Continuous User Enablement: Handling the Pace of Innovation

January 9, 2019   //   Managed Services User Adoption,

In my last blog, we identified the need for continual user enablement brought on by the cloud and how this has impacted the role of IT. Today, we’ll look at the common challenges IT professionals face when trying to foster a culture of change within their organization.

User Adoption at the Speed of Change

While technology is getting better, it is also causing more frequent disruption to our day-to-day lives. Without an immersive, ongoing strategy, the very technology that is supposed to make our lives easier can actually lead to more challenges down the road. This will require IT to remain actively engaged with end-users, keeping them informed of the benefits of a new system update or application rollout and how the impact will improve their work lives. Without immersive user enablement and adoption strategy, companies run the risk of frustrating their employees – leading to a lack of trust in IT, increased resistance to new technology capabilities, and looming risks associated with cybersecurity. Despite these risks, many organizations still struggle to reorganize their IT to reflect the new business realities of today.

In my experience, this perceived inability to manage end-users at the speed of change has led many midsize organizations to one of two resolutions:

Fight change

Some organizations defer powerful feature updates and security enhancements due to reluctance in the end-users they serve to adopt frequent, incremental changes to the systems they rely upon to get their work done.

If we keep our systems stagnant and avoid updating them regularly for fear of rocking the boat, we stifle our organization’s ability to innovate and maintain our competitive advantages, reducing our organization’s market share. We may create an environment that isn’t effectively retaining the kind of staff (both IT and otherwise) that bring new thoughts and ideas to the table that keep the organization relevant. We may even be posing serious risks to the security and integrity of our critical business data. The move to digital is a natural evolution and, frankly, those that resist it might as well end the business now.

Embrace change

While it’s now largely accepted that continual change has become a way of life for business, simply enforcing the change does not address the significant risks associated with a lack of planning around technology rollouts. Today, we’re seeing smaller, incremental and tactical changes are being made frequently without proactive communications around them, and the Service Desk often bears the burden of helping users through changes reactively when end-users aren’t expecting them.

If we continuously innovate and update our systems, but we only do this based on the needs of IT or business leadership without effectively enabling our end-users to adapt alongside us, we pose several other risks. We could be overburdening our Service Desk and impacting the productivity of front-line knowledge workers by generating too many unnecessary support requests. We could also be investing in organizational resources to initiatives that sound great on paper but aren’t the right fit for the actual people that should be using them.

If fighting change is no longer realistic, but fully enforce change it could lead to bigger issues down the line, then the majority of businesses will have to find a new way to adapt to today’s modern business climate. In my next blog, I will share some of the key strategies we employ here at SWC to help organizations like yours foster a culture of continual change.