You did it! Your new technology solution is up and running and that big project is over. Time to start reaping the benefits of that new solution.
But where do you start?
Too often we get caught in the rigamarole of new technology excitement. We bought a solution that we believe is going to improve how our business works, but once it’s in place we think of it as “complete.”
The thing is, implementation is only the first step of your new solution. The actual benefits of that solution come after implementation.
Which begs the question, what should you do after a successful technology implementation?
Let’s talk goals
Before you even purchase a new solution, you should set some goals. And if you’ve already implemented a new solution…well, better late than never, right?
Goal-setting is the key to understanding what success looks like post-implementation. It is a framework through which you can assess how your solution is benefitting your business.
The type of solutions can define your set of goals. For instance: a new unified communications solution should have efficiency and response times considered in the goals. A business continuity solution should consider data accessibility, multiple, regular backups, and data security as markers for success.
Once you set goals, you will have a clear path to defining the success of your new solution.`
Make sure the new solution is a part of your workflow
A new solution is worthless if your company isn’t using it. It’s important that once deployed, you add the new solution into existing workflows that can benefit from it. Depending on the solution, it can be a change to daily processes all the way up to quarterly or annual processes.
By integrating the new solution into existing processes, you’re ensuring 2 things: that the new solution will be used, and that you will be able to assess its effectiveness.
As the Harvard Business Review put it:
“For all the dollars spent by American companies on R&D, there often remains a persistent and troubling gap between the inherent value of the technology they develop and their ability to put it to work effectively.”
Many solutions in today’s business environment are software-based. There are many upsides to enterprise software— scalability, regular updates and customizability being a few. But all of those benefits are also a double-edged sword.
Because software is constantly changing and updating, it is possible that one update can suddenly cause your staff to not be able to use the software as effectively.
That’s where training comes in.
There are four key times where you should be training your staff:
- New hires
- New solutions
- A change in company position or role
- Significant updates to the existing solution
Training can also have a big upside for your revenue. Businesses who offer comprehensive training can see a 24% higher profit margin than those who offer limited training.
Track its effectiveness
Remember how we spoke about setting goals earlier? Those goals are important when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of a solution.
Tracking the effectiveness of a solution isn’t about success or failure. It’s more about identifying shortcomings and developing a remediation plan to get the most out of your solution.
In order to tell if a solution is effective, you need to compare it against where you were before and the goals you set for the solution. At its worsens, your solution should be better than what came before. If you have a new unified communication solution, your staff should be able to communicate and collaborate more easily than before that solution was implemented.
When it comes to assessing effectiveness vs your goals, it’s important to think of it as a roadmap. Don’t expect to hit your goals right away —instead, you should be looking for continued improvement and development that brings you closer to that goal.
Assess and reassess
At KME Systems, we see a lot of solutions get forgotten after implementation. For many businesses, they see deployment as the key metric for success, and once a solution is up and running that it will be used by their staff to generate the ROI needed.
The fact is, solutions require both external and internal support. The external support can come from a managed IT partner who maintains the health and security of the solution. The internal support is reliant upon your leadership. We’ve covered implementing the solution into your workflow, but it also needs to be regularly assessed.
These assessments should answer four questions:
- Is the solution doing what it should be, with statistics or tests to show that?
- Do the end-users of the solution feel it is improving their efficiency/effectiveness?
- Is the solution improving with your skill-level/staff size?
- Are you held back in any way by the solution?
When a solution is first deployed, you should probably do these types of assessments for the first three months. After that, you can do them quarterly or even twice a year. The purpose is to make sure you stay aware of any issues the solution may be introducing so that they can either be remediated or a better solution can replace it when needed.
Get help when you need it
This to-do list is really just the baseline of things that should happen post-integration. There are a lot of different tasks that need to be carried out to ensure your solution isn’t just up-and-running, but that it is improving your business.
That’s the primary reason we recommend finding a technology partner that will be there to help you from implementation all the way through the life of the solution.
Having a partner to count on to handle your solutions can open up more bandwidth for you or your internal IT resources to address more important tasks.
At KME Systems, we work hard to be a valuable resource for our partners. We want to help you understand and benefit the most from any solution we deliver, and we’re willing to back that up with a guarantee.