The right workplace technology can make a company run better and make its employees more productive. The wrong technology can do the opposite. While technologies like PowerPoint remain controversial and stories of failed CRM implementations are legendary in IT circles, the good news of technology deployment gets less coverage. Workplace technologies that make companies run better share four common traits.
For a workplace technology to make a business run better, it has to have a clear business purpose. Equipping receptionists that spend all day on the phone with access to office suite software is an example of a non-business focused technology deployment. Replacing a legacy system that works and is suiting the business’ needs with a new cloud-based system is another example of what not to do. If a technology can’t clearly drive sales or reduce expenses, it’s probably benefiting the vendor more than the customer.
Technology can only positively impact a business’s operations if the benefits that it brings are greater than the additional costs involved in implementing it and using it. Poorly designed software and processes can slow down employees and reduce their productivity — this is the problem with many CRM software installations. The best technology for the workplace is easy to use and immediately effective. Public cloud storage and file sharing services (Google Drive, Dropbox) are an example of user-focused technology — they can be set up by anyone in seconds and immediately solve a problem.
Backed by Training
Most successful technology deployments — especially those of complicated tools — are backed by a commitment to user training. With training and support, anything can become easy to use. Investing in training up front helps the technology to get adopted over time so that it can contribute to the business.
Technology that isn’t reliable and available when users need it damages business in two ways. First, it fails to gain users’ trust, so it ends up not being fully utilized, leaving the business with all of the costs and only a fraction of the benefits. Second, when it goes down, it causes business to grind to a half. As such, the best technologies are those that just simply work, any time and anywhere.