Change Management – Why Is It Important To Manage The Change?
Change management is a unique proposition in every market place, acknowledged as such by Microsoft and many of our clients. It allows managed services to take a seat at the top of the innovation table. We challenge our clients to consider the impact of their digital workplace roll-out up front. Any expectation of immediate employee adoption and improved behaviors are just not realistic.
Our experience tells us that driving the adoption of service-based technologies like a digital workplace requires careful transition and that the success of the change is heavily influenced by the culture of the organization, rather than the technology itself. This is where a successful managed services partner becomes crucial on their experience. The MSP needs to ensure that the clients’ employees are equipped to adapt to the technology and adopt behavioral changes by setting appropriate goals, promote the right behaviors and, most importantly for the clients, MSPs should measure their success. This, of course, is vital when an organization is required to realize, or accelerate, the return on their technology investment by making a material bottom line impact or improving talent retention.
So how do we do this? Firstly, we recognize that our clients are unique. We therefore design behavioral change management services around their specific needs (accepting, of course, that lights-on activities supporting availability and break-fix are fundamentals).
The real value is in the granular identification and measurement of those behavioral identifiers. An example might be: how many employees per department are adopting the use of a cloud storage technology? If trends are not on target, why not? What work needs to be done to meet those targets? Is additional training required? Does the partner need to provision an adoption champion within under-performing departments?
MSPs are attracted to the concept of an employee’s digital literacy – their “fluency” in technology. Digitally literate employees can more easily adapt to the behavioral change driven by the technology, but they will still require “champions” of the change and strong influence.
What else do we look for? A leader who will encourage others to take the next step with them, at various levels within the organization. We recently brought these concepts to a law firm. Our ideas on adoption and digital literacy were presented upfront and differentiated us right from the start. Our vision resonated with the client. We described digital workplace (or, indeed, any “As a Service” offering) as a tide coming in, the technology washing over the organization in waves of additional features, functions and all requiring their own measure of adoption. It was up to us as the managed services partner to ensure that the tide was a gentle one, where no wave comes crashing down. With increased adoption comes increased employee confidence and, even, real and tangible excitement.