What not to do
Hypothetical scenario: A large manufacturing company decides to give 60 division managers a rough tablet to collect data at work. The company took advice and introduced a device management system to enable IT to remotely manage and secure these systems. Senior managers spoke with the hardware provider and selected an off-the-shelf interface that they felt met most of the company’s needs. They then ordered the employees to start using the new systems.
What do you think happened next?
As the team worked with the new tools as they embarked on a transition, they discovered that certain aspects of the interface were irrelevant or irrelevant. Some very important functions sat within menus (or apps) that had no other useful function.
Not only that, but the software still did not support some key tasks, which meant that workers alone had to find solutions, few of which were compatible. When the systems went live, the company then discovered that some facilities had significant network access problems; key information was not updated, which meant that workers still had to check with each other for insights using older processes.
Employees eliminated the appropriate use of technology, relying on legacy processes without telling senior management, instantly creating data vulnerabilities, and undermining the company’s ability to harness all of its data for new efficiency gains. .
Management wondered why their insights looked unrealistic based on expected data, and why productivity fell.
Your loved ones are probably customers
This is a notional example, of course. But it does reveal some of the challenges companies face in unlocking digital efficiencies with technology as they approach the task with a hierarchical mindset.
Digital transformation is nothing – whatever it is, because it is an overarching phrase for a zillion different use cases – unless you put people at the heart of change. You can spend all the technology in the world at your business, but if you do not spend time figuring out what problems you want to solve, the investment is likely to fail.
In this case, the biggest failure of senior management was that they talked to the technology provider before talking to the target customer in the project. That customer, as senior management thought, was not senior management – it was the These devices were expected to be used by 60 divisional leaders.
Decision-makers chose a solution that is not off the shelf before talking to workers. As a result, they mandated solutions that did not meet the needs of those in the chain. Not only that, but the options over-complicated the existing processes by getting into existing tasks.
In short: All that technical knowledge failed to work in partnership.
Technology for people, not at leo
Elon Musk famously said in 2018: “Yes, excessive automation by Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. People are underrated. “
Or, as Apple’s Steve Jobs once said: “Apple should be the kind of place where anyone can walk in and share ideas with the CEO.”
That is to say, front line workers should be heard, not just seen. This is precisely the challenge facing so many racing companies to digitize their current business processes, which is ironic as they should already be taught about IT consumption the greatest benefits will always come from people – centered solutions.
Apple is aware of this, of course – it is the reputable Human UI Guidelines that have partly driven its success in consumer markets. The same guidelines are also why An increasing number of enterprise customers today are opting for Apple equipmentfor the precise same reasons – ease of use, familiarity, and good user experience.
Of course, user experience is part of the challenge that failed to make the transition by the fantasy company. This fantasy deployment completely failed to gauge the employee experience – and that was the kiss of death for any company looking to implement new systems and processes.
For best results, not only should the technology you use at work be as good as what you use at home, but it should be tailored to the tasks you want to perform. . You should not have to navigate friction to get things done – the technology you use should enable you to do more quickly, without compromising on what you have already done.
I have lost track of the number of times these people have told me when discussing their approach to successful technology transfer within their company, or on behalf of clients. But, when so many ventures not yet fully embraced how mobile technologies can help their business is something that must be repeated forever.
A a recent Volvo deployment was reported it is a great illustration of a more successful deployment strategy. A consumable device has been issued to vehicle engineers to help strengthen customer relationships. During the development of the Car UI, the car company’s digital experience teams worked closely with the most important people – the engineers who would use the solution. Then they developed a custom system for them. This included abandoning features that the developers initially assumed would be required by the engineers and including features that they did not expect to need.
The result? Satisfied engineers, and improved customer contact.
When trying to make a major organizational change, it makes sense to first talk to the people who keep their enterprise work going.
The transformation must begin at the heart of the company and rip out, not at the top of the company and trickle down. We already know trickle down anything that is rarely well distributed.
Why would it be different in your business?
For best results, technology investments should solve the problems your employees face. When they do, everything else should follow.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
How not to upgrade your enterprise technology
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