Principal, Technology Transformation at 101 Solutions, responsible for our internal technology and our clients technology roadmaps.
Technology has always moved at a rapid pace, and what you did six months ago, let alone two years ago, is likely outdated. Something new has taken its place that promises better results for your organization. We’ve seen this change cycle accelerate rapidly in the months since the global pandemic has taken place, where previous trends were replaced, almost overnight, with new requirements to meet business demands and realities. This leaves a lingering question: How do organizations adjust their thinking to create flexibility and adaptability for an ever-evolving environment as they move forward?
Step 0: Create a foundation through organization.
You should start by seeing if commodity services can be treated as such and working with a partner for those functions based upon the size and complexity of your organization. This will enable you to move your people that know your business processes, culture, industry and personnel to where they will create differentiating value. This foundation will drive immense value and deliver results to your organization, all while your partners are focused on keeping the lights on in the dynamic environment.
Step 1: Adapt immediately by designing for flexibility of access.
The days are gone where a solution can only be accessible within a company’s dedicated office spaces. This has been replaced with requirements for providing access anytime, anywhere and on almost any device. While not a new trend, ensuring that you build in expectations and requirements for when, where and how your users will expect/require access will help enable the successful deployment and adoption of your tool sets for this new dynamic landscape.
Step 2: Assess training and education capabilities.
It’s often hard enough to deploy and support a new solution with everyone in an office. Take that into a hybrid world where you can’t control or expect users to all be in the office, and you now have a recipe for a training and education nightmare. Work with your business stakeholders to change management and training teams to outline clear mechanisms and requirements for delivering your new tool. How will remote users engage? How will you ensure multidevice training? How will you remove roadblocks without straining limited resources?
Step 3: Determine supportability for a hybrid world.
Training tooms, the shoulder tap and crashing a meeting, all approached associated with in-person offices, are being replaced with instant messages and conference calls. These direct messages or requests for help essentially encorce a one-to-one triaging approach instead of a focused and streamlined supportability process. To help your new solution meet the expectations of a hybrid system, you should consider investing in self-service information, remote sharing capabilities, integrations with your common support tools, and simple error handling/logging for rapid resolutions.
Step 4: Define performance expectations.
In a world where everyone is in the office, you can typically manage user expectations and provide a controlled, reliable experience for your end users. In the new hybrid world, this has gone out of the window, with organizations having little to no control over the capability of their user’s internet connections, which results in subpar experiences and complaints with limited resolutions. As you’re looking forward, you should define, determine and publish what your experience will be like on different types of connections and establish what your minimum supportability threshold will be. Note what gaps this leaves in your user base. This will help you manage expectations.
Step 5: Don’t forget security.
In the midst of the rapid work-from-home switch that organizations were faced with starting in March, many professionals had to work around the clock to enable seamless access and capabilities for all users regardless of location. This was a huge lift for organizations, and it often had organizations doing the bare minimum when it came to potential security concerns. As we move forward, security is an important consideration for any new tool or solution requirement. You should build this thinking into your processes and consider solutions that have the same security regardless of access capability — as well as ones that don’t require you to take additional action or utilize other tools to meet those security standards.
We are all rapidly adapting to this new world and learning what expectations and requirements we will all face. While no evaluation of technology will ever be 100% up to date in our new hybrid world, by considering the steps above, you can help your organization be better prepared and make educated decisions.
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