In today’s technology driven marketplace, businesses need to stay at the cutting edge or risk getting left behind. However, adopting new solutions can easily drain your resources. You need to be very intentional and measured when proposing process changes to your IT staff and end users.
If you’re ready to make an investment in new technology, consider these tips to gain buy-in from the IT department.
Define your goals and purpose
Let’s say you’ve just discovered a new exciting piece of technology and you believe it will change the way your company succeeds in the marketplace. Given your business expertise and experience in the field, the advantages of the technology may seem obvious to you. However, others in your company may not immediately recognize the solution’s potential.
Before you bring your idea to other stakeholders and end users, you need to clearly define your purpose in adopting a new tool or solution. Will the technology increase productivity? Provide transparency between siloed departments? Improve information security? Once you identify the driving purpose behind your idea, work backwards, targeting specific goals that will help your company reach that end.
At this point, it’s important to be open and flexible with your vision. The Eli Broad College of Business at the University of Michigan noted that, in dynamic industries, change can be incremental or revolutionary. Incremental changes require a long-term plan with clearly defined goals. Revolutionary change necessitates the buy in of all major stakeholders and will likely require a massive push from your training and development teams.
Get the necessary data
You need to be passionate about your idea, but that enthusiasm will only get you so far. You also need concrete evidence, backed by real-world data, that will convince stakeholders that your vision is best for the company.
Establish benchmarks, track key performance indicators and use the analytic data available to you to project how the technology will impact the business. When you can use numbers and hard data to back up your claims, others will listen.
Develop a timeline and training strategy
Your employees may be resistant to change for a number of reasons. For some, the simple fact that times are changing is enough to cause resistance to the adoption of new technology. Wesleyan University lecturer Rebecca Knight, writing in the Harvard Business Review, explained that some people may feel threatened by new technology – worrying that it will make their position irrelevant or more difficult to accomplish.
These kinds of negative reactions may be frustrating for you, especially if your intention is to make work easier or more efficient. When you speak with your employees about adopting an unfamiliar new technology, be sure to field questions about it and be straightforward with your answers. The more context you can provide for the process change, the more your employees will be able to understand its benefits. Then, you can develop a plan for training employees on the new technology.
Have an honest discussion with IT
You have expert knowledge of the business side of the company; now you need to combine it with the technology intelligence of your IT leaders. Once you’ve defined your goals, backed them up with data and developed an implementation strategy, it’s time to pass the final stress test: Is your proposal feasible?
Stay flexible and listen to what your IT leaders have to say. They may spot roadblocks that you hadn’t considered. If necessary, find a middle ground and work from there to achieve your desired result as a team.
Already built your business case? Simplify the roll out with the six tips in this eBook.