Keeping up with modern technology is critical across all industry sectors. Whatever your business does, as time progresses, hardware must eventually be replaced, and software needs to updated with the required regularity.

However, what doesn’t change is the fact that any new IT initiative needs to be embedded within every organisation. The surprising thing is that so many businesses still get this wrong – or simply don’t know how to create the right launchpad or landing conditions.

Here’s what companies can do to create the right environment for digital transformation.

Stop Firefighting Individual Incidents

Digital transformation means adopting the right organisational mindset – being able to take a long term view of what your company needs right now, and what it will need in five years’ time. And think broader than just hard- and software; even more important is your users’ personal feelings.

The problem is, it’s easy to address individual departmental concerns or make quick software fixes and still feel as though you’re making a positive impact. Don’t fall for that! If your only focus is on daily issues or incidents, you’ll be unable to focus on longer term issues.

By understanding long term objectives, you’ll get a better strategic overview of the overall barriers to success. Basically – stop firefighting individual rooms, take a step back and think of ways to put out the whole blazing house.

Make Messaging Relevant

As we’ve discussed previously, cascading IT information is crucial to user adoption. It’s not enough that a business’ senior management team kickstarts a new initiative – you need to ‘own’ it too.

Understanding is critical. You should be able to explain the need for the new solution more broadly to staff – in a way that they not only understand, but that it is relevant to their role and their day-to-day reality.

You also need to address any short-term issues or disruptions that the migration or upgrade process will have – as well as preparing teams for what to expect throughout the entire process.

Keep it honest. Not knowing is ok. But without the right information or direction, employees tasked with adopting and putting a new platform, system, or solution into practice, will either flood the service desk with complaints on day 1, or – worse – try to figure out what they’re supposed to for themselves and attempt their own workarounds.

Defer To Expert Advice

Unless your business is a massive IT enterprise – and even then – the chances are that any major digital overhaul you implement will be carried out by an independent contractor or managed IT service provider.

Involving your technology partner and your users from a very early stage will help you to bridge any glaring gaps. They can walk you through the process, explain what will happen at each milestone, and outline how the business will be affected – giving you everything needed to make collaboration, efficiency, and communication are as seamless as possible.

Creating a fertile environment where digital transformation will thrive is no mean feat. It takes careful planning in many different ways. Soft skills matter just as much as technical capability, maybe even more in the fast-paced world of IT. But with the right team around you, and a structured plan, your new IT initiative will have a much better chance of a happy landing.

Also…

The Office 365 & SharePoint Connect conference takes place on 10/11 October in Haarlem.

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