must ensure that your team is fully aware of not only what digital tools and systems they have available to them, but also what their permissions are when it comes to using, sharing and managing the information within those systems. It needs to be crystal clear to everyone – end users, IT support, security and compliance managers alike – what the various roles are and how each one is able to interact with the others.

Social media is a very clear example here. The successful use of social media channels can have an enormous impact on business results and brand value, but it is also a virtual minefield of potential faux pas. Although it is difficult to control what an individual chooses to say on their own user profile, clear policies can help to reduce inadvertent mistakes and limit any damage. Find some great guidelines and examples on Hootsuite’s blog.

3. Make enablement a priority

Enablement should be just as important when bringing in new technology into the business, as it would be when training new recruits. It is critical that the end user is comfortable using the systems they have available to them, in order to get the best value and productivity from them.

However, this isn’t just about training. In fact, enablement starts long before the actual onboarding of the user. It starts with implementation, setup, process and management. If your system has not been implemented with the user in mind, the user will face frustrations long before the training has finished.

By the way, the same principle applies when upgrading to a newer version of an application or system interface. It’s important to include the team in communications around the upgrade and make them aware of any changes to how they interact with the system. If for example you’re planning a business-wide rollout of Windows 10 to replace Windows 7 or 8.1, you will need to take into consideration that many will miss some features of the previous system, as a wide range of adoption issues have already been documented.

4. Integrate, integrate, integrate

One of the most common frustrations of IT users is the disconnect between disparate IT systems and functions. The balancing act is about allowing people to use the systems they want, while maintaining overall process control.

Integration is often the missing link as new technology is introduced to the business. One piece of software, no matter how advanced, may never truly ensure optimal staff efficiency as long as it is kept in a function-silo and not adding value to any of the other systems.

We saw this happen on a huge scale when the iPhone and iPad movement started gaining popularity, introducing the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) challenge to businesses all over the world. It was obvious what a string of benefits that came with being able to communicate and work on the move, but suddenly the pressure was on IT to ensure the devices were supported and could connect to critical business systems.

5. Make security easy

Keeping systems secure should never be the sole responsibility of the individual. It’s important to make staff aware of any risk exposure of using various systems, but if a solution is sanctioned by the business it needs to also be protected by the business.

There needs to be an audit process in place to not only look at functionality and cost, but also review the potential security risks of using a particular piece of software when carrying out work-related tasks. It’s important to know how to safeguard critical info, encrypt sensitive info, track usage and compliance while also keeping people’s policies up to date.

We have helped a wide range of businesses tackle the digital transformation challenge. Let us know if you’d like some guidance or advice on finding the best path in the ever growing IT landscape!


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