Last week’s reflection: The challenges of change and taking the leap.

It was a busy week here at Datore and we have had the pleasure of meeting some great people exploring possibilities and helping them on-board and seeing ‘the art of the possible’ with Business Intelligence and Analytics.  We worked together to bring the power of data to their fingertips and enabled end users to immediately find the answers they were looking for.

Over the weekend I took the time to reflect reflecting on how the week went. For me the highlight is always when I see the ‘sparkle’ in their eyes when the penny drops, they start seeing possibilities and asking ‘what-if’ questions.

Still the biggest challenge I face is helping to overcome the fear of new technology and improving adoption into an organisation.  This is particularly true with SMEs not utilising the most appropriate technology or organisations that have multiple departments that operate in isolation.

The most popular root causes include:

Perceived expense.  However, I personally do not believe this to be such an apprehension as it once was, as many organisations are now seeing the value digital technology can bring, its place in the future and its ROI. More importantly market forces are driving the price of technology downwards and sometimes it is quiet surprising what can be achieved even in what was always seen as an expensive market like Business Intelligence and Analytics.

Complacency.  If you’re already used to one way of doing things, you’ll be less incentivized to try something new.  Unless of course you see immediately benefits and time efficiencies as part of your day-to-day life, and even then, it takes time to engrain a change in behaviour.  Like forming a new habit.  I’ve heard it takes approximately 2 months before a new habit is embedded.

Inexperience with adopting a system. Unsure of where to start, what pitfalls to watch out for and how do I know this is the right system for me when so many technology companies all tell me the same advantages.  These are legitimate apprehensions, but they can be mitigated by working with someone who’s more experienced, customer reviews and satisfaction ratings and personal recommendations, also check out the support they provide.

Integration, disruption to my business and cost of training. Many organisations have multiple systems to help them operate efficiently.  How can I minimise disruption to the business and how much resource, time and cost will it take to train employees on a new system?  All rational concerns imagine you have 100 employees and your new tech product has a steep learning curve that takes 10 hours to master, It will cost you 1000 hours! Always check the ROI will meet the cost beyond that of just the price and then work with your solution provider to half that disruption.

So how can you address and alleviate these apprehensions:

Do some research.  Take the time to read tech news, visit new websites, and see what’s out there.  Seek independent advice, everyone loves to share their opinions and experiences. Find out from those who adopted the software or specialists within that area of their thoughts on the top-ranking products.  Gartner is a great independent report for the best in class products but also look at smaller software providers who could provide a better adoption experience, a better price and more specialised services.

Free trials.  Take advantage, generally most companies provide a free trial that you can download from their website.  It will give you the opportunity to evaluate the usefulness of a new piece of technology with no commitment or risk, it will also give you a more hands-on experience.  In addition, it will give you a ‘flavour’ of the level of training that is required.

Look at the numbers. I would strongly recommend you define a set of criteria ie: what you need the product to do, how much does it cost, how many users, etc and set up a scoring matrix and evaluate all products in the same way.  Also look at ROI e.g. how much could integrating this software save me; look at what time is spent currently, what stage in the process will this software help with and how much time and resource is currently spent in those stages of the process. We recently had a client where half of the salary of one person paid for the entire system and its onboarding.

Phased approach. This could be implementing a new system with half your staff at a time, trial with selected champions within each department who will be the first to iron out any immediate issues, trialling a new service to loyal customers first with adoption at a discount rate or offering the new product as part of selected projects that fit certain criteria’s or partnerships and measuring the benefits.

If you would like to discuss any of the points further, please feel free to contact us: info@datore.co or if you prefer to call us: +44 (0)2 3862 0801.

We are always open to helping bring clarity to technology.  We specialise in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics but have a wealth of experience embedding and on-boarding new technology within organisations.

I look forward to speaking to you soon and hope this was useful.

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