From an IT perspective, purchasing software and tools for users is a hefty investment in both dollars and deployment effort. Yet we often hear this:
“I couldn’t get my users to use the new technology I bought.”
Sound familiar? The more we hear IT talk about their end-users, the more users sound like teenagers. Before you scoff or roll your eyes, hear us out.
- When you talk to them about serious topics like security and compliance, are they really listening?
- Do they care how much time and effort you put into a roll out?
- When you try to train them, are they glued to their phone and not paying attention?
- You paid good money for this feature-packed tool! But are they using it?
- You’ve made an executive decision to move to a new process or software, do they accept and adopt?
- When you put your foot down about something, will they go behind your back?
- If you overhear what they’re doing on the network, are you alarmed and get into protective mode?
So, how can you circumvent the rampant shadow IT in your organization? Just as many parenting guides recommend for handling teenaged angst, you have to be zen, you have to prepare and you have to try to see where your kid is coming from. Your end-user behavior is based on their consumer digital landscapes and a desire to have a tool that meshes with their lifestyles so they don’t have to deal with clunky software that acts as hurdles for them to get their work done. Help yourself out and enable your users to work smarter by meeting them half-way. Here are some ideas on how to deal with the “teenagers” in your workplace:
- Be firm: Stand by your business priorities. You need the tool to be enterprise-class and business-ready as a requirement to protect the company.
- Be communicative: Set clear goals and put them in writing.
- Be in tune: Prioritize user experience and mobile-compatibility that mirrors their consumer lives to keep your users happy.
- Be resourceful: Create a mixed group of trial-testers to make sure that you get the buy-in from multiple departments and have evangelists in each to help you spread the word.
- Be understanding: Keep your ear to the ground and listen to user concerns/complaints or what they could be using in lieu of your software. Try to understand why.
- Be proactive: Make sure you check what kind of support the vendor provides you and your users so that when you hit a snag (which you will), what kind of response and attention you and your user base will get.