The new era of technology has triggered a greater need for businesses to keep up with and set themselves apart from their competitors. In a recent study from McKinsey Global Survey on digital transformation, respondents report their organizations are increasingly focused on adapting to the digital generation. For businesses around the world, adjusting to the transformed digital landscape means introducing new tools and technology.
Common struggles for companies during the integration stage include scheduling time for team members to meet, as well as the bigger issue of failure to monitor and back up data. Other times, organizations can fall into the trap of introducing new technology for the sake of having new technology. Without first assessing the benefits, ROI, and alignment with an organization’s needs, this will almost certainly fail. To ease the integration process and ensure your team is on board, we’ve put together our best tips for successfully introducing new tools to your organization.
In the digital age, emerging technologies consistently create new challenges for businesses. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are already becoming mainstream. However, 2020 is likely to see advanced AI emerging, along with other innovations like digital ecosystems, biochips, immersive spaces, and bio tech.
As these technologies become more prevalent, research from PwC shows 76% of CEOs are concerned about the pace of change. The study also stresses the importance of integrating emerging technologies into an overall organizational strategy. A good way to keep up with nascent technologies is to consult subject-matter experts, like the community at Experts Exchange, who can help you find answers to your questions.
We know the adoption and integration of emerging technology is vital if a business is to keep up with competitors. Mike Fratto, an analyst for Current Analysis, told Biz Tech, “Keeping pace with both customer demands and competitors requires businesses to become adept at bringing in new technologies and integrating them with existing network resources.”
Regardless of what technology is being introduced, it’s important to complete a thorough assessment of its impact on network resources, capacity, security, and maintenance required as a result of integration.
Fratto added, “That means a complete analysis, including network performance monitoring and application performance monitoring…These are two things nobody wants to pay for, but everybody needs.”
One of the main questions you should ask about new technology is how well it integrates with your existing setup. Over the years, your organization will have established its own processes and ways of working with its current technology tools.
When considering integration, ask yourself:
What adaptations, if any, will need to be made?
Will the introduction of the technology help to optimize the value and productivity of the systems that are already in place?
Once you have answered these questions you can be more confident your chosen technology will integrate well with existing systems. If you have concerns about integration, seek advice from subject-matter experts who can guide you and your employees through the process.
Investing in technology is an ideal opportunity to pause and assess your organization. Take a critical look at your business and establish:
What needs to be improved.
Which technology could boost your organization’s performance.
How the technology will add to the company’s strategy.
Once you have finished your assessment, the search can begin for appropriate equipment. When choosing new technology, always look for products that are intuitive, easy to use, and accessible for all members of the team.
Research is an integral part of integrating new technology. For this part, look at new technology trends and learn how they can benefit your business in the short and long term. However, do not just rely on reviews or news articles for this. Subject-matter experts on Experts Exchange can also provide first-hand experience on technology integration to advise you on best practices and potential pitfalls.
Feedback from the IT team will be paramount as the integration gets underway, so ensure they are always kept informed. You should also have conversations across teams and verticals to ensure maximum input on the process. This approach will give you a wider view of the (shortlisted) technology and whether it would be a worthwhile investment for your organization.
Introducing new technology into the workplace requires a learning period, so you should provide training and support for your staff as they adjust to a new way of working.
Before making a purchase, research the vendors to determine the training they have available, the support they offer, and whether trials are provided to get staff familiar with the new technology.
Schedule in-house training to ensure employees are familiarized and able to use the new technology. Ideally, training should be conducted prior to the integration of the new software. In addition, it may be a good idea to record the initial training session so that when new team members are hired, they are able to use these resources as a guide.
This will ensure that everyone on the team is comfortable using the integrated technology and give them the chance to ask any questions they might have. Further, it’s imperative that every team member has a named person (contact) on the training and support team who they can go to if errors occur in the early days.
Once you’ve decided to go with an integration, develop an integration scope, sequence, and timeline. Consider how long it will take to install and integrate the new technology, and then budget time for staff training and additional updates. There will always be technical errors or unforeseen problems, so leave room for those as well. For assistance developing a complete timeline, connect with subject-matter experts who can give you an idea of how long the integration may take.
Involving the rest of the team will make the introductory phase go smoother. Staff should not feel rushed or forced, so take your time during this phase and get feedback at every stage along the way. Listen carefully and use this feedback to inform decisions.Teams on the ground are going to be the most knowledgeable about how a new technology is actually integrating. Your staff will also appreciate that their feedback is being taken seriously, and everyone will benefit from a thoughtful integration process.
Create any critical backups ahead of the move. Designate a person who will be responsible for this and ensure that backups are done on a regular basis to minimize the chances of potential data loss.
As the organization moves closer to the integration, test that the backups are working.
Integrating new technology has its challenges and the process will not always be an easy one. However, by getting feedback from staff, carrying out audits and assessments, weighing up the pros and cons, and putting in measures to ease the introduction, you can make the integration with new technology go smoother.
Ultimately, the decision-making process around a new integration can come down to something as simple as the pros and cons. Advantages and disadvantages of a new technology are key components in the final decision around integrating new technology for your business. Based on your organizational assessment, resource audit, and research, consider what this technology and the integration process will bring to the table for your business, and where it will possibly detract. Benefits may include added efficiency, productivity, and long-term cost savings, while the disadvantages might cover a steep learning curve, staff resistance, the initial costs, and setup.
Remember to consult other professionals and organizations who have already undergone the integration process as a guide. For expert advice on technology integration and other questions you may have, sign up for Experts Exchange today.
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